a colourful journey

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Check our blog (or subscribe for updates) to keep up with the latest things happening here at Samunnat Nepal.  We have our latest news, lovely photographs, product launches, guests posts from some of our ladies and opinion pieces as well.  We’d love to hear your comments too.

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From little things big things grow*

Recently ladies from the Samunnat Cooperative had Organic Vegetable Implantation Training.  The trainer was very experienced in organic gardening and very supportive of the ladies. He is keen to help with this job creation activity and encouraged the ladies that they could even begin growing vegetables in pots.  They are going to start with keeping seeds and the Cooperative gave the ladies a loan of NRs5000/- to buy seeds to start growing vegetables and flowers.

Once the flood waters had dropped enough, the ladies wasted no time in setting up their garden at the Samunnat building.  It was a group effort as you can see. We will keep you posted on how are garden is growing!

*I had to quote Paul Kelly in this post!

Empowerment comes in different forms!

While a lot of the work we do at Samunnat is in the form of legal aid, improving access to education, income generation training and job creation, it’s not the only way to empower women.  One of the reasons we don’t generally run one-size-fits-all programs is because we have learnt over time (mistakes on the way!!) that one size most certainly doesn’t fit all and that empowerment means different things to different people.

For Bina, a single mother of an autistic boy with high needs, empowerment meant knowing how to manage!  Awareness about autism is still in its infancy in Nepal and it is only because of the tireless work of the people at Autism Care Nepal that people are learning about it.  Autism Care Nepal is based in Kathmandu and struggling Bina lives in the east…16 hours away by bus! What to do?

Ask for help! Which she did. After talking with Kopila, and doing some research on what was available ( not much!!)  they decided the best way to get help would be for Bina and her son to temporarily move to Kathmandu and attend the three month parent training course that ACN runs. Samunnat provided funds for this.

Mina regularly sends Kopila photos and reports that the course is proving very helpful with managing her son’s often very distressing and disruptive behaviours. She will have ongoing support from Samunnat when she returns. This has been quite a commitment for Samunnat but we really believe that it is money well spent!  Bina was very vulnerable and is now feels more confident and is enthusiastic to start a support group and spread the word about Autism in the east where there are barely any resources.

Bina was very happy for us to use her photo to raise awareness about autism and the work of Samunnat Nepal.

Our Catering Crew!

We thought you would like an update on how our catering ladies are going!

Really well!!!

They have had a few bookings including some Teej celebrations and have been cooking for groups of over 50 people. They use the kitchen in our building to do some preparation and their biggest job so far has been for the local Yamaha dealer who threw a Teej party for all the ladies who bought scooters from his dealership. What a honey he is!!!  We hope that other people will follow his example and hire our ladies to cook delicious meals for them.

They look gorgeous in their uniform. Every time they get a job, they save NRs200/- to purchase other items to help them and next time they will buy more caps!  They love their Australian made aprons. Thanks Margie!!

After the Flood

Thank you for encouraging us after the floods and thank you to those who donated; we are so grateful.  We ladies have been given help when we were at our lowest point.  This has inspired us to help people when they are at their lowest.  We were saving money to have a Teej celebration but when we saw the devastation of the floods and met the poor families who lost their homes and clothes, we had no questions at all that we needed to help these people. We used the Teej money and donated more to provide bags of rice and clothing.  Rice is too expensive now and will cost even more because the floods destroyed the crops.  It is so hard.

So many families have lost their homes, especially the very poor people who are living on government land which is low lying.  We are asking the government not to rebuild the homes in places where the problem will happen all over again. We are saying to they must give these poor people better land and build homes that will withstand the floods because they happen again and again.

Here are photos of the lands and the people with their bags of rice and we have us buying clothing for the people who lost their clothing.

Samunnat Nepal’s catering angels

Society in Nepal is changing fast. With so many of our young people going overseas to countries like Saudi Arabia and Korea to work, the structure of society is changing. Roles that would once have been shared by the extended family are now having to be paid for.  This is simply the reality. The emergence of a time poor middle class is becoming more and more obvious even outside Kathmandu.

We are responding to these changes and seeing if we can make some of them work for us.  Certainly the need for child care shows that families are less able to provide child care and this is also happening in other areas. We are trying to see opportunities for job creation in these changes.

We have established a small catering group of ladies who can be employed short term to assist at big events and functions like weddings and funerals.  These ladies can help where the families want to cater but need more help to do it. Or…they can run the show! They can all cook traditional Nepali dishes but have been receiving training in the very popular Southern Indian cuisine and other dishes that will heighten their chances of being booked!

Here at Samunnat, we benefitted from their lessons in South Indian cuisine. We really enjoyed eating kofta, barfi (sweets), paneer pakoda (a cheese dish), and kheer (rice pudding). Our Wendy didi is so happy because she can eat all these because they are gluten free and have no maida or Atta (wheat flour).

A Colourful Journey

A Colourful Journey