SUPPORT FOR VULNERABLE GROUPS OF WOMEN AND GIRLS
The main purpose of the MPWC project is to provide psychosocial support and trauma assistance to earthquake affected women and girls including GBV survivors, and to provide capacity building support to women’s groups for increased access to services and leadership in disaster management and preparedness in the two selected districts where the project is situated. The project meets its objectives through various ways such as, through the establishment of a safe house in Sindhupalchowk and a Multipurpose Women Centre in Dolakha; through lobbying and advocating with relevant sectors (livelihood, cash for work, WASH, shelter and recovery) for integration of vulnerable groups; and through various awareness raising activities that focus on disseminating information that helps to prevent, prepare, and recover from the vulnerabilities of trafficking and GBV. Meanwhile, gender sensitisation programmes are continued to be given to the women’s groups and service providers (government and CSOs),countering discriminatory social norms and strengthening referral services for gender based violence and rape survivors and other women and girls affected by the earthquake. The project also aims to create a forum for discussion on women and girls issues on a regular basis in the MPWC. Ultimately, the goal is to enhance women and girls’ livelihood options through assessment, orientation/training, and through matching grants for enterprise development.
MPWC Phase I
The MPWC project can be divided into three phases. The first phase of MPWC has reached a total of 8468 targeted beneficiaries so far. In Sindhupalchok, the project has reached 2836 beneficiaries and in Dolakha, it has reached 4632 women and girls. Beneficiaries have benefitted from psycho-social counselling services, referral services, livelihood support as well as emergency service information and support. Likewise, indirect beneficiaries exceed 25,000 especially considering those who receive information on GBV and emergency program through radio. In Dolakha solely, the radio broadcasting the project program covers 14 surrounding districts.
MPWC Phase II
The Multipurpose Women’s Centre (MPWC) project is being implemented by Saathi in two districts, Nuwakot and Sindhupalchok, with support from UN Women. The project continues to provide MPWCs as safe spaces for women and girls and delivers psychosocial and trauma assistance for earthquake and GBV survivors. The centre also supports victims through activities related to livelihood enhancement and gender equality in recovery and reconstruction interventions. The project strengthens referral mechanisms to help build linkages between vulnerable women and girls and agencies working in livelihood and recovery interventions post-quake as well as conducts advocacy for gender inclusion in disaster response and preparedness. Further, the project focuses on enhancing leadership and participation of women’s groups and building capacity of service providers at various levels. With the efforts to enhance women’s capacity to prevent, prepare for, and recover from natural hazards, the project envisions to build a disaster resilient community contributing to sustainable development.
MPWC Phase II operates under the following objectives:
- Facilitating the participation of affected women, particularly female headed households, in cash for work, early recovery, livelihood and reconstruction programmes
- Providing job counselling and professional orientations to access employment for women
- Supporting women’s engagement in the preparation of district early warning and local disaster preparedness plans to strengthen community preparedness
- Developing a network of disaster recovery and resilience building by women grassroots trainers
- Providing psychosocial support and counselling services to GBV survivors
- Following up on the recommendations of the women’s safety audit with relevant local government agencies
- Undertaking gender sensitization programs in collaboration with the district authorities to counter discriminatory social norms
- Supporting information dissemination to women and emergency drills for women
MPWC Phase II has had the following powerful impacts and achievements:
- The two MPWCs in Sindhupalchok and Nuwakot are functional and continuing its services effectively
- 256 women and girls have been provided with job counselling and professional orientation to access employment opportunities
- 5313 women have been provided with crucial information on disaster preparedness and GBV
- A total of 766 women and girls have received psychosocial first aid, counselling support, and trauma assistance in the project districts
- Altogether, 122 women in Nuwakot and Sindhupalchok have been provided with skills development training on poultry and vegetable farming and have been provided with start-up support (chicken, medicine, vegetable seeds and plastic tunnel) as a matching contribution, for livelihood improvement of the most vulnerable
- A total of 250 women till date have benefitted from the cash for work program in the project districts since the start of the program
- So far, 7012 community women have been oriented on encountering discriminatory social norms including provision of information on GBV, unequal wages based on gender, gender discrimination in education, and employment opportunities among other issues
MPWC Phase III
On April 27, 2017, Saathi started Phase-III of the UN Women funded MPWC project. Similar to Phase-II, Phase-III of the project is being implemented in two districts, Nuwakot and Sindhupalchok. In this phase, despite the extremely short period allotted to complete two thirds of the project activities, the Saathi MPWC district and central team have effectively managed to conduct and complete all of the events as planned.
Simultaneously, UN Women has continued to provide technical backstopping to Saathi to conduct each activity.
One of the major programs of MPWC Phase-III is a mason training program for the women in Nuwakot and Sindhupalchok, which is in line with the government’s recovery and reconstruction plan to rebuild Nepal. The primary focus of the training is to prepare the work force with basic (level 1) skills on masonry as well as to provide 21 masonry tools to ensure their skill continuation. The training aims to strengthen livelihood and employment opportunities in addition to meeting the demand of a skilled mason force for recovery and reconstruction efforts for women in these districts.
MPWC Phase III has experienced the following achievements and impacts:
- A total of 100 women in Sindhupalchok and Nuwakot have been provided with mason training. The trainees have also been examined by CTEVT for certification post training and the certification is currently underway
- A compiled LDRMP as per the guideline of the Government has been formed that includes the GESI responsive provision as per the elected women leaders and WCO
- A total of 278 women/adolescent girls have been organized into social groups this quarter
- A total of 15 groups have been formed in Nuwakot and Sindhupalchok such as women rights advocacy groups, adolescent girls groups and home based women workers and girls groups. The groups are also operating saving and credit
- A total of 40 women leaders have been trained on leadership roles in disaster preparedness out of which, 24 are already actively involved
- A total of 397 women and 15 adolescent girls have been provided with knowledge on electoral systems
- 170 women have been provided with psychosocial first aid, counselling support and trauma assistance