|Start Dates:||1st and 15th of each month|
|Language Requirements:||English (Basic Nepali is provided)|
|Food and Accommodation:||Nepali standard with host family in the working community, Jitpurphedi.|
|Key Activities:||teaching English, conducting workshops for the acquiring of skills, women’s literacy programs, income-generative activities, etc.|
|Beneficiaries:||Disadvantaged community members, with an emphasis on women.|
|Working Hours:||4 to 5 hours a day, 6 days a week|
|Required Qualifications and Skills:||No formal training required. The volunteer must be a woman over the age of 18 with a desire to improve the lot of rural Nepali women.|
Women’s Empowerment Overview
Women Empowerment Studies internships provide students with the opportunity for hands-on application of the research and theories they’ve studied in their classes. For an internship, students volunteer 15 hours per week for a term in a local organization whose work benefits women at VIN’s working communities. Some work as teaching assistants for Women empowerment classes. For many students, the internship is a path to a career. For others, it is an experience that helps them develop valuable skills that they are able to use in whatever work they choose.
Women and girls in Nepal are discriminated against both social and legal settings. Socially and traditionally, especially in remote rural areas, child labour (especially of girls), domestic abuse, and sexual exploitation are socially accepted norms. Additionally, girls are traditionally not educated and kept illiterate, increasing their financial dependency and keeping them unaware of their basic human rights. If you mention the discrimination to parents and neighbors, then they will say there’s not any since it is traditionally and culturally accepted and they don’t recognize it as such. A number of laws also discriminate against women’s citizenship, inheritance rights, divorce rights, and even by meting out minimal to no punishment against their physical or sexual abusers. The recent conflict has only added to the problem, causing many fathers and husbands (on whom women were dependent) to be killed or disappeared and making it more difficult for women to seek justice and enforcement of the few protections they do have under the law.
VIN is an organization of a group of professional people seeking to address the problems of women in Nepal by increasing public awareness of opportunities for economic and social self-development, income generation by fostering social responsibility and self-reliance in developing villages, and by empowering women to improve their lives and community. The issues surrounding women’s rights touch every area of society and skill from agriculture to health care to teaching, so VIN has developed a variety of social, educational, legal, and financial programs, and almost anyone can help in some way. Prior to placement, Volunteers Initiative Nepal providing language and culture training to its volunteers to maximize their potential to contribute and learn, arranges a home stay experience, and provides support for volunteers for the duration of their stay.
Roles of Volunteers
Any of the following volunteer activities may be done full time, or combined with another VIN volunteer:
- Teaching English to local youths and women: Volunteers will teach English to local women at VIN’s working site Jitpur. Groups and times for women’s classes are very flexible with the age group generally between 15 and 26.
- Skill training (sewing, weaving methods, tailoring, beautician training, paper making, retail shop running, animal-farming, toy-making, and other small business production training or marketing)
- Women’s literacy (now in operation with 150 women)
- Income Generative Activities (e.g. Vegetable farming, chicken farming, sawing and handicrafts)
- Micro Credit and saving groups
- Community health and sanitation
- Environmental development and education
- Willingness to work with the women of marginalized communities
- Respect on local culture
- Some sort of women’s strengthening skills and ideas
- Volunteers must be female
- Volunteers must be at least 18 years old
- Flexible on working hour and strategies