Empowering women in Nepal who have endured violence.
Samunnat Nepal is a homegrown, grassroots organisation based in Birtamod in eastern Nepal. Samunnat empowers women who have experienced violence and poverty. They provide legal representation, income generation training, counselling, accommodation and mentoring.
Samunnat means to flourish and this is the hope for the women who come for support.
Some women are introduced to polymer clay and learn the art of jewellery making from the more skilled artists. About 15 women enjoy working together in the colourful studio creating the beautiful jewellery. The sale of the jewellery funds Sammunat's programs.
Watch the video below to hear Sita talk about the changes in her life after coming to Sammunat.
How Samunnat's program works
Women come to Samunnat Nepal for help because they’ve heard about their work from other women or are referred by the police or a government organisations. Sometimes they have heard about Samunnat on the radio or read a newspaper article about women’s rights by Kopila Basnet, one of the founders. Samunnat responds to each woman’s individual needs so the nature and length of programs varies greatly. With experience they've discovered that one size fits all programs don't work. Some women face complicated legal situations and need support until their case has been resolved. Others want counselling and support until they can establish a safe home for themselves and their children. Sometimes Samunnat helps to resolve a family conflict or negotiates a solution that means a woman only needs their service for a short time.
Watch the video below to hear Rita talk about the changes in her life after coming to Sammunat.
Most women stay connected with Samunnat after their situation has improved- even if it only to visit and say Namaste when they are nearby! Some come back to help as mentors, board members or trainers.
Many women join the micro-finance Cooperative that Samunnat ladies have established. Some borrow a small amount from the Cooperative to get their business, such as vegetable stores or selling dairy products, going. Income from the sale of the jewellery has also helped women start a number of local initiatives: a tailor shop, pickle making, organic gardening and catering.
Project Didi Australia is committed to restoring hope, dignity and independence to women and girls in Nepal exposed to trafficking and abuse, through trauma-informed care, family strengthening and reintegration, education and pathways to employment.
Project Didi Australia is a partner for Project J1082N Futures of Dignity and Opportunity with Global Development Group (ABN 57 102 400 993). For more information please visit GDG projects: www.gdg.org.au.