March 5, 2015
Village of Yogyabhumi
Kishori Yadhav is the self help group facilitator
We arrived to colors, cooking and the playfulness of children. The women were making treats for Holi that is a dough filled with chickpeas, then fried in a skillet over open fire. We (the women) were invited to join them in cooking. The men sat around a talked for short time but quickly moved to observation, supervision and encouragement! Thankfully we have a great team and between the commentary of Allen and encouagement of Neil the whole meal preparation was delightful.
This village has goals and the unity to accomplish them. They are newly formed in 2013. Their facilitator, Kishori, has a story of hope. When he was diagnosed with leprosy, the community abandoned him. He and his wife were deeply in love but her friends and the community told her she must leave him or she would get leprosy. Their fear and misunderstanding of how leprosy really affects the body, were strong enough for her to listen and she left Kishori. He was devastated.
When Kishori sought treatment at Lalgadh Hospital they taught him self care. As the staff at Lalgadh learned of his situation, they went into the community and counseled them. His wife returned to Kishori with joy and today they work as a team. Their respect and love for each other is obvious.
The group at Yogyabhumi has two goals: education of the children and sanitation. It’s hard to imagine the situation in Nepal. Sanitation is an unknown practice. Even in those with money, many will not have a toilet (outhouse). The villages building toilets is a grassroots effort at sanitation that is actually leading everyone to improvement in sanitation.
While at Yogyabhumi the community leaders were invited to the meal which was filled by a community meeting with the organized group led by Kishori. We witnessed the conversation which centered around Edcuation and sanitation goals. It was a beatiful thing to watch unfold.
Self-help groups are a group recognized by the government. Youh have to apply for the recognition and specific organization must be met.
I met a young boy while in this village. He had been watching me write and had said “english”. When I handed him my journal he immediately wrote in beautiful English: “My name is Roshan Mandal”. He is delightful!!!