On Sunday Manju, one of our very bright and talented staff members, organised a training needs identification day at Grace Women’s Home. It was incredibly well attended by so many of our ladies. Manju did a wonderful job listening to them and encouraging them to identify how WWR can further help them. There will be training to follow.
Our ladies listening attentively
Working in small groups
A list of the identified training needs – in Nepali!
Today, 8th March 2010, marks the centenary year of International Women’s Day and Women Without Roofs – Nepal would like you to invite you to remember all the women in Nepal we help. Recently we have begun supporting several new women and this is a story about just one of them:
Uma with her family
She is 31 yrs old and has 3 children. 11 yrs daughter, 7 yrs boy and 6 years boy. Her husband left her about 5 yrs ago and took her 6 yrs son with him. Her husband has another wife. Now she is living with just 2 of her children. She works at a carpet factory and lives in one room and cooks on a kerosene stove and has no good bedding for sleep. Her daughter goes to school but she does not have money for her 7 yrs boy to go to school, so he does not go to school. She needs also support from WWR.
Womenswear for WWR
Renee, one of our trustees, will shortly be leaving for a visit to Kathmandu and it would be fantastic if she could take some gifts to the women who have so little. Almost all of the women have never owned new clothes and we would love to provide them this basic luxury, that we take for granted. We would be hugely grateful, if you our supporters, could purchase just one new item of clothing, perhaps a t-shirt, pair of socks or cardigan and send it to Renee (or give to Anna or Marilyn) for her to take to the women. Perhaps you could select something for them next time you do your supermarket shop, it need not be expensive, for instance M&S sell fairtrade t-shirts for just £5.
1. Clothing should be between the UK sizes of 10 to 16 and sizes 12 and 14 would be most useful.
2. Clothing should be new, we know you probably have lots of 2nd-hand clothing we could pass on, but we would really like to treat the women to something new and Renee only has limited space in her luggage allowance.
3. The women in general wear Nepali clothes and so it would be most useful for them to have something they could layer such as a t-shirt or cardigan.
4. The deadline for clothing items to reach Renee is Friday 19th March. Please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org for the address to send items to.
5. Should you wish to hand Marilyn (in Reading) or Anna (in Watchfield, nr Swindon) the items for them to post on with other garments that have been collected, then the deadline is Monday 15th March. Please e-mail email@example.com for their addresses also.
6. If you sponsor a specific woman and would like the garment to go particularly to her then please write her name and yours on the label.
Thank you so much for you support. We really do appreciate it and know that it makes such a huge difference to the lives of the women in Nepal, all of whom burst into tears whenever we give them a gift! Please do not hesitate to get in contact with us if you have any questions.
Whilst in Kathmandu Renee & Terry also had the opportunity to visit the Cyrene Sewing project that we support.
A class at the Cyrene Project
Visiting the Cyrene sewing project is a delight and a joy. On the whole, the ladies are quite young, very enthusiastic and quick to learn. The teacher has excellent sewing skills. The ladies learn how to measure, cut out and sew material pieces to make every day Nepali dress called “Khurtas”. This is basically long pants (fairly baggy) with a dress over the top (slits up the side) and a shawl. The colours are gloriously rich. Like most Nepali ways, all this is done on the floor – except of course, for the sewing machine itself.
The ladies attend for several weeks and at the end of the course they receive a certificate at a ceremony (Nepalis love celebrations) after which they will hopefully be able to find work as a tailor either working for themselves or others. Cyrene also run an advanced course for those wishing to learn more.
One of the women that the Cyrene course has trained
Before the sessions start in the mornings there is a brief meeting, when the ladies sing short Christian songs and maybe share something of their lives. This is followed by a session on general life skills – many Nepali girls have not had the opportunity to have education so reading and writing is offered. Family planning is also discussed.
The ladies certainly leave Cyrene with a vision and a hope, not to mention a life skill that will benefit themselves and their families. We are grateful to our Nepali contacts who run this project so faithfully and we continue to help from here in England in every possible way.
Renée, one of our trustees, and her husband Terry recently returned from a trip to Nepal. Renée writes:-
It was good to be back in Nepal again, this time based mainly in Kathmandu. At the best of times, general day to day living is not easy for the Nepali people and currently there is electric for only eight hours out of a twenty four hour period (2x4hr stretches) This is due to a lack of rain to feed the hydro electric plants. The electric frequently comes on at midnight or four in the morning! As it it dark around 6.30pm, people have to cook the main meal of the day (rice & lentils) by candlelight and spend the rest of the evening in the dark. There is no-one who is not affected. Shops (open till late) can hardly see what they are selling. Tailors (of which there are many) cannot see to sew at night and cannot use their sewing machines by day. Offices cannot function and so it goes on …..
We spent a good deal of time visiting the ladies supported by Women Without Roofs (WWR). All are so very grateful for thehelp given to them by WWR, which has of course, come from you, our supporters. The ladies have tragic stories to tell. One lady had fallen into a fire as a child and never received treatment. Eventually she was given away in an arranged marriage, her husband then left her because of her deformed body. A second lady cares for her disabled husband, who cannot move, due to a fall from a high scaffolding. He lies in bed almost all of the time. Everything is done for him. They live in a small sparse room which works as a kitchen, bedroom and place to sit.
The rooms WWR provide are basic with limited facilities. I have to be honest about that. We ensure the women have the essential items i.e. a bed, blankets, gas stove, a bag of rice, saucepans and other essential items. By standards here in the Western world, it is poor. In reality, it is the level of how most Nepalis live. I have to remind myself of this over and over again. I would love to be able to pick all the ladies up and transform their lives completely, but I know, as you do, that is not possible.
Laxmi - preparing food in her room
How then, can I continue to help these women? I will continue working hard on their behalf, throw myself into fundraising, keep in touch via our assistant, Bina, in Kathmandu, try to inspire people in our country. An article in a womens magazine is soon to be published. Many of us still have so much in spite of our “credit crunch”; that’s not wrong, its how it is here in the UK. I feel sure if you were able to experience life in a third world country you also would be stirred.
So finally, may I express my heartfelt thanks to all our supporters. Without you there would be no WWR and many people would be living on the streets or under plastic sheeting. God Bless you all for your love and care. Please get back to me if you would like more first hand information.
Greetings from Nepal.
First of all in Cyrene, it is fine. In Cyrene training March 23rd we had graduation ceremony for both the basic and advanced training courses where in all there were 42 trainees. Our new sessions will start from march 30th so please pray for this. this is all because WWR support and help. It has helped many unemployed ladies to change their life style. May God bless you all.
At the graduation ceremony there was Terry and Renee (one of our trustees). The certificate of completion was distributed by them.