GoPhil staff and community members recently returned from
GoPhilanthropic Travel’s impactful Journey to Nepal,
where we were able to ‘Listen & Learn’ from several GoPhil partner organizations.
These Nepal partners serve highly remote and marginalized populations, providing much-needed access to healthcare services, conducting trafficking rescues, providing survivors with rehabilitation and reintegration support, and helping those at-risk achieve economic empowerment. Nepal has a large number of NGOs, but few are as deeply embedded in and respected by the community as these three partners: PHASE Nepal, SASANE, and Child Rescue Nepal.
We thought you would be interested to hear more about the exciting work happening on the ground in Nepal – work that your partnership and investment in GoPhilanthropic continue to help grow and enhance.
PHASE is our newest partner in Nepal, having received their first grant from GoPhil in 2018, so we were very eager to visit again and get to know their team and programs on a deeper level.
This year, the GoPhil community provided support for key staff to run health programs in the Far West of Nepal, in some of the most remote and isolated villages in the country. These communities are difficult to reach, some taking 7 days of travel by foot from the nearest road, and therefore have extremely limited access to healthcare services. Logistically, we were unable to visit these areas in person, but were fortunate to meet with some of the PHASE team who previously worked in the Far West area. They spoke passionately about the importance and challenges of providing healthcare in areas with little to no access to basic treatment.
In contrast with most other NGOs in Nepal, PHASE nurses actually live in the rural communities where they work – so they develop strong, trusted connections with community members and a deep understanding of their needs. Thanks to a larger team of skilled staff, PHASE is now working in 19 of these highly remote communities, providing life-saving services and resources each and every day.
GoPhil travelers also had the opportunity to learn about some of PHASE’s urban work and visited one of their three clinics providing healthcare and hygiene outreach to people who work nearby as waste-pickers. The majority of these waste-pickers are migrants from India, many of them children, and the hazardous work places them at high-risk of injury and skin disease.
One of the aspects we most appreciate about PHASE’s work is their approach to long-term sustainability: once a health post has been established in a new village and is running effectively, they then start the process of handing this over to the government health teams to continue, while still monitoring the quality of care.
The GoPhil community has supported SASANE’s Mountain Village Education Program since 2015, which provides education and awareness-raising to prevent trafficking in some of the most remote mountain villages of the Nuwakot district.
Due to the success of these efforts, the numbers of teenage girls and young women found living in these villages is increasing, as they are no longer being trafficked away from their communities. Over the years, the SASANE team learned that providing new economic opportunities to girls is another key way to prevent trafficking. So this year, GoPhil support has focused on training young women to become teachers, providing them with not only economic empowerment, but the chance to share their skills and knowledge with their own communities.
GoPhil travelers had a wonderful visit to SASANE’s new office in Kathmandu, spending time catching up with their hugely inspiring founder Shyam and the rest of the team. The GoPhil group also participated in their incredible momo-making program, run by women survivors of trafficking. SASANE’s plans for the future are ambitious and exciting; they plan to open restaurants in Kathmandu and Pokhara as well as start English-medium schools for children in Nuwakot. These expansions would support their mission and provide more direct employment opportunities for survivors and young women from the rural villages.
Child Rescue Nepal (CRN)
Spending time with the team at CRN is always so powerful! The small but dynamic team of social workers are doing some truly courageous work: rescuing children who have been trafficked into forced labor and caring for them while they carry out the complicated processes of rehabilitation and reintegration.
The GoPhil group visited the CRN transit home which has been supported by many members of our community. Rescued children typically spend around 6 months at the transit home, while the CRN social workers trace their families and work to ensure their safe return home. While at the center, we met 6 boys who had been rescued from hazardous child labor and were in the process of being reunited with their families. The CRN staff facilitated an emotional activity, where the boys drew a large heart on pieces of paper – inside the heart they wrote all the the things they love (their mothers, their family, their homes, the center) and outside the heart they wrote all the things they didn’t like (smoking, drinking, violence of any kind). This activity was a creative way to encourage the boys to socialize, share their feelings and communicate their interests and aspirations.
GoPhil is so proud to be able to support this transit home, which is an essential piece of the complicated puzzle of trafficking rescues, providing children with a safe space to heal and move forward with their lives.
Thank you for your interest in our amazing Nepal partners. With the GoPhil community’s support, they continue to come up with innovative solutions to solve complex challenges and meet the needs of their communities.