500 Eco-Pads distributed in Nawalparasi
It’s always such a good feeling when a plan finally comes together!
Back in March, WONDERWorks (Shashakta Nari Nepal) and Nana Jungle Resort partnered to provide 500 reusable sanitary kits to schoolgirls in Nawalparasi. The aim was to ensure that firstly, the girls always had access to good quality hygiene products so that they could attend school regularly and secondly, that these products were eco-friendly, to protect the beautiful, natural environment the area has to offer. Everything was planned and in place but then ……the second wave of Covid-19 struck Nepal and we all went into lockdown again!
Finally, after five long months, schools reopened last week. Deciding to act fast and risk the monsoon weather, we loaded up the big bags of eco-pads, piled into the jeep and bounced our way towards Chitwan, trying to avoid the enormous potholes in the washed out roads. It was a long day but eight hours later, having reached the resort in one piece, we were enjoying a delicious Tharu dinner and observing life on the Narayani river from the Nana watch tower. It was beautiful, even in such wet weather – and so tranquil! We spent that night comfortably tucked up in one of the chalets, listening to heavy rain and strange jungle sounds.
The next day we distributed 500 sanitary kits (1,000 sets). 150 went to Shree Chandeshwari Secondary School and 350 sanitary kits to Shree Saraswati Secondary School. We took the opportunity to discuss the advantages of using eco-friendly pads rather than disposable ones and explained how to use and care for them. Although many of the girls seemed shy during the discussion, they were clearly pleased to receive the kits. A girl from each group expressed how useful they were and thanked Nana Jungle Resort and WONDERWorks for our efforts. While WONDERWorks provided the pads for the distribution, Nana Jungle Resort helped with liaison and logistics, generously covering the cost of transportation, as well as accommodation and meals for the three team members.
If we’re honest it’s not often that the WONDERWorks team get to enjoy much comfort on distributions but staying as a guest at the Nana Jungle Resort was definitely the exception. The resort is keen to do its part to protect the environment and committed to becoming completely eco-friendly, starting with eliminating plastic of any kind. Nana is also passionate about supporting the local Tharu community and in 2019 introduced WONDERWorks to a women’s group, interested in making the pads. This culminated in four volunteers attending a week long, residential sanitary pad making workshop at our Support Centre in Kathmandu, who were then tasked with teaching the new skill to the rest of their group back in Nawalparasi.
On the second evening, just as we were finishing our meal, we heard the distinct sound of munching coming from the nearby vegetable garden. We shone a torch into the darkness from the safety of the dining room and were taken aback to see a massive rhino, just twenty metres away, indignantly staring back at us! He stayed long enough to finish off the okra plants he’d been savouring and then sauntered off back into the undergrowth to digest his meal in privacy. What a precious souvenir he’d given us to take home the next day!
Nana Jungle Resort – thank you so much for all your help with the distribution and for taking care of the wonderful surroundings you’re blessed with.