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Saturday, February 13, 2010

introducing Karunamati and the Green Tara Trust

Today’s ‘FWBO People’ profile is of Karunamati, a UK Order Member and medical doctor, who’s worked for many years in Nepal, as founder and director of the Green Tara Trust.

Here’s what she says about her work -

“I have been working in Nepal for 15 years now and it is my second home. Nepal is a vibrant country where the people are very welcoming. The terrain is very tough, with poor communication routes due to the Himalayas; most people to the north of Kathmandu are nowhere near a motorable road so access is on foot.

“There has been a civil war in Nepal for a few years now; although there is now an “elected” government (the Maoists) the law and order is still poor. As a tourist it is fine to visit but for us on the ground, our work is hard due to fuel strikes and road blocks. This can hold us up considerably but we work around this, sometimes by working at night! The war has also seen huge internal migration, with a ten- fold increase in sexually transmitted infections, an increase in sexual violence towards women and the destruction of health facilities.

“Our charity works in the field trying to improve lives of the poorest people through direct action. However, in order to be more effective we also work at national level with the Government. For example, we are assisting them in re-writing the national curriculum for all Nepali health staff in preventative health measures and health communication as they currently have none. Our techniques and experience in the field inform this process. In this way we are able to improve many more lives through the health system.

1. Preventing maternal and child deaths through health promotion. Specifically we:
* Work in groups to ENCOURAGE POSITIVE BEHAVIOURS: particularly with husbands and mother in laws who control women’s access to good nutrition and medical care.
* BUILD CAPACITY in the community, particularly women’s ability to save money for their delivery, make choices and help them have a voice in society.
* IMPROVE THE MEDICAL CARE THAT IS ALREADY AVAILABLE so Government workers can deliver a World Health Organisation standard antenatal appointment.
We are into the second year of the programme now; we have many active groups and over 50 project volunteers.

2. National Lesbian Society- Mitini Nepal
We work with Mitini to provide education, counselling, support and direct legal action where human right violations have occurred as a result of discrimination. The photos shows Mitini supporters at a peaceful demonstration in Kathmandu.

“The Green Tara Trust has a new website at

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