Dorothy Khan (Nepal)

Dorothy Khan received her MS in Global Affairs from New York University, graduating with a concentration in Human Rights and International Law. She conducted field research on both registered and unregistered Rohingya women in the refugee camps of Bangladesh. During the summer of 2015, she traveled to Iraq to implement a self-designed project, aimed at empowering youth in the Duhok region of Iraq to become local community peace builders. In addition, she previously worked with urban refugees in South Africa, aiding them in navigating through difficult legal issues as they formally applied for refugee status. Her experience over the years in refugee rights, women's empowerment and human rights has imbued her with substantial experience working with disadvantaged populations throughout the world. Dorothy is also a recipient of a MA degree in Public Policy and and BA degree in Political Science from Stony Brook University. After her fellowship, Dorothy wrote: "Working with students in rural Nepal really changed me as a person and my outlook in life. Not only was this fellowship the most challenging experience I have ever had but it was rewarding and powerful, and I would do it again."



America? Where?

11 Jul
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Crooked and slanted rocky road in Lakuri, Nepal. Tons of climbing is required to go anywhere.

You know you are in a really remote place in the mountains when you are asked where America is located. There were blank faces when I spoke English and told people I was from America while monitoring a workshop in Lakuri, Nepal. Lakuri is a very rural village in Nepal and the only way to get there is by hiking, climbing, crawling, walking, slipping and falling on non-existing paths for 7 hours to finally reach the top of the mountain. I thought walking up the near vertical inclines was hard, but coming down really damaged my knee. At the end, 7 hours of walking was worth everything when I finally saw the serene view of the place from the top. It was so peaceful and natural that it felt like I was in heaven.

The workshop I was monitoring was extremely successful and I was blown away by the adolescent group of this village. These groups of extremely talented kids were not shy at all and spoke loudly and clearly without any giggles about puberty, menstruation, body parts and social issues. One of the highlights of this workshop was when a group of boys had to draw the changes that take place in a girl’s body when they go through puberty and vice versa for girls. Boys and girls were separated into two groups and one person from each group had to lay down on a brown piece of paper while the group traced the outline of their body.

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The boys laughing away while drawing the uterus.

 

Then the groups were asked to switch so that girls can draw the body parts on the outline of a boy and the boys of a girl. When it came time to present, there was a bit of confusion from the boys on what a vagina actually looked like. While they drew a really accurate picture of a uterus, pubic hair was drawn on the uterus and the vagina was completely missing. Now, here comes the most interesting argument in history, a female’s vagina is in fact the uterus and they think the vagina looks like the uterus therefore putting pubic hair on it was relevant. Oh boys!

27627412414_4a656ca444_o

The girls attempting to draw a penis but it came out looking like a fan on the stomach.

The girls were slightly shy to draw a penis, perhaps which is why when they drew one, it looked like a fan. While the girl was presenting, one boy yells out “why is the penis located on the stomach?” One extremely sassy, intelligent girl replied “I have never seen yours, so shut up.” I never laughed so hard in my life! This type of activity really helped both the boys and the girls break out of their shells and feel comfortable talking to each other about social issues.  In villages like this, boys and girls don’t sit together, eat together or hangout. They remain distant because their community does not allow boys and girls to be friends. Workshops such as this are extremely important in breaking those norms and helping both boys and girls be empowered together.[content-builder]{“id”:1,”version”:”1.0.4″,”nextId”:”1″,”block”:”root”,”layout”:”12″,”childs”:[{“id”:”2″,”block”:”rte”,”content”:”\"27962019040_2f68af9d86_o\"<\/a> Crooked and slanted rocky road in Lakuri, Nepal. Tons of climbing is required to go anywhere.[\/caption]\r\n\r\nYou know you are in a really remote place in the mountains when you are asked where America is located. There were blank faces when I spoke English and told people I was from America while monitoring a workshop in Lakuri, Nepal. Lakuri is a very rural village in Nepal and the only way to get there is by hiking, climbing, crawling, walking, slipping and falling on non-existing paths for 7 hours to finally reach the top of the mountain. I thought walking up the near vertical inclines was hard, but coming down really damaged my knee. At the end, 7 hours of walking was worth everything when I finally saw the serene view of the place from the top. It was so peaceful and natural that it felt like I was in heaven.\r\n\r\nThe workshop I was monitoring was extremely successful and I was blown away by the adolescent group of this village. These groups of extremely talented kids were not shy at all and spoke loudly and clearly without any giggles about puberty, menstruation, body parts and social issues. One of the highlights of this workshop was when a group of boys had to draw the changes that take place in a girl\u2019s body when they go through puberty and vice versa for girls. Boys and girls were separated into two groups and one person from each group had to lay down on a brown piece of paper while the group traced the outline of their body.\r\n\r\n\"28242772165_d5a910d2e5_o\"<\/a> The boys laughing away while drawing the uterus.[\/caption]\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nThen the groups were asked to switch so that girls can draw the body parts on the outline of a boy and the boys of a girl. When it came time to present, there was a bit of confusion from the boys on what a vagina actually looked like. While they drew a really accurate picture of a uterus, pubic hair was drawn on the uterus and the vagina was completely missing. Now, here comes the most interesting argument in history, a female’s vagina is in fact the uterus and they think the vagina looks like the uterus therefore putting pubic hair on it was relevant. Oh boys!\r\n\r\n\"27627412414_4a656ca444_o\"<\/a> The girls attempting to draw a penis but it came out looking like a fan on the stomach.[\/caption]\r\n\r\nThe girls were slightly shy to draw a penis, perhaps which is why when they drew one, it looked like a fan. While the girl was presenting, one boy yells out \u201cwhy is the penis located on the stomach?\u201d One extremely sassy, intelligent girl replied \u201cI have never seen yours, so shut up.\u201d I never laughed so hard in my life! This type of activity really helped both the boys and the girls break out of their shells and feel comfortable talking to each other about social issues.\u00a0 In villages like this, boys and girls don\u2019t sit together, eat together or hangout. They remain distant because their community does not allow boys and girls to be friends. Workshops such as this are extremely important in breaking those norms and helping both boys and girls be empowered together.”}]}[/content-builder]

Posted By Dorothy Khan (Nepal)

Posted Jul 11th, 2016