The first week in Janalibandali has been very intense, even too much. On arrival, we had several meetings with local liders, the nurse and the teachers.
On Saturday they organized traditional dances and music, the lyrics of which was (like in Basti) absolutely against the Chhaupadi. We have been making groups of boys and girls from grades 10 to 8, next week we will continue with 7 and 6.
We have around 70 in the girls group. Quite difficult to work as a team as we wanted to do this time, with the pictures. The day was somewhat chaotic, we made the groups, but the rest was very interesting. From the beginning, we noticed that the tradition, here, has started to change, they agree that is not ok (we are near the area where several deaths have happened). They explain to us that since the last three years there has been a big change, but no girl enters the kitchens… and we have discovered girls sleeping in baskets or in the open.
We have made the biggest training ever of menstrual cups until now. 45 girls in the same class!
We made the women group and more than 160 came up (they asked us for money for coming to the classes… as they are used to receive it from the large NGOs…). We told them no. It was a chaos, we were not expecting so many people, we did not have an appropriate place to teach them and in the end we did it in the street. Impossible to pass the videos as we lacked the necessary projector and the sound quality for such an amount of people. Whilst all of us were very happy with the girls group, none of us is with the women group.
We were expecting around 20 or 25 for the second day, as we said that only the young girls would have a menstrual cup, and in the end (late, as usual) half the ones from the previous day appeared. Quite hectic, too.
We have 27 cups for girls out from school and young women. The idea was having them paying 50 rupees as first choice, because if they are for free, everybody wants them. In the end, from the 160 women from the first day, of the age we had requested, there were around 35. Many tried to lie dropping down years 🙂 , but that is difficult in this area: at 34 they look like 50. Their life is very hard in this area.
We wanted to make the training on Friday the 27th but a big storm made us leave it for the following week.
The poor nurses are hoarse. We have requested a microphone and a loudspeaker like the one for tourist guides, to see if that way they can lower the voice. It is lear that in this area of Mangalsen the groups are very big, so we have to prepare ourselves for the areas of Oligau and Kalagaun. We have asked our “mentors” from Basti, Sunita Damai and Tejana Khanal, that they come with us as “paid volunteers” for the remaining month and a half. They have accepted gladly.
It would be great to bring with us some local girls that have been using the menstrual cup for over a year!
Written and photographs, with Fujifilm XT20, by Clara Go. Translation by Tere Salinero
Now you can contribute for paying one month salary to the nurse, or for some hygiene kit : https://www.gofundme.com/menstrual-cups-in-nepal-chhaupadi
West Nepal girls need this kind of program. And we need help to continue the project!
Or if you feel like it, you can donate via bank transfer at: Banc Sabadell IBAN: ES23 0081 0900 8200 0430 1934 BIC: BSABESBB (your recurring donation will help us have a better planning of our budget to carry out the projects undertaken).
Or take a look others ways to donate at http://beartsy.org/donate/
Thank You! 🙂