Each year the foundation receives requests for help from various causes. These are emailed to the project team throughout the year. The foundation team reduce these requests down to 3 options for donors to vote on, based on the funds available, and the potential impact each project shows.
Only one project will receive support each year. It's up to the donors to place their votes and make that project possible. The option with the most vote will receive the support.
ALL THE DETAILS for each project option can be found in the 'Donor Voting' pack below.
1. Nepali Sanitary Products [Nepal]
2. Mental Health Therapy [UK]
3. Malaria Prevention Malawi [Malawi]
YOUR 2022 WINNER IS:
NEPALI SANITARY PRODUCTS
[aka PROJECT CHHORI]
Votes = 71%
10% of girls in Nepal drop out of school upon reaching menstruation age. This high number is largely attributed to the taboo nature of the topic in Nepali communities meaning that girls experience shame, fear, confusion and bullying. As well as these attitudes, girls also find that there is a distinct lack of appropriate facilities in their schools for this time in their lives: they lack clean water, soap, sanitary products and the ability to dispose of these products. Each one of the challenges listed here are one more barrier, one more hurdle each girl must overcome in her journey towards graduation.
The knock-on impact of not finishing school is far-reaching: from vulnerability to human trafficking, to early marriage and limited social mobility. But there is a solution…
Project Chhori (through Childreach Nepal) invests in a simple sanitary pad making machine – operated by local mothers’ groups to generate income – and make the right products both accessible and affordable. Alongside these practical solutions is full awareness training for all students regardless of gender. Each pad chips away at the barriers faced by each girl.
Who will the project help?
The power of the project is truly seen in the reduction of school drop-outs and absenteeism. Keeping girls in school is fundamental to the goal of empowering Nepali women and adolescent girls to be independent and self-determined, with the voice to claim their own rights.
This project will support the construction of female friendly toilets in 3 schools in the Sindhupalchowk region. There will also be workshops to 150 mother groups teaching such things as the usage of the menstrual hygiene toolkit (reaching around 2000 mothers), And there will be 3 separate training programmes across Nepal educating girls on practising good menstrual hygiene and woman's reproductive rights. It is estimated that 8500 students will complete the awareness programmes with an impressive c16,000 women who will now have easily accessible sanitary pads, sold affordably in local stores thanks to this project.
How will the project be delivered?
The project has been created by Childreach Nepal – a grassroots organisation based in Kathmandu and working across the entire Sindupalchowk region. The projects will focus on this one region where the team have existing, powerful relationships with the schools and communities. These relationships are exactly what is needed to ensure a smooth roll-out of the project and, therefore, a highly effective use of your donations. Childreach Nepal will be investing these funds diligently to ensure the longevity of the project. As the machines are income generating, the project is highly sustainable and replicable across the region.
What are the extra benefits of the project?
We selected Project Chhori largely due to the innovative way in which this project can impact the entire community. The methodology is income generative and therefore will empower mothers within each village through full-time employment as they create the sanitary pads, educate on importance and usage, then sell these affordable pads in shops across each community. Furthermore, the project does not stop at supporting women and girls – it is crucial that the men and boys are educated to understand menstruation and the pad-making process through peer-to-peer learning.
PROJECT LIVE UPDATES
We have committed to transparently sharing the story of donors funds from voting process, to transfer, to regulations, to implementation, failings and successes. The process of development is not linear, but each step is powerful, and important.
We will update you every chance we get and bring you into the process that goes on both here with our 196 team, but also from Nepal with the Project Chhori team.
Towards the end of May 2022, the votes were counted and Project Chhori was crowned the winner. Then came the paperwork. June was a month of admin. Childreach, The 196 Foundation, Giving Works, and countless volunteers from Nepal and the UK worked to ignite the project. In truth most of June and many months following were spent juggling various guidelines, documents and setting up the team. Communications between Nepal and the UK was difficult and slow, but sure enough mobilisation began.
In an exciting development, we were approached by a private foundation who loved our model and wanted to match-fund all donations. This meant we were able to double our grant to Project Chhori, and grow our impact substantially. We paused the sending of the grant to be able to send both our donors contributions, and the matched funding in one fell swoop. The added bonus - less lost in bank fees and exchange rates.
The funds arrived in Nepal at the end of November. For those who have never worked in development, and in particularly, Nepal there are now a number of steps to process. This is a country which is proudly independent (over the entire history of the nation, they’ve never been anything else), but with a deep need for the work of NGOs. The result is a strong, rigorous and, at times, frustrating level of regulations around the receipt of foreign grants. This is the process we began in December as, until the funds are authorised for use by the government, they are held in escrow.
With all documents signed, planning began. Project Chhori had begun before the pandemic with the first sanitary pad machine imported from India. The communities where the pilot would run had been identified but there was an unexpected setback: when placed at altitude the machine was not working as intended, and the sealing was not working properly, meaning the pads were ill-fitting. The good news as that the pilot had proven to be well-received and adopted in the community - they just needed a better-suited machine.
The team decided this was an opportunity to transition to a more powerful model. They connected with the engineering university in Kathmandu to begin making a Nepali version. This could be created to circumnavigate the problem, as well as empty Nepali engineers thus keeping funding in the country, and the machine production costs would be much lower with out the shipping and taxes found in the import process.
This halted the moment the pandemic hit. Now, with the 196 Foundation funding secured, the team kickstarted this process. This was two-fold: thee engineering of the machine, as well as the identification of a new community
We are excited to announce that the new community has been identified alongside the partners in this area that specialise in tackling period poverty, and raising awareness to tackle the challenges of the ‘period taboo’ that is particular prevalent in the region. Our first 196 Foundation Project and the re-start of Project Chhori will be in:
The new and improved machine, along with the project, is set to be implemented in Tilottama Municipality, Nepal. The project's primary objective remains to promote menstrual health and hygiene for women and girls while addressing the social stigma attached to menstruation. In addition to this, the project aims to generate employment opportunities and boost the local economy by establishing a cottage industry for sanitary pad production. By implementing the project in a new district, Project Chhori can expand its reach and impact, further empowering women and girls and promoting sustainable development in the region.
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