What do communities really need?

By Cath Taylor

Published 23 Nov 2022

In one of Western Nepal's most remote communities, West Rukum, men and women from INFA's partner Shanti Nepal are going door to door to talk to residents.

The village is often cut off from the outside world - it has no electricity or internet. The only road in is often closed by landslides and flooding. Our partners, though, are determined.

They want to understand what life is like for people in the community and what they dream their lives might become.

They meet with more than 250 people, representing over a thousand households. Most of those surveyed are women and few can read or write, but they answer Shanti Nepal's questions with enthusiasm.

What did our partners discover?

90% of those willing and able to take part were women, and 82% of them were aged 20-49.

2% had finished high school education; 8% completed primary school

38% were literate; 38% were unable to read or write.

18% of households include a person living with a disability

48% have an annual income of 3000 (AUD35.00)  to 20,000 (AUD239.00) NRS

What do the people most want for their community?

They want to be able to feed their families, learning new skills to increase food production in the midst of a changing climate

They want to see their children grow up in good health, with access to clean water and information about sanitation and hygiene.

They want a safe place for women to give birth. Currently, more than 70% of mothers deliver in their own homes. The risks are severe; the infant mortality rate at 33 per thousand births is much higher than the Nepalese average.

They want to be involved in making these changes happen themselves, drawing on their own skills and determination. They know they need financial support, training and encouragement, but they believe change is possible.

And that's where we come in.

This month and in the lead up to Christmas, we're focussing on building, equipping and staffing a Birthing Centre as part of the broader Community Development work in West Rukum.

We need your prayers.

We need you to understand the project and share it with others.

And, if you're able, no matter the size, we need you to give.

Find out all about the project here

And please find a special focus on the project as part of this month's prayer notes