MENSTRUAL HEALTH MANAGEMENT (MHM) AND HYGIENE FOR THE WOMEN OF SAMAGAUN
Samagaun’s temperature goes down to minus 20 degrees Celsius in the winter, and the cold climate and lack of habit explain that members of the community do not wash their bodies, hands, or private parts on a regular basis. This still leads to fatalities among women due to common urinary tract infections.
Moreover, until the 2015 earthquake and provision of menstruations management material by relief NGOs, most women did not use pads, and free bled or used ragged clothes to manage their periods.
The TCN started to work on Menstrual Health Management in February 2019, and partnering with INGO Days for Girls Nepal, TCN organized a 2-day workshop for 10 women and 10 men leaders of Samagaun on menstruations, hygiene, and leadership.
The MhM and hygiene project aims at giving women the means to ensure better hygiene for themselves and their children as well as to better manage their menstruations. It also aims at reducing the gender imbalance by initiating a conversation in the community about women’s health.
AWARENESS SESSIONS & PAD PRODUCTION UNIT
We provide awareness sessions to the community about women’s health, hygiene, and leadership in educating their peers to wash their hands and private parts. The project also provides attendees the opportunity to buy reusable sanitary cloth pads at a cheap price and made by INGO Days For Girls Nepal and eventually aim at encouraging the women to set up a local pad production unit to sell to the community.
The project is set to continue in 2020 and 2021 with the second training of trainers and assessment of the feasibility of setting up a pad production unit in Samagaun.
Empowering Women and Men Through Basic Literacy Class for Enhanced Leadership and
Economic Opportunity in Samagaun
Women’s basic literacy classes in English, Maths and Nepali
The project of women’s literacy classes aimed at building the foundation for women empowerment and leadership in the community by giving women the tools and earn respect from the community to become leaders. Most women in Samagaun received no formal school education and are very shy and reserved as Tibetan culture in the village is discriminatory to women and denies them most leadership position. They bear the burden of household chores and agriculture work on their own and have little time for learning, of for themselves at all.
Started in October 2020, class provide women a safe learning space where they can learn English, Maths and Nepali and gather together for moments of joy to help them develop confidence in themselves and in others, and hone their leadership skills.
Taught by 2 teachers, one Nepali and one Tibetan, classes are conveyed through informal teaching techniques, game and play, as well as singing and dancing. The curriculum centers around the main themes of interest of women: guesthouse management in 2020, and since April hygiene, health and family. Classes also include painting, beauty and make-up, dance, Western cooking and public speaking and leadership.
Women deeply enjoy the class, and contrary to a common trend, have been coming to attend more and more. The progress of the 27 women enrolled in the class is heartwarming to see, and they can all now hold a basic conversation in English as well as write a variety of simple sentences and are not shying anymore from speaking in public and doing presentations in class.
Men's basic literacy class centered around guesthouse management and business & entrepreneurship
Due to the success of the women’s class, demands arose from men from the community to have their own basic literacy class. The community of Samagaun faces a common problem in the Himalayas: men often leave to Kathmandu or foreign countries such as Gulf countries, Europe or USA, in search of better economic opportunity. Men’s basic literacy class started in April 2021 and provides English and Maths classes centered around guesthouse management and business & entrepreneurship.
The demands of the men centered around business, and basic English and Maths are taught in the first year, preparing students for classes centered around entrepreneurship, and which cover making a loan and finding investors in the second year.