One of the chosen projects for the 2015-2017 International President’s
Appeal – The Tharu Women’s Project – is already underway,
following a trip by President Midori Harajiri of SI Oita-Midori, Treasurer
Fujiko Abe, and Chair of the Tharu Women Supporting Committee of SI Oita-Midori, Yoko Ichigatani, which took place in December 2015.
This exciting project, proposed by SI Oita-Midori, Japan
Minami Region, will offer computer literacy classes to women and girls in
Tharu Village and twenty computers over the course of two
years. The education project also aims to train women and
teachers to be able to use the computers over the coming five years, with a
final goal of training 200 women.
During the trip to Nepal in December 2015, members of SI
Oita-Midori presented the very first computers to the women of Tharu Village and selected the first class for training.
The club visits this village every year however this special
visit, kick-starting the Appeal Project also gave the club the opportunity to
distribute relief supplies to victims of the earthquakes; offer donations to SI
Kathmandu, and to distribute Christmas presents to victims of girls slavery.
Prior to the visit, members were extremely busy getting very creative, making 100 flower pins (based on the flower
designed by International President Yvonne Simpson for the Appeal), to increase
public awareness of Educate to Lead: Nepal and the project itself. They also
made 300 bags decorated with the Soroptimist International emblem and
held a ‘Bazaar for Nepal’ raising the equivalent of USD10,000.
A diary of a visit by Yoko Ichigatani
“On 21 December we delivered relief supplies to ‘Camp Hope’
where 330 Sherpa people have lived since their village was utterly destroyed by
the earthquakes. We distributed 80 blankets, 330 instant noodles, snacks,
notebooks and pens for 75 children, together with winter clothing, ointments, sanitary
items and more.
On 22 December we got together with members of SI Kathmandu,
and visited girls in a temporary shelter near the centre of the earthquakes. SI
Kathmandu distributed mattresses, blankets and warm quilts and we distributed
towels, toothbrushes, mirrors, gloves, socks, neck warmers, books, notebooks,
pens, hand cream, lip cream, chocolate and candies.
SI Oita-Midori and SI Nagasaki invited SI Kathmandu to a Japanese
restaurant and offered donations from the Japanese clubs. SI Nagasaki and SI
Oita-Midori each donated 500,000 Japanese Yen. SI Takaoka and SI Soleil Tonami
also donated 50,000Yen each and SI Otsu donated 30,00Yen. We really enjoyed the
cultural exchange of Japan and Nepal.
On 24 December the computers presentation ceremony took place. We
bought five computers, inverters and a printer and presented them
to Tharu women. More than one hundred women attended the ceremony.
Midori explained about the SI President’s appeal and encouraged them.
them that almost 80,000 Soroptimists in the world are now supporting
the new project.
The representative of the Tharu women thanked us and gave us
the letter of appreciation. We are going to give them 20 computers by the end
of April and they will be starting the first class in January.
I (Yoko Ichigatani) interviewed 20 year old Ulmira Chowdary
who is all set to be the very first student in the project.
YI: What do you think
of the computer class?
UC: I am so excited.
YI: What do you want to do after you finish the computer
UC: I want to teach what I learned in computer class and
share information and knowledge.
YI: What is your
UK: I want to be a social worker.
YI: What do you do?
UC: I am attending dress making school, which was built by
25 December and Christmas presents were given for victims of
child slavery. We visited the dormitory in Baljanata High School, We brought
Christmas presents to 37 girls saved from child slavery. We met last winter and
they remembered me!
On December 26 SI Kathmandu invited us to a fancy restaurant
before we left to go back home. We enjoyed Newar dishes and a cultural show
together. They gave us beautiful souvenirs shaped in traditional window frames
as well as the letter of thanks for donations. It was wonderful to see what
they are doing for women and girls in Kathmandu as members of Soroptimist
International. We were very moved by their devotion and determination and it
was great honor to work with them”.
Keep an eye on the NEW Appeal Page on the Soroptimist
International website for upcoming project news, information and related
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