On the 30th of July myself and three other friends are going to Nepal for just under a week to help out in a school and a blind home for the http://www.mountain-people.org NGO. Obviously going all this way we want to make this trip as impactful for the Nepalese community as it will be for them, which is where this page comes into play. After some help from the founder, David Durkan, we have decided that the most impactful item that we could provide are the Freedom Kit-Bags.
In Nepal, many women have to live in a
hut or with the animals during their menstruation. This deep rooted
cultural disrespect of the female reproductive cycle has lead to a cyclical nature of girls not
attending school, which in turn with this come a feeling of immense shame for these girls. In addition to this, early (forced)
marriages with no contraception leads to numerous births. Futhermore, the poor medical standards in Nepal that coincides with poor nutrition and a large work load has lead to a high death
rate of both mothers and children.
We, the four students at Tanglin Trust School; with the help of the public, friends and family want to help out these women in Nepal to lead better lives. We will visit Ms. Beni
Ghale, a Health Worker (village mid-wife) who has devoted her life to
helping others. Her little Handicraft company produces washable sanitary
pad sets - called 'Freedom Kit-Bags.' Which, Beni sells them to friends and
tourists who in
turn donate them to her organization: STEPS Foundation.
Beni and STEPS provides no-cost health and hygiene work-shops for schools and women's groups and distributes the pad sets totally free.
Each Freedom Kit-Bag
contains pad-holders, day pads, night (heavy bleeding) pads, underpants
(virtually unavailable in the villages), soap, wet-pad purse, carry
purse, pegs and line plus a 4 page information flyer. All packed in a
fashionable Silk Bag.
These bags cost $35 SGD each in which we are trying to raise funds for 20, but never-the-less, the more the better! This $35 include a fair wage to her workers, transport to remote mountain villages, health and hygiene work-shops and follow ups.
Beni notes, "Awareness of
the importance of menstruation leads to a break down of old traditions
and dangerous beliefs. We gently bring about a sense of pride in being a
woman. Today uterus-prolapse or other reproductive complications are
almost endemic in
many regions. 'Shame' means women do not seek medical advice nor help.
Many fear pregnancy, depression is high, often leading to suicide.
Our program is simple and
effective, and by a 'Wear with Pride' theme we start a process of
knowledge and enlightenment that strengthens and improves the lives of
women. And their family." She adds.
More information, write to:
[email protected] - or to Mountain-people.org
Hopefully, we as a community can all come together and help out the people of Nepal. Any donation would be extremely helpful and would be filled with gratitude.