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Nepal Govt. Regd. No. 1224/064, SWC Affiliation No. 22612
Menstruation is a natural process which is still a taboo in remote and rural part of Nepal such as those in Gorkha. Because of being a taboo subject, women barely discuss and talk about it. When the girls and women have their periods, they often use cloth rags which are unsanitary and can cause various diseases.
Most girls and women in Gorkha come from weaker economic backgrounds, so they usually don’t have money to buy sanitary pads available in the market all of which are for one-time use. The reusable kits are not easily available in the market. As a result, girls often choose to stay at home instead of going to school when they are having their periods. Plus, most community schools don’t have clean toilets and access to water which is a big obstacle to maintain personal hygiene.
Instead of actively dealing with periods at school, which can be very difficult when you don’t have means such as clean pads and water and proper knowledge, girls stop going to school. That’s about 5 days (or even more) away from school every month. In one year, that’s more than 50 days. The lower school attendance hampers their studies and also affects their future in the long run.
The problem isn’t for young girls only. Even grownup women find it difficult to maintain personal menstrual hygiene and therefore choose not to go anywhere in public or stop working in their fields. Use of unsanitary clothing rags during period is not only non-durable, but it also leads to health hazards like allergies, uterine infection, etc. Readymade sanitary pads which are available in market are expensive which women from village can hardly afford. Moreover, women from remote areas do not know how to properly dispose the readymade sanitary pads which could lead to environment pollution and diseases.
Therefore, this project is extremely important. The reusable long-lasting kits will ensure girls and women of the mountain communities of Gorkha to not worry about skipping school or work.
The main target groups of this project are: school and college girls, teachers and all women of menstruating age group. We will also provide the personal hygiene kits to female community health volunteers who work hard for their communities.
Sambhav Nepal’s founder Mr Prem K Khatry comes from Gorkha itself, from Arughat Rural Municipality. Being local of such remote area, Mr. Khatry identified the immediate need of attention to this issue. He clearly understood that menstruation process is a normal and natural process but a lot of other things like continuity of education, work and health are related to it too. As social activist, Mr. Khatry has always given importance to women empowerment and thus, this reason also led to the initiation of the project.
With Mr. Khatry’s initiation, Sambhav Nepal proposes the Personal Hygiene Kits Distribution Project to distribute long-lasting reusable personal hygiene kits to girls and women of Gorkha district. The project will address one of the main health problems that force school and college girls to stay away from school and college every month. Our project aims to solve this problem and achieve long-lasting benefits for school and college girls. They won’t have to skip school every month and easily study for their dreams & goals. Our project also aims to help female teachers of community schools, female community health volunteers and all the other women who are in menstruating age group.
One of the main objectives of this project is also to help in the prevention of diseases caused by poor menstrual hygiene. If menstruation isn’t properly taken care of, it can lead to various diseases such as urinary tract infection, yeast infection, cervical cancer, Hepatitis B, reproductive tract infection and so on. These diseases are hard to deal with. Their treatment can be costly if the families of girls and women are poor.
The major part of this project would be its simple implication yet effective outcome. The outcome of this project would be sustainable as well.
Our goal for the project is to cover the entire Gorkha district and distribute the personal hygiene kits to 70,000 girls and women that includes school and college students as well as teachers, community health volunteers and all other women in the menstruating age group).
The kit is meticulously customized keeping the requirement of personal hygiene of any women. Our kit is upgraded version of the kits that are distributed by any other organizations.
The customized kits includes:
These kits will last for 3 years depending upon the users.
The project will be focused in 4 rural municipalities of Gorkha:
We will start the project from Arughat Rural Municipality. Arughat is also the birth place of Sambhav Nepal’s founder Mr. Prem K. Khatry. Mr. Khatry believes in the concept of giving back to community. That is why, for the first phase of this project, we went ahead with Arughat Rural Municipality. Knowing the geography and locals, as well as the need of this place was a huge plus point while implementing this project. Arughat Rural Municipality is a remote part of Gorkha district which is filled with variety of vegetation and its geography extends from Mid-hilly region to Northern mountainous region.
If we get confirmation for further funding, we will expand this project in Dharche and Tsum Nubri Rural Municipality together. And then move to Bhimsen Thapa Rural Municipality.
After we complete our project in these 4 rural municipalities, with more funding, we will expand our project to the remaining rural municipalities and urban municipalities. They are listed below:
The project has full support by the communities and local governments of Gorkha. They have expressed their commitment to help us make this project successfully. They will provide assistance in data collection, communication, distribution, transportation, project approval paperwork and so on. The entire Chum Nubri area and most villages of Dharche aren’t connected by roads. The road goes up to Machha Khola. From there, we will have to use mules and porters. The local governments of these villages will use their own budget to distribute the personal hygiene kits in the villages not connected by road. This will be a huge help to our project and make it effective.
In the near future, if we receive funding for the continuity for this project, we plan to setup our own factory for the manufacturing of the hygiene kit in Gorkha Municipality.
Establishment of manufacturing factory of the personal hygienic kit factory is beneficial for the long term. We plan to provide local women from Gorkha who are in need of employment a way to generate sustainable income from sewing, packaging, operations, cleaning, accounting and so on according to their capabilities.
Our main motive is to help the women from under privileged and poor economic background to earn some money and be able to live a self-sustained life. This also assists in reduction of the transportation cost, which is helpful in reducing the overall price of kits we purchase from another company.
The project was already ready to go on floor, but due to safety protocols set by Nepal government for the prevention and control of Covid pandemic, to not to attend or organize gatherings, we had to shift the distribution date accordingly.
On 8th March in the occasion of 112th International Women’s Day, we formally began the implementation of this project by distributing more than 600 kits to the women from ward no. 8 of Arughat Rural Municipality.
Sambhav Nepal’s founder Mr. Prem K. Khatry along with Arughat Rural Municipality’s Vice-President Ms. Kalpana Nepali were present in the kit handover program. After 8th March, we distributed the kits in rest of the wards from 22nd March to 25th March.
The first phase of Personal Hygienic Kits Distribution Project is completed. We successfully distributed 7,755 kits to the women from Arughat Rural Municipality. The Data of the kits distributed in total 10 wards of Arughat Rural Municipality is as follows:
|Ward No.||Distributed No. of kits|
|Female teachers in Arughat RM||169|
|Females in campus in Arughat RM||125|
|Female health workers in Arughat RM||34|
All of the logistic arrangements was done by Ace the Himalaya which is owned by the founder of Sambhav Nepal, Mr. Prem K. Khatry. Ace has been supporting covertly Sambhav Nepal since the organization’s establishment.
The feedback from this project was very positive. With the trust and funding from our donors we believe, we can give continuity to this precious project.
The project is funded by Sambhav Nepal Schweiz ( https://sambhavnepal.ch/) and The Butcher and Nepal (https://www.facebook.com/thebutcherandnepal/) collectively. We are grateful to our donors for believing in us to carry out this meaningful and important project.
Currently we are preparing the project proposal and other documents to submit to Social Welfare Council. The proposal gets checked in various levels and committees in Social Welfare Council, due to which, the approval could take time from 2 to 3 months.
As now, Nepal is under lockdown for the prevention and control of Covid pandemic, even if the project gets approval we shall implement the project only after the Nepal government allows organizing people gatherings and programs.
As a pilot project, we distributed the customized personal hygiene kits made by Days for Girls in February 2020. During the test phase, we distributed the kits to the female students and teachers of the Bhawani Higher Secondary School hostel in Manbu and Dharapani Secondary School in Dharapani. The recipients were very happy with the kits and successfully used them. The pilot was done with the funding provided by Alan Waldon and his daughter Samantha Waldon. Seeing how happy and relieved the students and teachers were, Alan and Samantha highly suggested that we expand the project and distribute the personal hygiene kits to more students, teachers and women of Gorkha district.
Alan Waldon is the first supporter of Sambhav Nepal. He came to Nepal to trek in 2006 during which time he saw the struggles and hardships that Nepali children endure. He realized an immediate need for school renovations along with many other basic requirements. With the support of individuals and institutions based in Sydney, he raised the funds for the renovation work of Bhairabi Primary School which is the first project done by Sambhav Nepal. By raising funds through his butcher store Eastern Road Quality Meats (Sydney, Australia) to school fundraisers, Allan has made a remarkable contribution in helping uplift the welfare of the entire Arupokhari village.