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VOICE Listens to Life Changes of People With Disabilities in Nepal after TVET
2023.06.22 2514

VOICE Team during Monitoring Field Visit of Graduated Trainees With Disabilities 

 


 People With Disabilities: Not Recipients, but Partners of Us 

Miral Welfare Foundation has started VOICE project in Kavre, Nepal since 2018, in partnership with Spinal Injury Sangh Nepal and with the the financial assistance of Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). VOICE center has been providing a holistic rehabilitation of PWDs through vocational training, counseling, and support their employment or self-employment. To witness the life changes of PWDs in Nepal after completing vocational training and returning to their own communities and learn from them, Miral Welfare Foundation has conducted its monitoring trip for a month in April, 2023 



 Miral Nepal & VOICE Give Ears to the Voices of PWDs 

Miral Nepal has strivted to listen both to the trainees who have been attending the vocational training in VOICE center at the moment and the graudated trainees, to witness and find out what changes they are going through and making, and to apply those feedbacks, lessons and experiences to the project. Thus, Miral Nepal has formed its team with Korean Headquarter person who is in charge of this proejct in Miral Welfare Foundation Headquarters, Korean Project Manager in Nepal, and local staffs such as local Project Manager, Field Officer and a Psychologist. Within a month-long visit of Korean Headquarter person, VOICE team has had two weeks of training and planning sessions, such as interview skills and FGD training sessions, and prepared for the best way to measure and find out the life changes in trainees with disabilities. The team conducted its monitoring trip for about 10 days to meet and interview 12 graduated trainess, their family members and neighbors by visiting 9 districts in 4 provinces, from Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal in the East and all the way to the Karnali province in the west. 

 


A Village of Trainee Visited during Monitoring Field Visit 



 Yukta Bahadur Lungeli, The One Family and Neighbors Can Run To

Trainees with Disabilities from VOICE whom the team visited through monitoring field visit has been experiencing many changes in their lives after they started working and making their own income. Even after they completed the vocational training and left the VOICE center, they have been creating their own life changes and impacts, not only in their lives but also in their communities. 


The first trainee, whom the team visited in Sindhuli district, Bagmati Province, was Mr. Yukta Bahadur Lungeli. He has completed Advanced Sewing training from VOICE center in 2021 and has been running his own business in his house. Mr. Lungeli has not only been working for his own business, but also been teaching his relatives about sewing skills he has. Now, Mr. Lungeli has become a trustworthy partner to his relatives that they can work together and help each other. Moreover, he has also become a reliable neighbor whom his neighbors without disabilities can run to and get help from.  



 Mr. Lungeli's House


                                                                                                                   VOICE Team Interviewing Mr. Lungeli 

 


“People in my village raise their cattles and goats. 

But before I got my vocational training from VOICE and started my own business,

I had to sell the goats and the other household stuffs in order to pay for my medicine. 
It has worsen our family situation and gave us more poverty. 

But now, I don't have to sell anything that I have. With the money I make by myself, I pay for my medicine and my children's shool. 

Even my neighbors come to me and ask for help now when they need financial help. 

So, now I'm not just receiving but helping my family and neighbors." 
- Yukta Bahadur Lungeli (Graduated Trainee from 2021 Advanced Sewing Course)  

 



Bishni Buda Magar, Hope of Women in Community 

Ms. Bishni Buda Magar was one of the graduated trainees the team visited. She was living in Kohalpur district, Lumbini province, running a clothing shop specifically branding and focusing on new-born baby products. Though there were other clothing shops around her shop, her business was successful by supplying new-born baby products to the local government and local hospitals. When her relatives saw her competent skills and confidence, they went all over to find hostpials where she can supply her products. She has become a hope to local women in her community and has raised awareness in her community about disability as a successful business owner even if she is a woman with disability.  



                                                                                                                            VOICE Team Interviewing Ms. Magar 



“My family didn't believe that I could do something. 

So even if I didn't have them, I kept going on and challenging by myself.

When they saw me carrying all the fabrics in wheelchair but still making clothes in quality, 

my family and relatives have come to believe me and support me, even if I'm a woman who has a disability. 

Now, I am a business owner who hires four women in my neighborhood. 
Women who were just under the care of their family members because of old age or lack of skills are now working with me. " 

- Bishni Buda Maga (Graduated Trainee from 2022 Basic Sewing Course)  




Lokman Oli,  A Role Model in Community

The graduated trainee whom the team visited to the farthest was Mr. Lokman Oli, in Salyan district, Karnali Province. After he graduated Employment Orientation training from VOICE center in 2022, he is not working as a computer teacher at the computer school run by the local government, specifically for people with disabilities and the youths in the community. Even though it takes more about an hour for him to walk with his cane to come to work at the computer school, he has now become a role model to his neighbors with or without disabilities and the youths in his community.  



  Ms. Oli, Working As A Computer Teacher  


Youths from the Community Learning from Mr. Oli and Practicing 



His neighbors who doubted his ability and pitied him come to have hope now that their children can have better futures by learning from him and using those skills. They have trust and expectation on him when they saw his ability and faithfulness for what he has been doing. Now, they are rather asking for expanding this computer school to their local government so that more people can join and learn. 



“My name is Damodar, who is running my own business in this community. 

This village is very far from Kathmandu and in remote area on the hillside, almost taking two days for us to get to Kathmandu by bus. 

So, even if I have a shop, it is not easy for me and for everyone in this town to have enough stuffs for us to live. 

When Mr. Oli first came back from VOICE center, I was not sure if I can trust his ability and if I should learn from him. 

But I decided to give a shot to learn computer skills from him, and now, I can use those skills to expand my business. 

Other businessmen and friends from my neighborhood also want to learn from him now, and I'm encouraging them to do so. 

Anyone in this town after seeing him working with his computer skill is now willing to do anything for him and his family

We trust him. We have expectation on him. And he is our role model that we can also do better and live better.

- Mr. Damodar (Mr. Lokman Oli's student from Computer School)  




Nothing is For Us, Without Us

Meanwhile, Miral Nepal also gave ears to the current trainees who have been attending vocational training from VOICE center at the moment, by conducting Focus Group Discussion for each gender group.  


In Nepal, women with disabillities experience more prejudices and discrimination from their family and community because of the combination of their gender and disability. Many women with disabilities can be asked to be divorced and they are not in the decision-making in their own family especially when they don't make their own income. Thus, Miral Nepal had time and was able to listen to the female trainees with disabilities and find out their difficulties and life changes through VOICE center speficially through Focus Group Discussion. 



                                                                                                                                 Femal Focus Group Discussion   



“My husband and mother-in-law were embarrassed of me going out side of home.

 So, even when I went to learn some skills nearby, they forced me to quit and come back. 

Even when I joined Basic Sewing training from VOICE in 2021, they also kept telling me to come back. 

But since I was fully dependent on my husband and family, especially financially, 

I could not even buy any treat for myself freely without asking permission.

Even if they allowed me to, I always felt I was doing something wrong to treat myself.

 

But during my Basic Sewing training in VOICE in 2021, VOICE center helped my husband to see me learning.

They pursuaded him and also helped me to speak up for myself. 

Eventually, my husband attended my closing ceremony and celebrated for me. 


Now, I speak up for myself to my family and to anyone with confidence. 

I make money after Basic Sewing and I'm even here again for Advanced Sewing for better skills.

I'm not only speak up for myself and treat myself, I speak up for other women with disabilities in my community. 

I know how difficult for women to live with disablities, and how our lives can be changed through VOICE. 

So, I will keep encouraging other women with disabilities to join VOICE and live their new lives.

- Tara K.C (Graduated trainee from Basic Sewing in 2021 and Advanced Sewing in 2023)  

  


Likewise, Miral Nepal did not only listen to the trainees with both genders, but also discussed about how VOICE center can include more women with disabiliites, or listen to more of feedbacks and opinions from trainees with disabilities. As a result, in May, VOICE center decided to install the anonymous suggestion box to collect feedbacks anytime from trainees with disabilities and to conduct one Focus Group Discussion session for each gender for each bath of trainees whenever new trainees join for training. Also, in June, VOICE center introduced the VOICE's Disability-Inclusive TVET Guideline, which was published in 2022, as in collaboration with CTEVT (Council of Technical Education and Vocational Training; Government body of Nepal), National Federation of Disabled Nepal, The Leprossy Mission - Nepal and other specialists. After introducing this guideline to the trainees with disabilities, VOICE team also listened to the feedbacks of trainees with disabilties about physical and emotional accessibility



 

FOR People With Disabilities, WITH People With Disabilities


Miral Nepal has been visiting trainees with disabilities, listening to them, learning from them, and trying their best to apply their voices to the project.   Through VOICE center, Miral Nepal is making life changes and social inclusion of people with disabilities in Nepal as in parnership with people with disabilities. Miral Nepal expects and work for the fully inclusive society of people with disabilities in Nepal. To that day, Miral Nepal will work in parnership with and in harmoney with people with disabilities.   







Written by Shinyoung Kim (Katherine Kim) 

Pictures by Miral Nepal (VOICE)