Week 2. Finally here I am again

April 11, 2017

Time has been flying by so quickly. It has been already a month in Nepal and feels like I am one of the busiest person ever in my life. Every single day I realized that time really matters. It has been always challenging to find a right time to share my experiences because I have been experiencing lots of different things together at the same time. I guess you already started to think what i am actually doing. So lets talk about my work on second week.
Before I share my experiences I would like to introduce bit more about the activities of SETU Nepal.
With support of the Organization Non-Governmental pour le Development and Fédération Nationale des Eclarieurs et Eclaireusers du Luxembourg (“ONGD-FNEL”), SETU Nepal currently runs the following programs:
Education and Livelihood training programs for mothers with HIV
“Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime”
By teaching women with life skills, SETU Nepal render them independent and self-sufficient. SETU Nepal conducted livelihood training for mothers with HIV where 420 are benefited till the date. The objective of the training was to empower mothers and women living with HIV to boost their self-esteem, increase their self-awareness regarding their rights and responsibilities, educate them on the significance of nutrition, hygiene and meditation and to provide them with financial support in the form of seed money and income generating skills.( I will elaborate more on my next blog )
Education programs for children
SETU Nepal is continuing to provide support for education to children infected and affected by HIV. In the 2016/2017 academic year, SETU Nepal is providing support to a total of 100 children across Nepal. Of the 100 children sponsored for 2016/2017, 59 have received continuing support from 2015/2016 based on good academic performance. The remainder of this number are first time recipients of academic support
Provision of temporary shelter in Aarati House, SETU Nepal’s transit home
As I promised in my first blog I want to elaborate bit more about Aarati Home of Setu Nepal. It is also called a Transit home which was started from 2014 aimed to provide temporary housing to mothers and children living with HIV.  In order to give the women and their children an education, Aarati home provide them with a safe learning and social environment to address their social, mental together with physical health needs. Moreover it also act like a pool to rescue the HIV positive mother and children from their vulnerable health condition.  Currently five children and one mother are staying in the Aarati Home. Besides one girl named Laxmi all other are HIV positive.
Aarati Home incorporate developmental activities into the children’s routines, such as counselling sessions, art therapy, day trips to increase the children’s cultural awareness and the celebration of cultural holidays within the home.
Nutrition programs for primary level student in government schools.
Currently SETU Nepal provide the day meal program in two government school of Lalitpur district and in the process of proposal submitting for 15 more government school.

Now the question is, where do I fit in this all?
The day I started my work as an Intern in SETU Nepal I realized that I am at right place to explore myself. Before my arrival in SETU Nepal, I had agreed with following Learning objectives which could always go beyond than these:
·  To understand the activities of residential program i.e. Transit Home by involving in its daily activities such as diet planning, nutrition education to mothers and children.
·  To involve in day meal program in government schools by organizing nutrition program for children in schools as well as supervision of the program.
·  To participate in Livelihood training for mothers.
I must admit that I got an opportunity to explore more than these objectives. On the very first week I discussed with my supervisor about the kids staying in Aarati home and their current state of health and how could I involve them in nutrition classes. I shared the concept of school gardening in the school named Lalitpur Madhyamik Vidhyalaya (LMV)  where our five kids are studying by which I could involve them in nutrition classes together with extra curricular activities.  And then luckily on the second week , Me and my colleague Gita (Nutrition Officer )  got a chance to have a meeting with the School principal regarding the concept of school gardening. The core objectives of school gardening is to encourage the kids to  have a healthy eating habits through the concept of school gardening and to educate the school children in identifying different types of plants and the food source and their uses including growing them in a school garden. The response from the principal was much more welcoming and supportive. We agreed to start a pilot project in the grade 3 where our eldest kid name Binita  from Aarati home is studying. So, I did the short introduction class about nutrition and school gardening on the  week second with 3rd grade children on 17 the February.

After the introduction class , We did school gardening at the end of the week. The shocking part is that the school does not have garden at all. Due to limited space availability we could not do it in real garden . Therefore we agreed to plan in Fisbox. We planted a seasonal vegetables which are currently available here in Lalitpur like cabbage, carrot, cucumber, peas, garlic and onion plants, bitter gourd, squash, tomatoes, coriander, Chinese Okra. 

Children are much more excited to participate because they have not had such          activities before in school.

I must that the  concept was much more fruitful because this is completely the new way a teaching the children in school here in Nepal where it understood that the school is only the place to have a theoretical knowledge. This is how i spend my second week.