Kalagaun is a beautiful place. Green and peaceful. When we arrived everyone was very curious about us – especially the boys and girls! As usual, we were working with class 6-10. The teachers had prepared the hall for our program but everything felt like a race against time.
The children were at school for just a few hours in the morning, as there was lots of work to do in the fields at the time we were there and they were obliged to help their families. Many also travel long distances to reach the school. So by 11am they were out at work.
During the morning the normal 40/45 minute periods were reduced to 30/35 minutes. This meant that for our training program we had 3 periods with both the boys and girls (1 hour and 45 minutes) and 2 periods with the girls (1 hour). Normally time feels tight but it was really a challenge to fit our program into such a short amount of time!
At the school there were many boys and girls. So there were lots of girls in the only girls workshops. In some of the groups we had large numbers of children, especially in classes 9 -10. As usual we began the workshops with the ‘ ball of thread’ game, throwing the string to each other at random, the children express something positive about their fellow classmates. We also always ask the girls what they don’t like about their menstruation before we explain our intentions and this provides an entrance to talk about chhaupadi without judgment.
It rained so much when we were there as the monsoon had begun. Normally, During the ruby cup training every girl is given a menstrual cup and a bucket to take home with clean water then she can boil the cup at home and wash herself. But the rain meant we had to reconsider this. A fire was made at the school and in a large pot all the cups were boiled quite together and after given to the users.
The Women´s Group was an exciting opportunity to introduce older women to the menstrual cup. This was the first time we’d had this opportunity as normally we work with young girls who are at school.
Finally we put together our exhibiton of 10 photos that we felt were most representative of the workshops and our time there and it was time to celebrate. Booklets and material with information on the program were handed over to the teachers so that they can continue working with the children, discussing with them menstruation and the benefits of the menstrual cup.
For the women and girls it was an important time of the year as rice was to be planted and peaches and others fruits collected… yum!
From Kalagaun we will have sweet memories: The best food we had till now, lot of friends, a new trainer and a new mentor! 😉
(Photos at the bottom)
West Nepal girls need this kind of program. And we need help to continue the project!
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Or take a look to others ways to donate at http://beartsy.org/get-involved-with-rato-baltin/
Thank You! 🙂
Written by Clara Go and Maisie Still Fhotos with Fujifilm XT20, © Clara Garcia Ortés