Our approach to development work depends on successful partnerships so we can maximize our resources and reduce redundancy. Over the years, we have worked closely with several local and international organizations to pursue our goal of empowering Nepali women and their families.
For several years, the Didi Project sponsored a networking conference in Kathmandu. Community leaders from many helping groups gathered together to share their program goals, methods and challenges. We have been very fortunate to enjoy working relationships with many Nepalese and foreign aid experts, in addition to local book stores, publishers, tourist offices and others we have met during our many working visits in the country.
Our list of partners and colleagues has included:
Because we believe in productive partnerships, we continue our support of various organizations based in Nepal: Ama Ghar Children's Home, Educate the Children Nepal, Room to Read, and Our Sansar.
Sabita, the little girl who we met on our first trek and supported into adulthood, is now herself helping young Nepali girls to stay safe and embark on new, productive lives She manages a safe house for at- risk girls in Janakpur, Tarai. The Didi Project is partnering with her organization, the British NGO “Our Sansar” (https://oursansar.org), and has already sponsored a fully furbished library in the girls’ home, equipped with hundreds of books, learning materials, laptops, and comfortable furniture. The girls living in the home, many of them illiterate, cherish this new place where they can learn to read and write with the help of a full-time teacher, create crafts, and practice their computer skills. The Didi Project has also donated funds for a second library, in support of Our Sansar’s education project for child labor victims working in brick factories, in the Tarai’s Rautahat District.
We hope to combine our BECHIYEKI book outreach with the new libraries, hosting community meetings to encourage girls to be educated and to teach them and their families about the dangers of trafficking.
The Tarai region adjoins the Indian border in southern Nepal. Even though it is heavily populated and provides a great share of manufactured goods and food for the country, Tarai has been underserved by national and international assistance programs. The Didi Project welcomes this new opportunity for helping women and girls, in partnership with Our Sansar.
As part of our partnership with Educate the Children Nepal (ETC), we continue to sponsor women's groups in Nepali villages for their six- year training program.
We continued our relationship with one of the first groups we sponsored several years ago. They live in the rural Godavari area outside Kathmandu and are considered part of the "untouchable" caste. Thanks to the training they received from ETC with our assistance, 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 included help in building a meeting house, buying a sewing machine for a new home business, and buying materials to rebuild their homes after the 2015 horrendous Nepal earthquake.
During her site visits in 2016, Board member Heidi Feldman visited the Hariyali women. They requested one of our “Quick Grants” (a way of providing instant, effective small grants) to help each family buy a small flock of chicks and home-built coops. 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, income- producing chickens and happy Hariyali women!