Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Women Gain Skills, Confidence in Vocational Program

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Women Gain Skills, Confidence in Vocational Program

Article excerpt

By UCA NEWS Kathmandu, Nepal

Women in Nepal say a six-month vocational skills program the Nazareth sisters run has given them confidence in a society that frowns on women working outside the home.

"It feels great to have gained confidence and learned new things I wouldn't have learned in my village," Deepa Bhusal told UCA News Aug. 24 after a graduation ceremony at Nav-Jyoti Women's Development Center in Baluwatar, Kathmandu.

"Nepal's male-dominated society doesn't allow women to do anything outside their homes. I am grateful to the nuns that I will now be able to stand on my own feet and also serve the other poor women in my village," the mother of two said.

Bhusal, who hails from Kapilvastu, and 17 other women made up the 15th group that completed the nuns' residential six-month Rural Women Animators program.

The Sisters of Charity of Nazareth started the program in 1994 to train women in community leadership, emergency first aid, group animation, vocational skills, and how to budget and save money

"So far 317 women from 52 districts in Nepal have completed training here and are working in their respective villages for the uplift of women," said Sr. Teresa Madassery, superior of the nuns who run the program in Baluwatar. Nepal has 75 districts in all.

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Madassery told UCA News Aug. 25 that the women who join the training are victims of various forms of discrimination and violence. Through the program they learn ways "to be serf-reliant while also becoming community workers. …

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