Creating Sustainable Change
Revisiting our villages after five years. Words by Angela Devlen.
When we were in Chamrangbesi 5 years ago, this home was smaller, had dirt floors and they cooked over open fire. It was like time had stopped in this village a couple hundred years ago. Nonetheless, Gagan Bahadur (in the photo below with our partner, Sabita) and his family opened their home to us, giving us food to eat and a place to sleep.
Today, the home has expanded, no longer has dirt floors, has electricity, access to clean water and the entire family is part of our projects across the community and beyond. They participate in our eco-agriculture program growing acres of organic produce, his daughter Deena leads our eco-sanitary training program, and their prosperity is shared with the communities around them.
In these photos at Gagan's home are dozens of women who lost so, so much following the earthquake - loved ones, homes and what little they possess. Mari Partyka led a fundraiser to provide each of them with a new dress they desperately needed. Julie, Theresa, Hillary and I were honored to distribute these dresses in person.
It is important to note, though our work focuses on the needs of women and girls, to create real change regarding gender equality, partnership among the community, and eliminate myths and taboos, we must also engage men + boys in our work. Gagan is one such example of the positive change this engagement can create.