Tag Archive | Nepal

Please support the people of Nepal by donating. Every penny makes a difference.

My prayers and thoughts go out to everyone in Nepal.

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I was so saddened by the devastating news , that is taking place in Nepal.
On Saturday 25th April a powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake devastated the country of Nepal. It struck between the country’s two largest cities: Pokhara and Kathmandu. It’s the nation’s worst earthquake in 80 years and has already claimed the lives of more than 4,000 people. Thousands more are injured and displaced.

There is equal concern for rural areas, as much of the country has had heavy rainfall over the last few days, it greatly increases the risk of land slides. An avalanche has already occurred at Everest, taking many lives and injuring many more.

The earthquake has wreaked incomprehensible damage, yet it’s impact has yet to unravel. Nepal is mountain nation, and with the recent earthquake it is very likely to trigger devastating landslides, particularly when the monsoon season hits in June. The implications from the lack of food, water, sanitation, shelter, education and a myriad of other basic requirements and infrastructures could be equally damaging, if not more so.
No one could stop the earthquake, but the humanitarian response to disaster and how we react to suffering, as people, is our responsibility and entirely within our grasp.

I had the opportunity of living in Nepal for three months on a volunteer placement, not only did I gain new friends, I gained a whole family and I’m deeply attached to Nepal and the people of Nepal. Their pain is my pain.

It’s great that we are all praying for Nepal but what the people of Nepal really need right now is our donation.

Nepal needs our help. Nepal needs your help. Though it isn’t our home that’s in shambles, we can respond like it is.

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Please donate to humanitarian assistance on the ground in Nepal.

Love and blessings to you all.
Christine H.I.L.L

Being a woman in Nepal

As always greetings to you all, hope all is well

It’s been two weeks since I returned from Nepal and I must admit I miss village life. I miss everything from host family, to friends , nature and just the way life appeared to be simple out there. Nevertheless life must go on.

So as much as I enjoyed Nepal there is a few things and cultures norms I found really difficult and challenging to accept.

We all know that gender inequality exists around the world but many of you may not know about the situation for women in Nepal.

Here’s what I learnt whilst living in Nepal:

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Women are under pressure to give birth to a son. As the majority of Nepalese are devout Hindus it is believed that if you don’t have a son, you will go to hell. Women would repeatedly get pregnant in a hope of producing a male child and at times when it is discovered that a woman is pregnant with a girl, she would be encouraged into having an abortion. In a culture where women move away once married, a son is seen as an insurance policy; a provider of wealth and security for his family. Therefore some families believe that it is more important to invest in the education of a son who will be able to provide for his family long-term than a girl who would be married off to another family. The pressure to produce a son can sometimes come from the husband, his family or even the girls own family.

Women who are unable to have children face even more stigma from the community and in the home.

In some cases boys even get better education compared to that of girls.

Due to the fact that Nepal is a patriarchal society which is dominated by men, it is equally important to understand that men/ boys are also under pressure. Boys are under pressure to live up to their parents expectations and desires. At times the desires of the parents and the sons may differ, but the sons have no option but to obey and respect their parents wishes. In addition to this it must be difficult for men being the sole decision makers in every issue about family matters.

I’m sure it is challenging for both genders to live up to society and family expectations. In my opinion, I believe both male and female should be educated on the importance of equality. Both the daughter and the son should be brought up in an environment were they can learn about respecting each other regardless of gender and gain a mutual understanding. Neither of them should feel inferior or superior. The labour pain is always the same regardless of whether it’s a boy or a girl, so surely they should both be treated the same.

Women are considered impure and dirty during menstruation time.

One of the main things I found challenging and difficult during my stay was the treatment I received whilst on my menstruation. I absolutely hated having to sit separately from every one else. I couldn’t touch anyone or touch water that was going to be used by other people. I was considered dirty and impure. The result of this action meant that anyone who entered the house and saw me sitting separately from others knew I was on my period. For someone who loves privacy, the idea of everyone knowing when I was on my period felt like an invasion of my privacy. Though I complain I understand that the treatment I received could have been far more worse had I not have been a volunteer /visitor. I was fortunate to also stay in a house hold that is not so strict when it comes to such practices.

The practice formally known as mahinawari hunu is a traditional Nepalese practice which most women / households practice. Women are not allowed to enter temples, use public water sources, touch livestock or touch others. When they serve food, the person who gives it to them will not even touch the dish and at night, they are not allowed to sleep in their own beds.

Some women are against this practice but they will never take the stand and break the tradition, even though they don’t like the practice. They have accepted the practice and see it as part of their culture and life style.

The first time I was introduced to this culture practice, I will admit I found it rather annoying and challenging but like everyone else you accept it and get used to it. I guess it was easier for me to get used to it, knowing that it won’t be forever and I will only have to practice it whilst out in Nepal. However for some women, this practice causes all sorts of problems for those who practice it. Not only does it bring discomfort and isolation to the women practicing it , it sometimes can cost the women their health and life. For the young girls it disrupts their education.

I understand it’s a culture practice and I have to respect it, whether I agree with it or not. However I can’t help but feel sorry for the women who don’t wish to practice it but have no choice but to abide with culture norms. It is difficult to Change and challenge mindsets that have been set for centuries , however I do believe that women’s voices are necessary in order for change to occur. People need to be awakened and active.

C-HILL

Thank you Nepal

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Good day beautiful people.

As always hope your all well and in good spirits.

So my time in Nepal has come to an end, and as I reflect on everything that has happened on this journey, my heart is truly over joyed and filled with gratitude. So much has taken place in the past few months and it definitely has helped to build my character. I am beyond thankful for this amazing opportunity and I am excited as I watch my life unfold.

It’s truly been an amazing opportunity, one that I will cherish for the rest of my life. I have been blessed with the most amazing family, community and friends and it’s a sad time for me saying good-bye to them. I know I might never see them again in my life, but I’m so thankful that I got to meet them. Each person I have had an encounter with has taught me something new that I will carry through life.

I have learnt some Nepalese, but most importantly I have learnt the language of love. The language of love is a language that all human beings are capable of expressing if we are only willing. People don’t need to speak the same language as you in order for you to love them. Love doesn’t always have to be spoken words but we are all capable of expressing love through our actions.People may not have been able to speak in English and equally I may not be fluent in nepalese but our actions speak more than words and through our actions we are able to express what we are trying to say; and I can confidently say I have been loved and I have equally returned the love.

Bandre ( my village) has truly brought out the best in and out of me and I know that it is God that bought me there. I have done everything I wanted to do in my community and I can confidently say I have no regrets. I have touched lives and equally people have touched my life and I feel my life will never be the same again(in a great way).

I now have a different outlook on life and feel so blessed to have been part of this great journey. I’m excited to see where God takes me next, but one thing is certain my work in developing myself and people globally has just began.

Thank you VSO ICS!

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Love always

Christine H.I.L.L