Women Awareness Center Nepal
Earthquake Relief Update
On April 25, 2015 a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal. The earthquake had a devastating impact. On may 12th, 2015 a 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck again while the country was still dealing with the tremors from the initial earthquake adding to the fatalities and casualties.
Over the years, we have developed the following need-based methodology:
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.
2. Rapport building with the community
3. 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.
4.Village-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.
5.Village-level planning workshop
Together with the community members, we plan activities to meet the villagers’ needs. We give priority to smaller projects that address gender issues and that can be locally managed
6. Coordination 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.
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.
We take participants to other field sites to give them a better understanding of cooperative activity.
9. Cooperative Registration
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.
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.