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.