• Lou J

Meeting Susmita

Updated: Dec 19, 2021

It made my day when I had the opportunity to meet Susmita Kafle and help educate her. We have been educating our young sisters and mothers by giving them reusable sanitary pads for the last 5 years. We have already taken this awareness programme to different villages in remote areas of Nepal. We are focusing on more remote areas where they really need our support. This time we are not far from the city, its only about 80 km from Kathmandu. There is a big village with more than 650 households and all the women are using reusable sanitary pads from @letscleanupnepal foundation.

This time we needed to go Ranitar village, where we didn’t yet have an awareness programme for reusable sanitary pads. I called the community leader and arranged time to go there and have a 1 hour lesson with local women. I took several sanitary packs. The meeting was scheduled for 8am but many of the women were busy in the morning attending to their children, animals and household work so the meeting started a bit later at about 8.15am on the roadside. Lots of older women were interested to listen and learn new things at the meeting. I was so happy to see so many women attend and I shared some knowledge with them. I explained why its important to know we need to use reusable products and it is good for women’s health.

In villages many women normally don’t think too much about periods and their self care when they have their periods, but regret this later if they develop health problems. My aim is to see a healthy Nepal by acting now to bring about change and provide education. I have seen many problems in women’s health and that’s why I have been educating girls and women. When I gave the lesson in the village, everybody listened and were very interested. We talked about pollution as well as women’s health problems. I was so happy that a benefit of reusable sanitary pads is that women don’t have to throw pads in to the river or burn them as both are really bad for our health and the environment. The women were happy because they will able to reduce pollution by using reusable pads. When we finished the lesson, I started to give reusable pads to each and every one, and one women asked if she could please also have a pads pack for her daughter? I asked “Where is your daughter?” She replied to me that her daughter couldn’t attend this programme because she feels shy and nervous. Her Mum said she doesn’t want to talk about this issue with others and specifically in public. I wanted to give her the pads but I also wanted to see her daughter and ask why she doesn’t want to come to talk about it. I was curious to know more about her so I asked “May I go with you to see your daughter and talk?” The mother agreed and we started to walk to her house. On the way she explained to me that here all women separate their daughters while they have a periods for the first time. I was saddened to hear this information and I asked why this was so. She replied “Its our culture and we need to follow, but I didn’t separate my daughter from our house when she had her period.” I said “Wow, sister you have done a really good job. Thank you so much for doing this. We don’t have to follow such an unnecessary cultural system.” I gave her thanks again for the good job. She said “I don’t care what other people will say about my daughter but I will keept her safe and healthly in my home.” So It was nice to talk with her for few minutes and we soon arrived at her house where I met Susmita Kafle. I asked her why she didn’t want to come and listen to the talk about periods? She was quite shy because she just started menstruating a few months ago. She is just 10 years .She was shy because of her young age. After convincing her to come, we went together to join the group and talk for while about periods and she opened her mind and gave us a happy face. We were all focused on her and afterwards we all shared this happiness.

. . . Every step counts @letscleanupnepal . . .

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