For the last three years, I have been working as a Social Mobilizer in Bhimapokhara Youth Club (BYC), for the One Community; One Family Project in Baglung, Nepal. I have witnessed first-hand, the positive impact that the work I have done has had on the communities with whom I have lived. I pride myself on being a true agent of change. I feel positive when I interact with people and share real-life experiences helping them in clarifying various gender-based violence issues (GBV), of which they are often unaware. These include referrals available within the district for GBV survivors, information about the different forms of violence, maintaining trust and confidentiality and so on. Moreover, I encouraged the community to take the initiative in bringing a positive change within themselves as well as in their family.
My role working as a Social Mobilizer for the One Community; One Family Project run by VSO Nepal and BYC Baglung, which forms part of the UKAID funded global initiative, What Works to Prevent Violence against Women and Girls has brought me much joy.
“I still recall those days where I used to hide behind others so that I wouldn’t be pointed out to share my opinions during any workshops. I felt nervous and experienced stage fright which made me hesitant to face even a moderate crowd”.
Participating in the project, I was afforded the opportunity to enhance my communication, leadership and writing skills. All these improvements are a result of the rigorous effort put in over a period of time, which has been wisely invested in training all the social mobilizers. And as a result, we are much better at implementing the interventions.
“As a result of being associated with the project, I have successfully addressed my stage-phobia and I no longer feel uncomfortable or nervous about expressing my opinions, as well as constructive arguments in any meetings or programs that I’m involved.”
After the successful completion of all the interventions, I am delighted to see young married women starting their selected Income Generating Activities (IGA) and committing to leading a dignified life.
“I have been able to witness harmony and mutual support among family members and often observed them strive and pave their paths towards commercialization of IGA, which can help women to be empowered economically in the future.”
Women’s independence and empowerment will undoubtedly uplift their status as well as deter domestic violence against women and girls in Nepal.
All of the insights have been shared by Jalimaya Thapa, working as a Social Mobilizer for One Community One Family Project in Bhimapokahra Youth Club ( BYC) Baglung. Neeta Gurung is acknowledged for translating Jalimaya’s story.