|We started training and sharing with the Community Mobilisers|
I used this information and began to prepare for training in Lamjung. I delivered the first workshop to the CMs. I was a little nervous as I was not sure if they would find it embarrassing and difficult to share experiences and concerns. I need not have worried. By the end of the 4 hour session they expressed delight that I had raised the subject and that I had also been happy to talk about anything and everything! It didn't take long for them to relax and really enjoy the day especially the practical pad making.
|A template, pen and scissors were soon in use.|
|And then sewing began in earnest!|
|In Chiti with Sarita (top right) and an American friend.|
|Parawadanda with Manju before she left us to progress with Global Action Nepal.|
|This old lady had not been stricken but I was demonstrated how to do Pelvic Floor exercises!!|
Another medical problem is that of prolapse. The numbers are high due to many cultural norms such as the carrying of heavy loads by women, early child birth, prolonged second stages of labour, squatting for long periods etc. Awareness is low and treatment difficult especially when intervention is late. We have been raising awareness and also teaching pelvic floor exercises to all of the women and girls.
Sadly our plans were then disturbed by the 2015 Earthquake. As regular readers will already know we became extremely busy with Emergency Education projects and progress was put on hold.
Phase 3 started this year with workshops for the Little Sisters. These were brilliantly attended and at many we had over 40 girls and women participating. The theory session was slightly simplified, the Community Mobilisers did much of the facilitation and the Adult Champions and Big Sisters worked with their small groups of Little Sisters. There was sharing and learning at many levels and I was again amazed at the openness and discussions that we had once the girls felt at ease.
While Lamjung does not practice Chauppadi (please refer to an articles in the Independent May 28th and Guardian) many of the ethnic groups send their girls to live with a woman of a lower caste, away from their family, friends, school and in many cases sunlight. This means up to 10 days for the first period, 7 days for the 2nd and 5 days for the 3rd. Imagine the scenario of loneliness, solitude and emotional strain at a time when being with family would seem to be the where you should be. Many foods are forbidden and wives tales abound. There is little explanation from the women folk, no teaching at school and much ignorance among the men in the family. If this happens to fall during an exam term it can also cause the re-taking of a whole year at school and upset the normal pattern of going to school. In many communities the girls are then thought to be ready for marriage. Such a frightening time.
|A Health Post nurse helping to explain during the theory session.|
|Samjhana leading the pelvic floor exercises.|
|Preparation of the sewing kits helped the practical session go smoothly.|
We prepared the kits for sanitary pad making to save time. Most of girls have no experience of sewing but they were brilliant, very keen to learn and were proud of their achievements. We used red materials for fun but also to help with the problem of washing and drying the cloth in a public place! Vital that they should be well washed to remove dye.
|Levels of concentration were high. You could often hear a pin drop!|
|One of our cleanest, brightest school libraries.|
|Another school, more concentration.|
|Not much space or comfort is not a problem here.|
|The finished pads being help aloft with pride!|
A big thank you goes to a donor, from Devon, who funded the materials for these workshops. A little goes a long way in Nepal so we were also able to buy scissors, cotton, poppers and needles which went into a bag donated by Ranstad. These have been given to all of the groups and in some communities they have already been put into use. In Archelbhote the wonderful Female Focal teacher and Sunita (CM) have held an extra training for 57 women and girls. They have set up a saving scheme to help fund more materials. This is wonderful and a really sustainable scheme. Well done ladies.
|Sunita (CM) and the Female Focal Teacher in Hiletaksar receiving the kit of materials.|
|Simple kits go to each group.|