Another very exciting day on our field trip to Lalgadh in South Eastern Nepal, September 2019. Our group travel to visit and meet with the villagers of Odraha, one of the 5 villages in the current Village Alive Programme (VAP)
Here in Odraha village the men are happy to mind their children, the women have work to do! Thanks to VAP a sewing training course is underway along with a new community hall. Among many other improvements is a rise in the number of children going to school.
The potential of an Irish coffee morning, or similar event, to support a small village with micro finance in Lalgadh, south-eastern Nepal.
A total amount of €2,173 was donated to Sunderbasti Village Women’s Group for micro finance. This was the result of 3 Irish fundraising events, a coffee morning, a supper night and an afternoon tea party. The events were held in the hosts home and included friends and neighbours which, as well as creating a lovely atmosphere, has the added advantage of spreading the news about our work and about the lives of others.
We are extremely grateful to the hosts and to all who attended, your interest and encouragement in our work with the Nepalese people is greatly appreciated. We take this opportunity to thank you, on behalf of the women’s group, for your wonderful support.
Brief Project Details:
NLT Ireland fundraises, supports and enables NLT Nepal to eliminate leprosy and its associated stigma and provide human rights for individuals, empowering the most rejected to become respected community leaders. Our Sunderbasti Women’s Micro Finance project is to provide finance and support for 28 women and their families, enabling them to work towards empowerment, stigma elimination, social inclusion, human rights and dignity.
Sunderbasti Village is located 3 km south east of Lalgadh hospital. It is a rural area in the Terai (lowlands) in south-eastern Nepal. The 350 (breakdown below #) inhabitants are landless migrants from the time of the Maoist insurgency and are living in this area since 2009. Sunderbasti is a very poor community, lacking basic human needs. The women’s group have requested funds for micro finance to provide food for their family and to sell produce.
# Sunderbasti Village
Number of inhabitants
85 of the total population are under 15 years of age
Access to funds for the women will help provide food for their family as well as generate an income eg., a goat can provide enough milk for a family and the excess produce sold for income. The role of business owner can elevate the social status of an entire family.
Empowerment and participation in one’s own development process can bring lasting change to females and to their families. Our micro finance scheme includes money-handling skills, decision making skills and veterinary skills if relevant. Confidence in these areas has been proven to aid the presentation of potential sufferers for early diagnosis of leprosy to our compassionate hospital and community care staff.
This request from Sunderbasti’s Women’s Group is the result of a successful project we support in the nearby village of Khoksikhola. Khoksikhola have built a new community centre, have benefited from a new fresh water supply and large reservoir tank, new toilets and 15 women have received micro finance. This village has been transformed and the people’s self-development in clearly evident. Such improvements have happened in dozens of villages where NLT works with the villagers undertaking the laboring tasks. The main benefit of this success to the wider community is a revolution of empowerment, one small community’s success influencing another. We support this empowerment and stigma elimination one person at a time, one self-help group at a time and one village at a time.
Our support with Sunderbasti community has developed over the last few years and will continue with support gradually reducing when appropriate. Re-paid micro finance funding will continue to be reallocated to new beneficiaries, so the project will have long term impact and duration.
From our experience, access to and on-going support in 3 core areas can aid empowerment and bring lasting change to females, their families and the wider community:
Clean drinking water
Sunderbasti Village’s current development:
Self-help group – a Self-help group has been established and the members are meeting all their monthly requirements including making consistent savings
Clean drinking water- the provision of clean drinking water and the installation of toilets is currently under construction with development aid funding acquired by NLT Ireland
Micro finance – with the generous help of above fundraising endeavours this part of Sunderbasti’s community development is now currently being implemented.
If you wish to hear more about this project or to hold a coffee morning do get in touch with vera at firstname.lastname@example.org
I have just spent an inspirational week working in NLT’s Lalgadh Leprosy Hospital in south-eastern Nepal. Reviewing and discussing our projects and working with the community outreach teams as they go about their daily work. I was also assisting Dr Sarah Jay as she collected survey responses for research assessing the group approach to empowerment.
Lalgadh hospital’s outreach work in village communities is the focus of this research. CSI-R University of Limerick Irish Research Council
The only downside to the trip was the icy cold fog that lingered most of the week preventing the sun from breaking through. The cold weather adds to the discomfort of village life especially were many families are still living under tarpaulin or straw. A short video giving a brief view of one of my days there, Vera for NLT Ireland 2018.
The link between social standing and stigma elimination has long been recognised by Nepal Leprosy Trust. A year-long collaboration between Professor Orla Muldoon (UL), Dr Sarah Jay (UL), Psychology department and Mike Winterburn (Limerick Institute of Technology) will gauge the success of this synergy. Read more on this research project in our Summer 2017 newsletter here
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