Through our women’s shelter, we provide women and girls in Simikot, Humla, a warm and safe place to sleep during Chhaupadi (when they have their period) or in case of domestic violence. This is the first and currently the only safe space for women affected by violence in the entire district of Humla (approx. 50’000 inhabitants).

Those staying at the shelter will be protected from physical, sexual and emotional offenses from male family members and from the dangers of Chhaupadi. In contrast, the women experience mutual support and an amicable, empowering and loving environment.

The shelter also serves as a venue for a range of capacity-building activities. Through the community they find at our shelter, women and girls are given a voice to speak out against physical, psychological and sexual torments.

Women’s groups

The goal of our women’s group is individual and collective empowerment by passing on practical knowledge in the economic, social, legal, and health sector. We create awareness about GBV and harmful traditions and offer information sessions on women’s rights, reproductive health. We even sew sanitary pads from old fabric. This way, the women can stay at home as their hygiene standard is maintained. In addition, our centre trains women to hold speeches in order to help the female community to voice their concerns.

Women gain confidence about their expertise regarind their livelihoods and environment and become peaceful but assertive activists who attempt to bring about change according to their interests.

Due to the education on human rights, community support, and the strength being built in each participant, these aspects plant seeds for ending all forms of violence and discrimination.

Women’s radio

Not all women and men are able to reach our centre and participate in our project hence knowledge has to be brought to them: there is no more sufficient way than the local radio station!

Every week, the women shelter’s visitors develop and implement under professional guidance a women’s program on the local radio station to spread the knowledge gained in the women’s group. Reports, documentaries, interviews, music, and comedy programs strengthen the learned content from our programs in the women who prepare the sessions to be broadcasted beyond the village Simikot.

Through the local radio station, the local communities are sensitized step by step about women-specific issues and for the first time, experience women as self-determined, independent individuals, who have a social network, and can act as an informed and confident part of the society.

Agricultural training

Our women cultivate a communal piece of land and learn necessary skills to run a variety of independent businesses.

10 women share together a field and a greenhouse. Here they learn to cultivate the soil efficiently and with sustainable ecological practices. The harvested vegetables can be taken home or be sold in order to generate income.

On our poultry farm, women are taught how to care for, feed, and breed chicken, as well as how to process the products gained from the business. With the assistance of an agriculturalist, the women are responsible for raising chicks. Finally, the participants profit from the eggs, meat and feathers gained from the poultry farm.

Through our training in traditional beekeeping, another income generating method was created. Our bee houses are handcrafted with modern and traditional methods. Women learn here everything about the keeping and breading of bees, as well as the harvesting and processing of honey.

Due to connections to business groups, it is possible to offer sustainable and ecological support to training participants. In order to provide a holistic, women are trained in basic business planning, bookkeeping, and saving options. The aim is to develop sustainable livelihoods.

Vocational trainings address issues of malnourishment and undernourishment in the society through regular incomes and awareness about the importance of a balanced diet. In addition, this allows for greater independence from imported products. Women earn for themselves for the first time, and therefore become less dependent on their husbands.

Men and awareness creation

In our sessions to spread awareness about women issues, we include men, shamans, and other leaders in the process to facilitate change in the whole community. We also offer consulting services and self-help groups for men. The emphasize in our men’s group lies on topics like domestic violence, alcohol and gambling addictions, GBV, frustration management and basic knowledge in areas such as economics or human rights. Discrimination caused by a patriarchal system can this way be addressed and social structures are critically discussed.

Through regular awareness campaigns, the entire population in Simikot is sensitized about GBV. The campaigns empathize on dangerous traditional practices like Chhaupadi, physical and sexual violence, and women’s rights in general.

The entire community is involved in the projects through participatory procedures and has the responsibility for monitoring ongoing projects. This approach leads to a greater acceptance of our projects and our goals. Only if all women as a community realize the advantages of potential progress and actively participate in the planning and the conduction of such projects, long-lasting change regarding the women and girls’ living conditions is achievable.