Rotary Passport Melbourne and Rotary Club of Kathmandu together in partnership with The Rotary Foundation recently completed construction of gender specific toilets at Shree Sunali Public School in Lumbini Province, Nepal. The positive outcomes was the result of a District 9800 Grant: International and RAWCS.
Nepal is a hotspot for human traffickers who take advantage of the those living in poverty and living remotely in rugged, isolated terrain.
In March 2020, Rotary Passport Melbourne hosted a Nepali Carnival for over 120 guests including many from the local Nepalese community, along with the Nepalese Consul. As a result, many are now more aware of Rotary as an organisation and our ability to assist in Nepal. This project was also written about in Nepalese publications, sharing the great outcome of the project on the ground.
Anti-trafficking was a theme at the fundraiser, with education an important focus towards stopping trafficking. Fully functioning WASH facilities are important to achieving this, so students can attend school having the basic need of WASH facilities in place.
As Rotarians we understand that good sanitation and education can assist communities rise out of poverty. Our project goals included enabling young Nepalis to remain in school, continue their education and avoid situations that may result in them being sold as a commodity.
The 26 female students and teachers at Shree Sunali Public School can finally enjoy functioning facilities as well as now implement safe hygiene practices. Good menstrual health and academic achievements are linked to the standard of WASH amenities available for girls.
On reaching puberty, many girls drop out of school due to discomfort and embarrassment when there are no safe, private, and clean toilets, especially as they begin their menstruation. We look forward to an increase in the school retention rate for these girls.
This WASH project was a true partnership as all stakeholders worked closely together with Rotary Passport Melbourne as the sponsor club and Rotary Club of Kathmandu as host club.
The Rotary Club of Kathmandu’s proposal, supported by a comprehensive needs analysis was assessed by the RPM International team. As a result, a partnership was formed between the two clubs. In line with Rotary Best Practice, our Care for Nepal RAWCS Account transferred funds to the Rotary Club of Kathmandu.
Due to the strong relationship between RPM and the Rotary Club of Kathmandu, Rotary Passport Melbourne was successful in an application for a Rotary Foundation District International Grant. We are especially grateful for the role played by our colleagues in Kathmandu. The in-country project manager, Raj Gautam is a very active Rotarian at the Rotary Club of Kathmandu as well as the International Service Director of the Rotary Club of Kathmandu. Raj has a reputation for his experience and professional approach to project work.
With support from the Rotary Foundation, we were able to change the lives of a rural community in Nepal. How wonderful it was to “Imagine Rotary” could take action and make this successful project happen.
Sudeep Maskey
Maria Hicks OAM