Greetings from Kathmandu, as they say time fly’s while you’re having fun and I cannot believe almost 8 weeks have past since I arrived. Life here has been interesting, of course with nothing going to plan, another normality here in Nepal. Sadly for the Nepali people life just seems to get more difficult. With shortages of fuel, cooking gas, medicines and other supplies the winter months are going to be harsh for the people still living under plastic tarps here in Kathmandu and especially in the mountain regions.
Over the past 8 weeks I have had the opportunity to work independently from Umbrella on a program close to my heart. Many are aware of our TUFA Gatlang Women’s Health & Hygiene Project which we started in May 2014. Sadly the village of Gatlang, Rasuwa was badly damaged in the earthquake and we have had limited opportunity to get there this trip due to the fuel shortages and costs involved. There may be a slight chance for next week….fingers crossed.
I have had the opportunity to work with a small group of talented local women under the guidance of Geeta Pfau PhD. Geeta is an amazing Nepali lady from the US who is a midwife and university lecturer. Over the last 4 weeks we have our team producing DFG kits which will be distributed to the students at Kanya Mandir High School, an all-girls government school in central KTM. I spent a morning at the school in early November where I held a small DFG training session, many interesting questions were asked by the group and we also carried out a survey to assess what knowledge this age group had of their bodies and periods. Geeta has fully funded this project and now has a trainer, co-ordinator and team who are wanting to help girls and women in their community.
A few day's later wevisited one of the many post earthquake temporary communities in Kathmandu. It was interesting to note that the majority of people living here were single mothers, some very ill. We distributed DFG packs and did a talk on the importance hygiene, they had no access to running water and the closest toilet was at a government school across the road. Sadly, since we visited the local residents hadthe tents removed and we are unaware of where the women have gone