Home » »Testimonial» » Pippa Hardingham

Pippa Hardingham

Pippa from UK participates in women Empowerment program at VIN

From 15/09/2016 to 10/11/2016

I came here to focus on women: ‘women’s empowerment!’ I proudly told my friends and family as I clicked my heels and boarded a plane for two months in Nepal. I was off to go and make some tangible contribution (rather than pointlessly pontificating behind a desk in London) towards a global future where women will, one day, be equal partners. That I’m writing this the day after Donald Trump has been named the President-elect of a global super power I hope, perhaps naively, will not set us back too much on that path.

The program offered by VIN promised me the chance to work with women to build income generation skills, give them the means to take loans, and make savings of their own to grow a little more independence from their husbands and confidence in themselves. And, crucially, set an example to their daughters that the lives their mothers have lead in a heavily patriarchal society, is not their only option too. We would also be conducting a research project to measure the impact VIN has had on a community they are about to leave (Jitphurphedi), and prepare proposals for improvement to a new program in a new community (Kabresthali).

These were my expectations. For various administrative reasons I won’t go into here, my reality was quite different, but has left no less of an indelible mark on me – it’s one I wouldn’t change in the slightest.

I spent much of my time here giving life skills classes to women in rural communities: assertive communication, stress management, domestic violence awareness, women’s rights, amongst others. These were some of the final classes to this community, and we then performed a survey of 25% of the 700 women who had been on the receiving end of VIN’s efforts for the last 7 or so years. It was amazing, and though it’s a cliché to say, humbling to meet and work with the women here, personally and emotionally quite challenging to prepare and give a week’s worth of workshops on domestic violence awareness and prevention, and highly insightful to carry out the impact survey.

For the purposes of brevity, the one final point I will make is this: whilst VIN’s efforts have been valuable, and they have made a positive impact on the lives of women in Jitphurphedi, my subjective opinion on the basis of my time here, combined with the objective analysis of the impact study, bring me to one conclusion: involve men. Educate men on these same issues. There is a finite amount of good and change you can bring about by telling women their rights, that domestic violence is wrong. My challenge to VIN is to create a program which actively brings men into the conversation, and focusses on educating boys too.

To future volunteers: you need to be proactive, passionate and bring an extra suitcase of initiative to work with VIN. The work they do in Nepal is indispensable, but relies heavily on skilled volunteers. On the current women’s empowerment program at least, you will have the opportunity to shape your time here and make a real and worthwhile contribution.

Recent News

CHILDREN SUMMER CAMP IN OKHALDHUNGA

At the first day camp started at 11 am. International volunteers arrived at Shree Himalaya Secondary School just before the...

July 22, 2018 Read More

More People in Kavresthali are found obese and Hypertensive

A Cardio Vascular Disease Prevention campaign conducted at Kavresthali by VIN volunteers has revealed that about 45% of people among...

July 20, 2018 Read More

Mushroom Farming Pilot Project Dadagaun

Could mushroom farming be the key to economic prosperity for the Jitpur Phedi community? VIN has been constantly searching for...

May 25, 2018 Read More
Local Dissemination Meeting of PHASE

Local Dissemination Meeting of PHASE

Volunteers Initiative Nepal (VIN) organized local dissemination meeting of PHASE on 11th March 2018. After the certification of hosting organization...

March 15, 2018 Read More

Re-construction of earthquake resistant home

In 2018 -through volunteers initiative Nepal under the re-construction of earth quake resistant homes set up in select municipalities or...

March 12, 2018 Read More
women participating in evaluation and plan formulation session

Evaluation on women’s Empowerment, Public health and medical care and Post disaster programs of 2017

The Evaluation program was organized in Kavresthali Secondary School on Monday, Jan 28, 2018 by Volunteers Initiative Nepal. Almost 60...

February 2, 2018 Read More

What our Volunteers have said

Testimonials

Muriele Haroutian

"Mon expérience a été une réelle expérience de richesse humaine. J’ai rencontré des femmes formidables et en premier, la responsable..."

Read More

Mayu Suzuki, Yujung Chuong, Georges Luu

"For me, working with VIN was my first volunteer experience abroad, and I am very glad that I was able..."

Read More

Lynne McLachlan

"You need to arrive at your placement with a basic understanding of what you hope to achieve during your time..."

Read More
Anne-Sophie Berrayah giving class on human trafficking during her volunteering period

Anne-Sophie Berrayah

"My experience with VIN is my first experience volunteering abroad. I really enjoyed working with the local team and teaching..."

Read More
Emma De Jong smiling

Emma De Jong

"I’ve had a really nice time working with VIN this month. We were received very well and the induction program..."

Read More
Volunteer writing on the board

Justine Gens

"It has been a life changing experience. I have found myself very comfortable in the adaptation with the local culture..."

Read More
Kristian Kusenda volunteers in Nepal with VIN in teaching program

Kristian Kusenda

"Teaching English in Drikung monastery was a great experience both in teaching and spiritual way. Definitely it’s one of the..."

Read More
Marjolein at Work

Marjolein Wesselo

"When I began my journey to Nepal, I knew I could expect some differences with the Netherlands. In the preparing..."

Read More