The women of Her Farm come from a variety of backgrounds; domestic abuse, sexual assualt, avoiding early marriage and single mom's with no where to go. They vary in age, they are of many different castes (Nepal has an active caste system) and have had varying levels of education. Some have children, some do not. What they all have however is each other. This seemingly unlikely collection of women, from across the entire spectrum of society have made themselves into a very close knit family. They raise children together. farm together, learn together and have a lot of fun together as well. The photographs attached are from one evening in the kitchen at Her Farm. Everyone, including visiting volunteers, were laughing, joking, eating and sharing a fun-filled evening together. These are deeply healing moments for these women who are now a real family. It's inspiring to see how they've come together and support each other, care for each other, for each other's children as well. Gives me goosebumps to see the love at Her Farm.
The number of women and children living at Her Farm is growing. We've partnered with a mental health program in Kathmandu called Koshish. Koshish rescues women from the streets. Each woman has a different story of how they wound up on the streets. Some have suffered mental illness for years and were kicked out of their homes by family members, some were discarded by thier spouse, many are victims of rape and have children who are products of those rapes and at least one was a drug abuser. Koshish provides counseling and rehab treatment at their facility in Kathmandu, but once these women have completed all the programs and treatments, there is no place for them to go. Families refuse to take them back and in many cases, the whereabouts of family members is unknown. Our partnership provides a "next step" for these women. Once Koshish determines their treatment is complete, many are moved from the institutional setting to Her Farm.
Her Farm is providing a safe home and meaningful work for the women. Farming and especially caring for livestock gives direction and meaning again to their lives and daily routine that is within their ability. There are many such women and their children now living at Her Farm and thriving there. We now have a waiting list for other women wanting to graduate from institutional care to farm living. The April 2015 earthquakes destroyed some of the housing at Her Farm so our capacity is now limited, and we are currently out of space to accept more women. We are hoping to rectify that soon and create the additional housing needed to accomodate the 10plus women and children currently waiting to move to Her Farm.
There are 16 women living and working at Her Farm right now. Though they were also badly shaken by the April 25th earthquake, and Her Farm had sustained considerable damage as well, they jumped into action for the entire Mankhu community. Teams were sent out to assess damages in the village and phone calls were made to arrange to bring truckloads of food and tarpulins for the immediate needs of the entire village. Within a day these women had arranged for food and temporary shelter supplies for the entire village. Her Farm quickly became the hub of support and information for the entire community. A solar system was obtained and put to use for villagers to charge cell phones so they could contact relatives in other villages. An inventory of who needed what was compiled and all arrangements made to get the most necessary items to the village asap. Six families moved into housing at Her Farm as they'd lost their homes and a number of young girls from the village were brought to Her Farm with a request from the parents to look after them until they could arrange for shelter. These women were the rock of the community and selflessly gave their all to secure the needs of everyone in the village.
Be sure to visit the link below for video of the earthquake and the women of Her Farm in action providing help. You may also visit www.herfarmnepal.org and meet the women of Her Farm.
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