Duskut – Empowering the new generation with quality education.
Updated: Dec 19, 2021
By Raj Shrestha
We recently travelled to the Shree Bhimsen Secondary School in Duskut Sindhupalchok. The students there face many problems such as menstruation hygiene issues, poor oral hygiene, poor hand washing, lack of clean drinking water, sexual harassment in society, and limited education regarding girl & boy puberty etc. We were very happy to have a chance to visit the School and community.
As we know life can be hard in Nepal, but we usually take it as it comes, and deal with whatever we have to face. We know many of the rural communities of Nepal have similar problems to Duskut. We decided we would like to make a difference in this school and exchange some knowledge with the students, teachers and locals.
Women’s health –
We provided quality education about menstrual hygiene. In Duskut some girls and women used disposable pads, but this raised the problem about disposing of them (burning or throwing away). Other women used old pieces of clothing or other cotton material. In addition they don’t shower everyday during their period and only do so after 4 days. However we told them they need to shower or wash daily. We suggested that they change the pads every 2-3 hours and do not use the same pad more than 4 hours, otherwise they may develop an infection which can cause other problems later. We provided students at the school as well as village women kits containing reusable sanitary pads and many girls and women are now using these.
Reusable sanitary kits for the girls and women
Village women were happy to receive kits
More than 80% of young children in rural areas have problems in Nepal due to poor oral hygiene. They don’t know how to care for their teeth well. We provided an oral hygiene lesson, gave them all a toothbrush and toothpaste, taught them how to brush their teeth, what foods to avoid, and encouraged them to change their habits.
Oral hygiene education lesson
Everyone deserves access to safe drinking water and we have been spreading the message that clean, water is necessary for a healthy life.
Water filter for the school
Effective hand washing is something that is not taught or practiced much in Nepal. Poor hand hygiene can result in sickness and disease. We often don’t wash our hands before we eat something or touch something. We just eat, thinking that we are used to this way and that we will be fine because our Nepalese bodies can cope. We provided education about ensuring we wash our hands before eating and having clean hands when we touch our bodies so we can avoid certain infections and diseases.
Young children waiting for their hand washing lesson
Girls & boys puberty
We also discussed what girls and boys will experience during puberty. Over time their bodies will change and they need to respect themselves as well as respect each other. Where previously some men and boys may have looked at girls or women negatively, we want to change this mentality. We will also tell them to stop social violence such as acid attact, gang rape, fighting etc.
Puberty education booklets from Australia
Our society has faced some problems such as boys or men looking disrespectfully at girls and women and sometimes giving them unwanted attention. Boys also may have had someone give them unwanted attention. This is a problem in every corner of Nepal but these problems are often not discussed, and are hidden. We need to teach people that their voice is their strongest weapon and they need to speak up if they are being abused or treated inappropriately.
Our diets have changed over time and we are now eating more junk food and facing health problems, some of which mean we may die young. We often see young students eating dry noodles, candy, ice creams, lollipops, paani puri, chana chatpat, and biscuits instead of having home cooked foods. Parents have to be be careful what they are giving their children to eat. They should encourage healthy home cooked food with plenty of fruit and vegetables to keep their young bodies healthy.
Healthy fruit and vegetables
Also, we encourage exercise, healthy food, clean & healthy kitchen etc.
Our project at Shree Bhimsen Secondary School was successful and we have also learned things from the students and locals.
Thank you very much Louise (Find her on Instagram @loulou_hiker) for fundraising for this project to provide reusable sanitary pad kits, toothbrushes and toothpaste, and coming with us to Duskut to make this project fruitful. We hope we will keep working together in the near future.
Lets clean up Nepal team
Girl Power ❤️
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