Project 2020: promoting local leadership, facing the changes

The Rato Baltin Project is on site since the beginning of 2017, working to eradicate the Nepalese cultural practice establishing that during the menstruation, girls and women are considered impure, and are deprived of their basic needs. This practice is penalized since 2018, but they will never denounce, because that would be denouncing their mother, their father, their mother-in-law… Nobody in be artsy uses the term ‘Chhaupadi’ without the participants mentioning it before: menstruation, different from the tradition. Be artsy – Nepal shall take a leadership role in the evaluation of the project, in order to ensure a non-biased perspective on the results, and determine the efficacy of the project.

We have also 🦠 COVID19  response project (Masks 4 Health) 😷  🙏🏽

The project has been a success in Achham, and apart from the activities, it must ‘make noise’, to discuss menstruation and Chhaupadi in a context of change. In this link you can see the results from the year 2019, and we will continue in this line to set the project, to strengthen the impact in the areas we have already worked in, involving the community, also with boys groups. In new schools as well, located near the villages where we may have already worked.

Photography allows girls to showcase their own thoughts and experiences

We want to stimulate a critical dialogue on their worries, and it enables them to display and reflect their experiences in their communities. Be artsy and the Rato Baltin Project, being relatively new endeavours, has limited capacity for its implementation at a bigger scale.

The 2020 project is adapted to the lessons learned with the 2017, 2018 and 2019 projects, and taking into account the important new factors that have taken place this year worldwide.

We shall emphasize on the implication of the local communities of Achham, and working with local entities: eradicating the practice should not be by a foreigner cultural judgement. This would inhibit the efforts in matters such as hygiene, health and menstrual sexual education, and would finally have a negative impact. The local be artsy partner is formed by women so committed to the project that they themselves have created a social company. They are three Nepalese women who worked with be artsy last year, with studies in cooperation, business administration, and gender studies. Also, local girls do conform the  trainers group, and they can be future managers. ROKPA International and Ruby Cup continue being our strategic partners.

Some members of be artsy are interested in a parallel project, and during some follow-up months, they will prepare with our local mentors a social theatre piece against the Chhaupadi.

Six collaborators do benefit from the Edufem project, read about this new project here!

They will have the opportunity of having a better future and avoid an early marriage. They  remember that they were our students and now are working with us. For those ready to continue studying but whose families were not able to pay their way through high school, we pay for that, and for the housing, uniform, food, etc. to avoid them being married too soon.

The total sum needed for the project is €74,230, without including the Edufem Project. It is higher this year because we want that two girls, in each village, do work throughout the year as social facilitators to attack directly the issue of the Chhaupadi, apart from the trainers. A single person cannot, with the existing social pressure, keep her mind strong against the tradition. If we do not have all the money we need, we shall do this every two months, but it would not be that effective. The expense for each of the 4 teams we have is €18,557.

We shall work on the social distancing and hand hygiene messages

We part from the idea that in Nepal, the peak of the Covid-19 shall arrive at the start of this next winter; we wanted to have a network of women sewing face masks, but that is complicated; it should be the Town Halls themselves facilitating the resources. Our contribution will mostly be to pass on comprehensible messages about the precautions, social distancing, hand hygiene, and clear information about the real dangers.

Conferences with film screenings and exhibitions in several Catalan towns

We have started working to create awareness, with conferences and exhibitions in several Catalan towns, on the problems relating to the Chhaupadi, avoiding ethnocentric and patronizing arguments, to inform about our need for collaborations. We do still need support, from more people!

You can read here our project for 2020. Thanks!

Text by Josep Marín, photos by Clara Garcia i Ortés.
Translation by Tere Salinero.

For just €1.80 a day you can change the future of a girl and prevent her from being forced to marry at 14 years old!

There are several ways in which you can get involved and sponsor a girl in Achham:

Teaming Group: 1 euro a month – become part of Rato Baltin Project!

Teaming Group: 1 euro a month – become part of the team and get your friends to help you sponsor her and avoid early marriage!!

Regular donation: to https://donorbox.org/againts-chhaupadi

Become a member: https://beartsy.org/associate/

🙂 Thanks!

This post is also available in: Spanish Catalan

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.