A friend of mine and I did a mural so heights can be measured. The mural is in the shape of a tree with nutritious food on the inside going up. The idea is to subtly communicate that eating a nutritious and balanced diet will help you grow. Stunting is a huge problem in Nepal. My height is considered normal here, but that is due to genetics rather than nutritional stunting. I am taller than my Nepali ama from PST (Pre-Service Training).
These next couple months I will be working on bringing Moringa to my area. Moringa is what is called a “miracle tree” because every part of the tree can be used and provides many nutrients. See the picture below for an idea of how great this is! I am going to coordinate three people in my community to attend a training on how to grow, benefits, and etc. Afterwards, those three people will be the ones to train the FCHVs (Female Community Health Volunteers) about it and pass on to their community.
Female community health volunteers are those who donate their time to be local resources for nutrition and health information/advice. They attend meetings at the Health Post once a month where they talk about what things came up, record new births/deaths, and etc. Sometimes those meetings will have an organization come or health post staff give them a training. FCHVs also lead mother’s group meetings, where women in each ward meet once a month to go over certain topics such as the training FCHVs recently received or different health/nutrition concerns mothers are having. For their service, they receive a uniform and a stipend of between $5-$10/month as well as a snack when attending the monthly meeting.
Many organizations in Nepal not only give trainings, but also give incentives for people to attend them such as money and a good snack. This is not something Peace Corps encourages because people will attend the trainings, but only to receive money and not to learn. The American concept of people paying to attend trainings is very foreign to Nepalis. Many volunteers have found it helpful to just tell Nepalis when we are organizing things to only come if they want to learn.
As I have begun to talk with health post staff about what I plan to organize, this is something that has come up - incentives for the FCHVs to attend. My plan is to have the training at their monthly meeting, which they already need to attend. Once I have more firm dates and details, I will communicate to all the FCHVs involved that the focus is going to be more on the training than receiving something for attending. Why have a training when it will not go beyond that one day? How beneficial is that?
Well, I need to close this blog post as my bahini and I are going to go wash clothes at the water tap. The unofficial blockade is still on, but some border sections are opening up. Don’t quote me on this, but I think it was 10% and now it is 30%. Nepal and China have come to an agreement about buying oil as well, but I have heard it is not much. Village life still continues as usual although without cooking gas. Hope you had a great new year celebration and this next year brings amazing things to y'all!