Content taken from the PHASE Nepal Quarterly Report: July to October 2017.
PHASE has been hard at work in areas across Nepal and these are some of our achievements from mid-July to mid-October 2017. July and August are the peak of the monsoon, presenting extra challenges for the PHASE staff to deal with.
PHASE has been running a girls empowerment programme in Wai. In the last quarter, 220 teenage girls have participated in it, and have learnt and practiced several personal development skills, taken an oath to object to any gender biases they experience or see in their home, school, or community, and made a commitment to never follow the Chhaupadi ritual.
“I have made three commitments after I participated in the programme. First I will never go and sleep in a cowshed during menstruation, second I will complete my school and go to a college and third I will always support other girls when they need help or suffer bullying and bias at home or school.” – Sukuli Mahatara, age 13, a participant in the girls empowerment programme at Swami Kartik Secondary School.
PHASE Austria and the City of Vienna have supported a School Education Access programme for 181 out of school children in Humla. It is a three-fold model of support that provides enough stationery for six months, monitors and encourages children’s attendance, and provides teacher training. Due to this programme, the previously out of school children have achieved an average attendance of 70% in the last quarter.
“My name is Prabin Sharki and I belong to a Dalit community. I have left my school three years ago to share hands at work with my mother who is the breadwinner of our family of 4. I have two younger sisters. I wanted to go to school again but my mother could not afford even my stationery. Now, I am back to school because of PHASE Nepal’s support. My mom is happy because I have had everything I needed for the school for the last two years. PHASE Nepal’s sister comes to visit my mom and tells her that we children should complete our school to stand on our own feet. I am to become a teacher in the future.” – Prabin Sharki, a participant in the School Education Access programme.
In September, 17 girls from Kashigaun and Keraunja who had completed their education were selected to be mentors for younger girls and received training as part of a peer to peer learning model to help girls stay in school.
“As a girl in the Gurung community, I was always told to share hands at home and learn the skills of a housewife. My mom always told me that being literate is enough for girls because her ultimate aim is to get married and bear children and run a house. But I am lucky that I could get through the school. Now after being selected and trained as a girl facilitator, I am motivated to mentor the younger girls of my village to study well and complete school education. This is the only way to gain access to higher studies so as to be self-reliant and empowered. We can only fight for our rights only if we make ourselves stronger with education and career.” – Nisha Gurung, a newly trained girls’ facilitator in Kashigaun.
PHASE also ran adult literacy classes for illiterate adults, a flexible schooling programme for ethnic Lama children, and a number of focus groups in schools as part of the programme supported by the Big Lottery Fund.
“For a person who didn’t know how to write their name, learning to write is a very big thing… it’s great that they can now write their own names after 6 months.” – a farmer from Wai.
PHASE is currently implementing livelihood projects in five districts of Nepal. Most of the mountainous areas have a low level of agricultural production, and so the majority of the households face acute food shortages for much of the year. Livelihood projects in Mugu and Bajura, supported by the Austrian Development Agency and the Innocent Foundation, aim to tackle this. Over the last quarter, over 100 farmers have become involved in monthly meetings, there have been advisory visits to more than 400 farmers, and training sessions on vegetable production and chicken rearing have been run.
“We used to have to buy vegetables from the market; now we have learnt how to grow them. We are getting seeds and producing our own.” – a member of a farmers’ group in Kolti, Bajura.
The Community Development Project in Gorkha has succeeded in providing 200 plastic tunnels to farmers, provided carpenter training to 20 people, supporting the supply of vegetable seeds and agriculture inputs, and providing refresher training on vegetable production and poultry rearing to over 200 farmers.
Livelihood recovery projects are also ongoing in four VDCs of Sindhupalchok: Baramchi, Hagam, Chokati and Dhuskun.
In the last quarter, 19,729 patients have received primary healthcare services at PHASE supported health centres. Over 3000 were under 5 years old. Antenatal care, postnatal care, and safe delivery and key areas PHASE staff have been supporting, as well as giving family planning sessions to nearly 2000 people. Community health education sessions have also been run in villages to provide basic knowledge about safe motherhood.
“It’s good. Although others go outside [for health services] we are still here [to receive maternity care]. We don’t need to do anything different. There are good facilities available.” – a pregnant woman in Kolti.
Child health is particularly important as they are more susceptible to infectious diseases, so PHASE have supported various immunization events in coordination with government agencies, as well as regularly monitoring children under five to identify whether they are getting sufficient nutrition. Over 1000 children were immunized, and staff monitored the growth of nearly 4000 children.
PHASE has also run community events to raise awareness of healthcare and related issues and increase basic medical knowledge and skills. Topics of these events include safety, first aid, personal hygiene and cleanliness, and adolescent health. There have also been demonstrations of super flour preparation to try and improve children’s nutritional status.
A Kathmandu based project was started in August in cooperation with Medecins du Monde. It aims to improve health behaviours and access to health services for informal waste workers. The Healing Buddha Foundation have kindly agreed to support PHASE by funding a new health project in Mugu.
“We haven’t just benefitted from PHASE in terms of one group alone, we have benefitted in all areas. Previously when people were sick they could not get medicine but now we are getting very good medicine.” – a savings and credit group member from Kolti.
Reconstruction of two schools and three health centres in Sindhupalchok has begun, along with the construction of a prefab health post in Hagam, which is supported by NERA and Global Giving.
PHASE have also constructed four classrooms for Ghurdanda primary school in Syangja. The new building has now been handed back over to the school’s management committee.
PHASE is also running a school construction project for Jaldevi school in Yanglakot, involving building classrooms, administrative rooms, water and sanitation facilities.
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