As part of our partnership in Nepal with the organization Educate the Children (ETC), we sponsor women's groups in Nepali villages so that they may have a six-year training program provided by the U.S.-based nonprofit organization. One of the first groups that we sponsored graduated from the program several years ago.
The Didis have continued our relationship with the women in that group. They live in a rural area in the Godavari area outside the Kathmandu Valley and are considered part of the "untouchable" caste. Thanks to the training they received from ETC, these bright and hard-working women have learned new skills in agriculture, organic gardening, handicrafts, and how to manage their finances in their own credit union. Our ongoing support includes help in building a meeting house, buying a sewing machine for a new home business, and helping them to buy materials to rebuild their homes after the recent horrendous earthquake.
During her site visits in 2016, Board member Heidi Feldman visited the Hariyali women, always a joyful meeting. While they discussed everyone's life after the big 2015 earthquake, the women discussed with Heidi what current needs they might have that could be funded with an "instant grant” from the Didi Project. We have found that we can often produce very effective results in Nepal when we provide immediate assistance with small amounts of money and without a lot of bureaucracy. The women suggested a project that would provide a small flock of chicks and home-built coops for each family to add to their farm activity. Heidi left enough rupees that day to buy chicks and materials for every woman in the group. Several months later, we received photos of healthy big chickens and happy Hariyali women!