Terry and Renee, one of our trustees, have arrived safely in Nepal and in time for a farewell service for Lisa, one of our Nepali staff who is coming to England to work.
An emotional, yet happy time, was had by all.
Residents at Steven’s Court, Winnersh enjoyed a Nepali evening last Thursday. They were treated to Nepali food, took part in a quiz about Nepal (many were surprised by how much they knew!) and wore saris whilst dancing to Nepali music. The aim of the event was to raise awareness of the plight of women in Nepal and to raise funds for WWR.
Bina, our Nepali assistant, is now the proud owner of a new Scooter paid for in part by Women Without Roofs – Nepal. It will enable her to visit the women we support in Kathmandu more easily and frequently, enabling us to provide them with greater support when they need it.
Doesn’t she look smart?!
Whilst in Kathmandu Renee & Terry also had the opportunity to visit the Cyrene Sewing project that we support.
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.
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 the help 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.
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.
Renee can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org
We are growing all the time and take on the support of new women frequently. This is the moving story of the latest woman we have taken on:
She has three children aged 15,13 and 10. They are originally from Rolpa. They came to Kathmandu 7 years ago. Her husband went to Malaysia for work and after a few months he was sick and was supposed to return to Nepal. But he did not come back and was not in Malaysia. She asked her husband’s friend where he was and they told her that he had already come back to Nepal. But he has not arrived. So she has lost her husband, since then she has done household work to survive. She has to work at 4 houses. At one house, they lost their 10 tola (tola is a Nepali measurment) gold worth Rs 250,000 (approx £2000). It was blamed on her. They beat her and took her to the police station. She said she did not take the gold. The policeman also did not get any proof. Then the other 3 houses also did not give her work, so nowadays she does not have work. She has been unable to pay her rent too. She is a Christian.
Please help us to support women in these dreadful situations either by making a one-off donation or, even better, by sponsoring one of them for £10 per month. Please see the ‘Contact Us’ page for how to do this. Thank you.