Empowering Girls in Nepal
President Helen hosted a fabulous curry evening to raise funds for the new Soroptimists International Great Britain and Northern Ireland International Federation charity – ChoraChori, empowering girls in Nepal. Visit the Empowering Girls in Nepal website for more information.
We all brought a contribution of delicious curry or accompaniments to share and made a donation to the charity. We raised £160, and members are enthusiastic to continue support to this cause. The Founder of the Charity, Philip Holmes, came to our dinner meeting on 28th January to talk to us about the charity and other ways we can help – here is an account by one of our members:
Blog from Dorothea Ross-Simpson
On 28 January, our club welcomed Philip Holmes, the founder of ChoraChori to tell us about the work of the charity and what the Soroptimist support for some key projects the charity is working on can help achieve for girls and young women in Nepal over the coming three years. ChoraChori was chosen as the SIGBI Federation charity for 2019-2022 and our club had already started fundraising for ChoraChori at the end of last year, after hearing Philip speak at the SIGBI Annual Conference in Bournemouth. ChoraChori’s vision is to be at the forefront of a national and international network that confronts violence against Nepalese children and addresses its consequences.
UK registered charity ChoraChori (the Nepali word for ‘children’) is leading the fight in Nepal, one of the world’s poorest countries, against rape and the stigma attached to rape. Sadly, reported cases of rape have quadrupled in the last ten years. But ChoraChori supports traumatised survivors and their families and brings rapists to justice. To this end, they have recently successfully raised funds to create a residential facility in Nepal for girls who have been raped, to educate and train them to enable them to return to society. Philip explained how ChoraChori in UK raises the funds and provides the expertise needed to allow ChoraChori-Nepal to operate as a self-sufficient social welfare organisation. UK administrative costs are kept to an absolute minimum and the Nepal operation has a small core staff at its Head Office in Kathmandu, supporting its amazing and courageous field staff, child rescue teams and its refuge/ rehabilitation operation.
Philip’s presentation was at times funny, and at times very affecting and sobering. Hearing his background information about Nepalese society and the particular challenges there to the wellbeing and safety of women and girls was distressing. But ChoraChori has been working tirelessly, with a group of dedicated and inspirational staff, to rescue, rehabilitate, reintegrate and empower young girls who have been victims of rape, trafficking or abuse. Some of the life stories which Philip shared with us were testament to the transformational and life changing long term effects of the work carried out by the charity’s staff and volunteers.
Club members and visitor alike were struck by Philip’s story, the scale of the challenges faced by young girls and women in Nepal and by the wonderful work undertaken by ChoraChori. There were many questions and a lively discussion among members but most of all, we all wanted to know what more we could do to support the work of the charity. Fundraising is the obvious way and in her vote of thanks, the club officer thanked Philip for his relentless work to help Nepalese children and pledged support from the club because the presentation made clear once again how strongly the aims of the charity resonates with what our own club stands for.
Because of the interest in the work carried out by ChoraChori, our meeting was extremely well attended with several visitors from sister clubs in the region who were also keen to find out more about this charity. Members gave generously to the raffle on the night. In ChoriChora terms, each £100 raised means school tuition fees for one girl for one year, or materials for one month for the tailoring course, or medicine for high risk illnesses for one week for one girl. So well done to all clubs represented on the night!