Thaki SHG practicing social distancing during a meeting

The Thaki Self Help Group [SHG] was formed over a year and a half ago in the Sunchhahari Rural Municipality of Rolpa. The group involved itself in many areas within the community, specifically in relation to social work, and savings and credit activities. Meetings were held monthly, however, due to COVID-19 had to be put on hold.

In July 2020, INF provided the group with face masks and assisted them in setting up hand washing stations in public areas that were used for meetings. The group was given information about causes, effects and symptoms of COVID-19 and were also trained to help prevent the spread of the virus.

SHG members practice handwashing at meetings

At the request of the SHG, INF Nepal and the local government health post provided the group with educational materials that they distributed in the community during outreach events. Members divided themselves into groups of 3 to 5, and walked around the village with banners, stopping to raise awareness of COVID among other community members. This was then replicated in other rural municipalities, where SHGs adopted similar activities in the community.

After four months of being on hold, SHGs began meeting regularly, this time with members taking the initiative to wash their hands and maintain social distancing during the gatherings. Members also began encouraging these practices in their households, among their neighbours and in the wider community.

The members of Thaki SHG say, “We have realised that just by practicing hand washing, wearing masks and maintaining physical distance, there is a chance that COVID transmission can be greatly reduced.” They are very thankful to INF Nepal and the local government health centres for assisting them in raising awareness about COVID and paving the way for a safer and healthier community.

Rolpa EDUCATE receives support from the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).

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