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+ 977-1-4417355

info@wacn.org.np

Gyaneshwor
Kathmandu, Nepal
P.O. Box
2245

Our Approach

Methodology

WACN believes in local ownership of all projects. WACN strong, decentralized network of cooperatives provides the basis for further development at the local level. Local motivators encourage their fellow women to initiate income generating schemes and community based development activities in their respective districts. In the beginning, the motivators are paid by WACN, but after a few years the savings and credit co-operatives are able to provide the salaries on their own. Many of the savings and credit co-operatives now function as autonomous institutions with little input from WACN. The self-sustainability of WACN’s programs can be attributed to the inherent design of its programs, the support of grassroots workers and volunteers, and the funds raised and saved by co-operative members.

Over the years, we have developed the following need-based methodology:

1Site selection

We select sites in areas where women are requesting our services or in areas adjoining our current operations. We give preference to villages that have initiated their own development activity because it shows that they are ready for greater development.

2Rapport building & Group formation

At this point we must usually seek permission from the village leaders to ensure that they will let their female family members participate in our programs. Once the leaders have agreed, the majority of other villagers will follow suit. We explain the mission and working methodology of WACN. Then we establish small savings and credit groups.

3Village-need identification workshop

We analyze the development efforts of the village from a gender perspective. In collaboration with local women and men, both informal and formal leaders, we collect the necessary data to determine the needs of the community.

4Village-level planning workshop

We select sites in areas where women are requesting our services or in areas adjoining our current operations. We give preference to villages that have initiated their own development activity because it shows that they are ready for greater development.

5Coordination with other agencies

At this stage we establish a working partnership with other organizations. We decide the exact provision and allocation of resources-who will provide what.

6Training

Before the women can run the co-operative, they must undergo a variety of trainings. Accounting training is the most critical because unless the women shareholders understand the financial dynamics of their respective cooperatives they will not be able to mange them effectively. The training equips women with the tools to maintain transparent and accurate accounting systems for their cooperatives.

7Exposure visits

We take participants to other field sites to give them a better understanding of cooperative activity.

8Cooperative Registration

At this stage we register the cooperative under the the Cooperative Act of 1992. WACN Cooperatives are legal entities independently run by the village women. The village women become empowered as they start to take responsibility for managing all aspects of their newly founded institution.

Registering informal savings and credit groups as cooperatives is just the first step in institutionalizing them . After the legalization process, the cooperatives must focus on strengthening their organization as a whole to remain viable. Follow up trainings are essential.

9Handling over to the community

At this stage, we distance ourselves from the everyday operations of the cooperative, remaining available as need to counsel on difficult issues. Since the women are overworked, the first stages of development are slow. We have to convince the women to take responsibility for development activities. As their confidence grows and they undergo more training, the women become less timid and start to utilize the credit line available to them to carry out development work. WACN provides seed money to the women’s groups for immediate lending to speed the process of establishing a savings and credit history. This act builds the women’s skill set and confidence as they learn to perform financial transactions on their own.

Throughout our work, we view the knowledge of the community and co-operative members as a valuable resource. We believe that if we use and respect their knowledge, then our work will not only be sustained, but that it will continue to grow.

Sustainability Scheme

WACN is now recognized nationally and internationally as a cost-effective and sustainable organization that works at the grass roots level to assist women in achieving socio-economic independence. WACN’s success is due to the strategic planning, vision, and passion of its staff and members. Its community-based model builds the knowledge and skills of community members, enabling them to engage in development work on their own primarily through the establishment of the cooperatives.

Where WACN was once initiating development work, the community members are now using WACN’s methods to execute their own development activities. WACN’s model has been adopted throughout the world because of its affordability to poor women. WACN also offers training courses to encourage the adoption of its model.

Sustainability Scheme

A key feature of WACN’s work has been the further development of existing cooperatives. WACN uses strategic and operational planning to assist these organizations in effectively managing their greater size. The cooperative members themselves have identified key areas for improvement. To heed these requests, WACN has started to offer more training and support in leadership, goal-making, governance, management, and finance, which help the women better run their cooperatives and personal businesses. WACN is also developing the capacity of its resource centers.

Along with general capacity-building and strengthening of cooperatives, WACN has begun prioritizing children in its mission and goals. Currently, WACN has 5,000 child members. WACN would like to design more child-specific programs to address their emerging needs and include them in the economic and social empowerment processes of community development. Its collaboration with World Education to prevent the trafficking of children to Kathmandu for seasonal brick-making is part of this greater plan.

WACN is also expanding its advocacy program. Historically, it has advocated for better resource allocation to women’s groups as well as the proper implementation of existing legal rights for women. Now WACN would like to launch a campaign to include more women in the decision-making processes of the local government.

While the Interim Constitution mandates that 33% of the state mechanisms comprise women, only the Constituent Assembly meets this quota. Representation of women in other civil sectors remains low. To further combat oppressive patriarchal systems, WACN would like to conduct more trainings on gender to increase gender sensitivity and encourage men and women to share private and public sector roles.

Another major area of concern which WACN has recently become involved with is the ailing health of the village women. Overworked and uninformed due to systematic violence, many women are incapable of looking after their health. Health education and efforts to correct reproductive health problems such as infections and prolapsed uterus help the members take better care of themselves. WACN has made significant strides in establishing and maintaining water sources, necessary for the health and sanitation of the community. Previously, many women were experiencing prolapsed uterus due to the burden of carrying water long distances. The construction of water tanks and preservation of natural water resources within the villages reduces this risk. To help conserve water sources, WACN also promotes tree plantations. WACN would like to continue addressing health and sanitation issues in an environmentally friendly manner.

Key Trainings and Programs include:

  • Advocacy
  • Saving, credit, and cooperative education
  • Advanced accounting
  • Institutional auditing of the cooperatives
  • Governance and working mechanisms of VDCs and DDCs
  • Legal Rights and Advocacy
  • Health and Sanitation
  • Water source preservation
  • Gender and leadership
  • Reading room for children and Coaching classes.
  • Farmer’s field school
  • Vocational Training for school drop-outs of girls and boys

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