The tip of the iceberg
One of the main laws in the field of cooperation and development is to promote independence, train future leaders so that they, autonomously, can become drivers of change; a change adapted to the local culture, so that each one of the advances made is maintained.
Anyone who knows the rural reality of a country like Nepal will understand what I am talking about. Although in many areas it may seem that Nepal is leaving behind the surname of “underdeveloped” country to acquire the new one of “developing”, nothing is further from the situation of a country where 80% of its population lives in rural areas, where most of these are classified as “remote” given their precarious infrastructures that distance them from the rest of civilization. Thus, it is common to visit villages where there is no electricity, water or a road (or dirt road) that connects them with the rest of civilization.
Beyond that, there is also a cultural component, which added to the lack of proactivity and leadership on the part of the main responsible parties, condemns the majority of the population to a context of poverty (in economic terms) and precariousness (in the field of health and hygiene).
Why is it so difficult to turn this dynamic around?
The problem, the way I see it, is that the ball has become too big, and what might at first be something easy to deal with has become an issue whose root has become part of the culture of local members. But, I insist, a large part of the problem lies in the lack of leadership.
From Bahadur Social Project we put our focus on empowering these members, from their earliest age. In training leaders, who not only think, but act, who have enough strength to claim what is theirs, raise their voice and defend their fundamental rights; like a decent school, electricity, running water or communications to be able to trade the products.
How do we intend to develop communities if there is no connection to the market so that they can sell their tomatoes, for example?
That is the key of our programs, where we work at a leisurely pace, but settling each step we take. The first one that we have proposed is to establish the figure of captains in the school, so that they take responsibility for their progress and, from a very young age, acquire responsibilities that encourage them to think and, in turn, break the taboo that a woman cannot claim their rights just like a man.
Here we introduce you to Rupesh, Bashanti, Meg, Unisha, Rabina and Rakesh Chepang, those in charge of defending the rights of the 100 students of the Shree Thumka Primary School, in Bhumlichowk.
Very soon, it will be the turn of the adults who, acting as an example to follow, will receive an empowerment workshop to represent their communities in front of the local government.