It will be of interest to you. And it will be surprising. We have started working on the project Rato Baltin 2021 and other projects this year, and finally we closed the activity report that we carried out in 2020, the year in which the main risk was the Covid-19 pandemic worldwide and in Far West Nepal. This has made travelling impossible (for international volunteers and local partners in Kathmandu).
Because of the lockdown measures, schools were closed from March to mid-November. During the first week of December the schools closed again. Due to the pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and current public health restrictions, it has been impossible for local partners to monitor the project on the spot; we had to let the girls and the local government do it. We managed that 2 of our coordinators and 1 trainer helped with the monitoring, but we had to believe that the local NGO would do the work according to our vision, expectations, methodology and values.
The project could only be implemented with the authorization and coordination of the local government. The risk was that local government employees would not follow the correct guidelines during the implementation of the project. Obtaining stable funds for our projects is the greatest difficulty we face. The project is working very well, but it is not cheap.
In 2021, we will do the project Rato Baltin + Masks 4 health before reaching each town, to protect our trainers and mentors and the locals who come to our workshops. We are trying to get a donation of menstrual cups to provide all the women who want to use them. Besides, in collaboration with Dr. Yap from the WTO (World Toilet Organization) we will open a social enterprise in Achham, Nepal, to try to help women earn money. We are now carrying out a study on the natural materials that we can find, what projects can be included in the initiative. But surely it will be along the lines of sanitary napkins, masks, candles, soap … The initiative is aimed to help widows, young women who could not finish their studies and low caste women to have a regular income that gives dignity to their lives.
During 2020, we hired a project manager, two coordinators, three trainers and six mentors in Achham. As staff of the project Rato Baltin, they earn a salary that makes them more financially independent. This experience will make them leaders in their community and will allow them to develop new skills that they can use in the future. In the emergency project we also hired several women to make masks.
We finished the year 2020 with 61 partners, but we need more! Have a look at the Activity Report 2020, you will surely find it interesting.
Translation by Sari Manota
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