Women's Training Center was founded on August 20, 1995 in response to a
need for rehabilitation and basic life skills training among girl children
with learning difficulties, in particular those with Down's syndrome. The
organization was registered with Nepal's Social Welfare Council in April
1997 as a Non-Government Organization and is now a member of the National
Federation of the Disabled, Nepal.
The founder and chairperson of the organization is Mrs. Subarna Keshari Chitrakar, herself the mother of a girl with Down's Syndrome.
Sungava's origin was informal and cooperative, with mothers of girls with learning cliff difficulties getting together and deciding to meet from time to time to discuss mutual problems and the possibilities of establishing a training program for their daughters. From this informal beginning an active and unique organization has been created.
now conducts its training programs six days a week from 11 a.m. to 4 p.
m. at its Center in Jamal, Ward No. 1, Seto Durbar, Kathmandu. The
has two small rooms available to it and at present the training is attended,
by twelve girls and is supervised by seven of their mothers.
The training is run with the principles of rehabilitation in mind and has received a great deal of helpful advice from expert doctors, teachers and social workers in Nepal.
Below is an outline of the Center's general activities:
1. To provide education and skills to girls with learning difficulties so that they can, to the greatest degree possible, live independent lives and be more self-reliant in a family environment.
2. To provide means whereby the girls can earn some income of their own through production of handicrafts, art of garments so as to reduce their dependency on others.
3. To help prevent secondary disabilities from emerging by providing physical training and exercise for girls, teaching them how to take care of health and making basic health facilities available to them.
4. To create a friendly, safe and intimate environment for the girls and their mothers where they can feel loved and where the mothers can share their problems and ideas,
5. To foster back or greater confidence in the girls by introducing them to people with wide range of back ground and interest and by taking them into the outside world where they can conduct simple transactions and learn basic survival skills.
6. To increase an awareness and respect for the girls in the wider community by developing programs which openly acknowledge their equal humanity.
of the problems faced by girls with Down's syndrome and other learning disabilities
are similar the world over. There are also those peculiar to Nepal, South
Asia and the developing world problems.
Children with these disabilities are regarded by society as a blemish on family status, a punishment for there misdeeds in a previous life, an omen of bad luck and generally an object of shame for their parents. Such attitudes make the children, particularly girls, susceptible to exploitation, neglect and abuse. In many cases in Nepal a child with a mental disability has been locked away out of the sight and the situation with their property rights is a cause for concern. Because of neglect and because parents are often not motivated to seek medical advice, the probability of these children developing secondary disabilities is higher than it would be in Western countries.
At present there is barely any organizational structure n Nepal to give advice or support to the parents of children with learning disabilities even if the parents are initially enthusiastic about giving attention to their child. This area has been unduly neglected by the "development" powers and the needs of this group of people have been ignored by the government.
Statistics also show that girls are in a worse position than boys. Boys with mental disabilities are much more likely to be taken to medical facilities than girls and as a result many girls are abandoned to an early death from avoidable causes.
It is against this background that Sungava was founded to try and achieve the aims stated above, to change the attitude of Nepali people and to encourage the government to take active interest in this field.
The formal education program at the center begins at the most basic introductory level. The girls ate taught Nepali and English alphabets and basic neurmeracy skills according to their individual capacities. The aim is to enable them to get by in the outside world without continual assistance from being cheated in shops and other public places. This training is conducted by the mothers themselves.
2. Domestic Skills
3. Physical Activities
4. Creative Activities
5. Skill Development
6. Medical check-ups
from the learning domestic and other skills the mothers have noticed more
general progress in the girls after their coming to the Center.
One girl has dramatically improved her speech ability. Another girl, who previously was unwilling to part from her mother for even a minute, developed confidence to walk alone through crowded streets. Most of the girls have shown substantial physical improvement, with the lessening up of previously stiff arms and legs, due to exercise.
Overall the mothers have observed an increase in confidence and happiness among the girls and this in turn has improved the quality of life of the mothers.
Center sells cross-stitch work, New Year cards, various paper decoration
items, soft toys etc, produced by the girls undergoing training at this
The proceeds from the sales is used to cover the expenses incurred in operating this Center whenever necessary.
The rooms of the Training Center are provided by Mrs. Subarna Kehsari Chitrakar on her own property. However the two small rooms have grown small for the growing number of students in the institute. As the number of students increase more classrooms are required and also a need for transportation is in demand for which we are seeking funds. (Bank contact Nepal Bank Ltd., Bhotahity; S/a 362 75/69)
has the following plans to expand its activities in the future:
1. To provide large accommodation so that more girls can be admitted on the program.
2. To provide transport facilities so that girls can attend regularly and can come from farther away, (at the moment most of the girls are from the local area with one or two exceptions).
3. To establish a shop which can sell the things produced by the girls in order to help finance the Center and to put some money directly into the girls' pockets.
4. To invest in the training of the mothers so that the range of skills they can teach is greater.
5. To invest in some simple equipment/ machinery for the production of more complex products.
|Mrs. Subarna Keshari Chitrakar
Tara Kamal Tamrakar
Mrs. Binu Shrestha
Mrs. Ganesh Kumari Bajracharya
Mrs Pabitra Paudel
Mrs. Prem Kumari Shrestha
Mrs. Urmila Suwal
Jamal (Seto Durbar),
Ph: 226416, 225560