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Empower the Survivors: Girls leading SRHR

ID:
4411

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Our goal
Sauharda Foundation seeks to counter social taboos to promote social justice and positive peace.
The Challenge

Background:

In Nepal talking about sex and sexuality is a taboo. Menstruation, body changes, other components of sexual and reproductive health and rights are not discussed or addressed properly. Most of the medical providers are men and this makes it difficult for women and girls to talk about their sexual health concerns as they often feel criticized and judged. Last year, two massive earthquakes shook Nepal on the 25th of April and the 12th of May 2015. In the aftermath of the earthquake, it was difficult for people to access resources because many did not know they existed. When we had a visit to the camps of nearby districts of Kathmandu Valley, we saw some girls sitting huddled in tents, covered in blood. Most of the girls wait until it gets dark to step outside. Many could not get access to the sanitary pads that were distributed during the emergency phase by individuals or organizations. Due to lack of toilets or infrastructure, the hygiene and sanitation situation was dire and women and girls were particularly affected.

Rationale:

Dismantling social taboos brings us closer to a just society. The Sauharda Foundation seeks to counter social taboos that negatively impact women and girls’ well-being in Nepal by conducting sexual and reproductive health trainings for adolescent girls ages 15-18.  These girls hardly get a chance to talk freely about their body and about menstruation. During menstruation they become ‘untouchable’ - this was true before and after the earthquakes. In the camps, many women and girls who were menstruating were forced to stay outside or at the corner because of social taboo.

Objective:  

  • To educate girls ages 15-18, living in earthquake affected parts of Nepal, about puberty, feminine hygiene management, and sexual and reproductive health and rights.

  • To empower girl earthquake survivors who faced or who are still facing stigma and shame into activists.

Proposed project:

Sauharda Foundation will conduct a 2 day training on puberty, menstrual hygiene management, safer sex practices, sexual health, and other related topics. The trainings will be conducted in 3 earthquake affected districts, including Dolakha, Dhading and Kathmandu Valley.

  1. Basic Training on sexual and reproductive health and rights:

    This training will be provided to 20 students in each district. 2 students from each school will be invited for the training for 2 days. So in total 60 students from 30 different schools of 3 different districts will get the training. The training will focus on menstruation, body changes, other components of sexual and reproductive health and rights.

     

  2. Orientation in School:

    A one day orientation to school will be provided by the 20 trained activists with the help of Sauharda Foundation. The students will consist of both girls and boys ages 15-18. This orientation will be an educational session to the young people about sexual and reproductive health and rights and what they have learnt and understood in the training that was provided. Different participatory methods that are youth-friendly will be used for orientation, such as quizzes, songs, and games. This will take place in 10 schools of each district where the 2 participants from each school will take the lead.

     

    A meeting with teachers and parents will be organized as well in order to inform them about sexual and reproductive health and rights issues and the need for young people to have an understanding about their bodies, puberty, and how to maintain their health and well-being as they grow. This will be an important role since the community and family members hesitate to accept the changes. This meeting will make it easier for the school and students to adapt and understand the issues in a better way.

     

  3. Small programs in community:

    The students of each district will come up with 2 awareness programs, where they will raise awareness in the community on the issue of sexual and reproductive health and rights. Information will be disseminated through drama, songs, and other means identified by the students themselves.

     

    An information desk will also be established where people can come and get information and answers to their queries during the program. An expert will be recruited to be there in the information desk in order to answer questions.

     

Beneficiaries:

3 Districts: Dhading, Dolakha and Kathmandu Valley

20 students for basic training in each VDC => 20 students X 3 districts =60 students

These 60 students from 30 schools will host an orientation in their respective schools => 30 schools X 40 students =1,200 students

There will also be a meeting with parents and teachers => 30 schools X 40 parents and teachers = 1200 parents and teachers

1 awareness programs will be organized in each VDC => 3 programs X 50 community people =150 community members

Total: 2,610 beneficiaries.

Timeline:

3 months

About the Sauharda Foundation

Founded in 2015 by a group of youths led by Ursula Singh, a member of Advocates for Youth's International Youth Activist Network, Sauharda Foundation seeks to counter social injustice and promote positive peace. Sexual and reproductive health and rights is a major thematic area in which Sauharda works to counter social taboos that negatively impact women and girls’ well-being in Nepal by conducting sexual and reproductive health trainings for adolescents. Ursula is herself a young woman who grew up and lives in Nepal. She has seen first-hand the isolation and stigmatization that women and girls undergo just because they are menstruating. She has been an influential youth activist and advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights in Nepal for the last 7 years. In starting her own organization, she is determined to make a difference by empowering girls with information about their bodies and ways to take care of themselves while working towards a society where girls and women are treated with respect and dignity.

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Our milestones
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