We're building the Birthing Centre!
Thank you so much for your generous gifts over Christmas.
You've helped us hit our funding targets in two of the three priority areas.
Birth Centre target
Health Services target
The whole project will serve 5-6000 people with a safe place to give birth as well as better health care, opportunities to earn an income and improve food production.
If you'd like to help us raise the final 40% of our funding target so Shanti Nepal can continue their clean water and sanitation services in the community, it's not too late! Visit us here to see the full break down of the project.Give now
Progress update on the Community Transformation Project
When will work on the Birth Centre begin?
PR: We plan to begin the build as soon as we can transport all the materials to the site. Everything needs to be carried in for all construction work, and this is usually done by women. Most of the men in the community leave the area for months at a time to find work so they can send home income for their families. Here we see a group taking on bags of cement that weigh up to 50kgs each to begin the long walk into their community.
What other factors make the build challenging?
PR: The monsoon season means its almost impossible to get in and out of the community. In the most remote corner, which is where we're building the Centre, there's no electricity and we are assembling a solar system to provide the power we need. This will take time but we are confident the project will be completed within a year.
How many women will the Birthing Centre provide for?
PR: The whole region is about 1100 households or 5-6000 people. We plan for one delivery each week in the first months of operation. That will grow as women hear about the Centre and make the effort to come in to deliver. The Centre will also provide health check ups during the pregnancy which will make it much more safe to give birth.
The Birthing Centre is part of a much broader Community Transformation Project - what progress is being made?
PR: It's a very successful project so far! One of the best aspects is our water and sanitation work - we are helping people avoid sickness and death by installing more taps and teaching about sanitation.
The Government has committed to making sure there is one tap in each community, but in very remote places like where we work, this hasn't happened. So we are bringing in the materials to build taps and storage facilities, and our engineers show local people how to construct and maintain the facilities.
In the images below you can see what the Government have currently provided compared to what we're helping the community to build and maintain.
Can you tell me a bit more about the Women's Self Help groups (SHG) that you're running?
PR: We have 21 groups running currently in the Project area, so we are covering about 500 families. The women are alone much of the year and have responsibility for their families and their food production, but they don't have much access to income. So the groups focus on practical issues like how to wash hands and prepare food, and they also provide training for women to manage their household budgets.
The groups commit to pooling a small amount of savings each month - typically 50-100 rupees per person. These savings are then available for women to make use of for things like education or medical costs at either low or no interest. The alternative is that women must ask their landlords for a loan, and these are provided at very high interest.
The savings groups are a way for women to have some independence and financial security.
How else is the Community Transformation Project creating change?
PR: We really want the local people themselves to lead their development - they know best what they need and what works well. So we run Development Workshops as places where people can gather and take leadership responsibility, with our support. The workshops include things like the importance of clean water and sanitation, how to improve their farming and food production, how to advocate to the municipal government for the resources they need and why its important to include women, children and people with disabilities.
The people in the region are enthusiastic and are ready to step up to lead. They need support and encouragement, so our staff visit as often as possible.
In these images, a Shanti Staff member faciliates a Self Help Group meeting at the home of one of the members; a Development Group gather to learn skills to advocate to their local government for resources and the community engage in a clean up to improve their physical environment.
Thanks so much for your commitment to this project in prayer and giving.
As of January 5, 2023, your gifts have helped us provide:
Birth Centre target
Health Services target
It's not too late to help!
We'll use your New Year gift to hit 100% of our funding target to continue to help the people of West Rukum improve their water and sanitation.Give now