Here are some pictures of my visit last month to one of Jitpur Phedi’s monthly women’s savings collectives, part of the FVIN USA supported Women’s Agricultural Cooperative Initiative:
In total, there are now over 530 women who are participants, and the number is steadily increasing. At this monthly meeting, I got to observe and participate in the collection and distribution of seeds, stories and funds for innovative agricultural and cultural projects that are run for and by local women.
I also had the pleasure of visiting with an elderly lady who I have met on my previous trips with VIN. It is a wonderful feeling to see her family grow and see how they are able to utilize and benefit from the resources provided by our programs.
In 2012, she and her family built a new toilet for their residence and made other structural improvements to the house with support from VIN’s sanitation initiatives. Additionally, with seed money that came from Friends of VIN USA’s grant to VIN, she and her daughter-in-laws have recently started a tomato farm together, which will generate revenue to help support their family’s needs. She says she is thankful for our support and that we are welcome to her home for tea anytime!
The Jitpurphedi Women Agricultural C0-operative are creating supportive spaces in which to discuss and work through issues relating to their work, families and in general, life in rural Nepal. They are also actively engaged with the facilitation of cultural and language programs for the international volunteers who come to spend time in their communities and help to make these programs possible. They expressed their excitement to me regarding these intercultural exchanges, and have said they look forward to learning and teaching with volunteers from around the world!
During my trip, I also got to see dozens of new toilets constructed, in part, with FVIN’s support through our 2011-12 grant to VIN. As we toured the different wards of Jitpur Phedi, I spoke with many mothers and grandmothers, and got to play with the children along the way. In general, the community members I spoke with seem happy and grateful for the infrastructural developments taking place.
I also visited sponsored children’s group in Jitpur, where each of the members of the club stood up to share with me about themselves, their personal and educational aspirations and their visions for community. This dynamic, vibrant group of creative young leaders was impressive, to say the least!
Finally, let me mention the health post, which is continuing to increase in size and efficiency – now staffed with a number of full-time health professionals and medical volunteers through VIN that enable community members to seek care locally, instead of having to go to major urban centers, which are further away. Recently, the post gained additional support and resources from the Nepali government, which now supports the pathology lab and other services. Now, with the ongoing support of medical personnel and material resources, the health post of Jitpur Phedi provides a variety of needed services for the local community.
There is nothing that can compare to the experience of being there and experiencing the work being done firsthand. I thank you all for your ongoing support of these important, sustainable, comprehensive and locally run and managed programs, and I encourage YOU to get more involved.
There is still so much work to be done in order to provide women and children in rural Nepal the opportunities and resources they deserve.
Consider donating to VIN’s programs, or become a volunteer in Nepal . There are great opportunities available, especially for long-term professional and skilled volunteers. VIN is currently seeking journalists who would like the opportunity to live and work in Nepal!
If interested, please contact FVIN for more information.
With love and gratitude,
Sadie Green, FVIN Vice President