Shadow Barefoot Volunteers/ Hamro Tewa Gaon Gharma Earthquake Recovery and Rebuilding Program came to its closure in May 2017. The program continued for 23 months in Gorkha, Sindupalchowk, Dhading, Rammechhap, Lalitpur (Dharmasthali) and Kathmand (Jharuwarashi).
A closing meeting was conducted on 26th May, 2017 at Tewa premises.The program was conducted in the presence of Rita Thapa - Founder of Tewa, Nirmala KC- President of Tewa, Urmila Shrestha - Executive Director of Tewa, all program staffs including international donor representatives - Jenny Hodgson from Global Fund for Community Foundations, Phil and Chris from Big Lottery UK.
Nirmal KC shared about the happiness and hopes that was provided to the community to help them learn new things in life. She congratulated the idea provider and doers for making the program possible. During the same period, community philanthropy, which is also the vision of Tewa, has been inculcated in communities. Several programs including tree plantation and candle light up programs which were conducted in various districts for local fundraising and community philanthropy is beyond any admiration.
There was a good interaction between Jenny and the Shadow Bare Foot volunteers.
Jenny Hodgson mentioned how their work has inspired her to write story about them and share it to the global community which is admired all around.
Nirmal Gupta, volunteer of Gorkha, highlighted the challenges and achievements they have received during the program, which was also full of learning.In the initial phase, they were not made welcomed in the community,but after months of hard work and dedication, the community people started trusting them. There are many achievements made by the volunteers in the village such as providing training to women groups on tailoring- who now own their own small shop in the community and are earning for themselves.
Apart from that, they invested their time on educating community women on Women's Human Rights issue, Gender Based Violence, Violence against Women, Gender Equality,Women Empowerment, Women Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, etc. Similarly, the women's group formations have brought tremendous change in local women, changing their attitude towards saving money. They now talk about many social, cultural and economical issues that hinder women status quo. Besides, there has been a change in the attitude of local people towards these women groups who are now capable of lending money to others.Basically these women groups were provided with NRs 50,000.00 to 10 women groups in the initial phase of the program which has now turned to NRs 1500,000.00 (USD 15000.00). At present, they are able of administrating saving and credit in the local community.
They have also been revolving hen, duck and sheep rearing on regular basis. They also provide loan from that money. They are giving loans at 1% interest to those who are members of the group and 2% interest rate to those who are not the members. Money is borrowed for house making or animal husbandry purpose. At present, they are able to offer loan upto NRs 90,000.00.These changes have brought confidence and trust in the local community where assets are built within themselves.There has also been a development of skills among the volunteers. Volunteers from one district to other are transferring skills to each other, and now, the volunteers are capable of teaching crystals jewelers, soap making, garland knitting, incense making, among others.
Further, she illustrated on how they coordinated with the government officials to provide 339 citizenship cards to the women of Gorkha. More than 200 women were transferred with skill training for livelihood only in Gorkha.Skills transformation among the volunteers also has occurred in the last 23 months.
Bagbati Aaadhar Bhoot School was supported with NRs 100,000.00 for the purchase of school land which was destroyed by the 2015 April earthquake in Nepal. Locals were inspired by the contribution made by Tewa.Later,the seed money was fundraised by 30% more and now they are capable of constructing the school building.
To recognize their hard work and commitment, Tewa and HTG volunteers were handed an appreciation letter from Bagbati Aaadhar Bhoot School and Barpak Nirman Maheela Samuha. Before they left the districts, they also received many credentials and acknowledgments for their work.
At the end of the program, each volunteer was honored with a shawl, appreciation letter and a souvenir by Nirmala KC.