At the FIMO50 celebration, Wendy Didi and I were there for our ladies. When I returned to Birtamod, I spent a whole day telling the polymer ladies and the Cooperative ladies all about the event. They were so excited and want to hear every detail. They loved to hear about their tile on the globe and the beautiful flowers and that the Symposium ladies bought their mala. They were so happy when I showed them the cardboard cheque! This was like our dreams come true.
As we said at the FIMO50 celebration, we are big dreamers. We dream of a society where Nepali women are safe from violence and can live empowered lives. But even though we dream big, we never dreamt that the donation made by Staedtler FIMO would be this generous! Always we are thinking about what we need and what we like to do. Sometimes we can’t do all the things we would like to because we have to decide what is the most important thing to do with what we have. We already decided that with our donation we would replace some older equipment and publish a book that we have been writing for nearly two years.
When we had some training that taught us about our bodies, we were very surprised at some information and realised that most of us were not taught anything, or were taught wrong things. We learnt things about our bodies that we didn’t know; like some of us didn’t know that there we times when our bodies were less fertile. And most of us were very surprised that it is not our fault when we don’t bear sons. Everyone tells us it is our fault. Some of use have been abused and abandoned for not bearing sons. We were surprised then angry that we were not empowered by knowing the facts. We decided that we didn’t want our children to be as ignorant.
It is hard to talk to children about sex, in any country, so we thought about how it would be easier. Wendy Didi said that in some countries there are books to help families talk about sex in a way that is right for the children. We don’t have any books like this in Nepali so decided to write our own! We thought about how we would talk to our younger children when they ask where babies come from. We used to say we found you in the garden or the gods gave us. In our book, we wanted to say the truth in a way that was suitable for our culture, simple for young children and have pictures that were about us. We had some important messages in our pictures: that it is good to come to the hospital for a safe delivery; ladies can be doctors; dark skin colour doesn’t matter and even that ladies could have short hair! We helped write some text and Wendy Didi’s friend Cathy Farry in Broken Hill has painted wonderful pictures and now with the money from FIMO we are approaching printers to get our book printed. At first we were only going to have it in Nepali language but we want to donate copies to schools so we are having English and Nepali text.
Our other dream was that we could help ladies who needed it with education expenses for their during the average of 2 1/2 years that it takes for them to get compensation and independence. Until now, we never had the resources for this. But now, thanks to Staedtler FIMO we will be able to help women who are struggling to keep their children at school by assisting them with school fees. We so believe that education, especially of our girls, is the way to empower and create change. We are so glad that now we can help with this.
Read more about the FIMO50 event here and here.
Dear Kopila and ladies
I am so delighted to hear of the Staedtler FIMO cheque and your plans for spending it. The sex education book is a really good idea. Here in England it has to be taught to children over 11 years old but it is not compulsory for younger children. Most schools do however seek to inform the children and have lots of materials that are appropriate for younger children. We are working hard to protect our children from harm and sexual harm can be one of the threats to them. Some of your ladies will have first hand experience of this and so are in a good position to understand what information can help. I hope your book sells well and finds a place in every Nepali school.
It is nearly a year since I visited you in Birtamod with Wendy Didi and I have very happy memories of my visit to you all. It is lovely to see your faces smiling out to me in the photos. I am very pleased to be able to share your dreams. Namaste. Sue
So lovely to hear from you dear Sue!! We are excited about our book and interested to know how it is in England for the children. We hope you can come and visit us again some days. Lots of love from Kopila and all the ladies.