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."



“Come back soon”

30 Sep

“Will you ever come back to Nepal?” This was the question that many people asked during my last week at WRRP. It’s been a long and exhilarating 14 weeks in Nepal, and although I had to confront many challenges, I wanted to focus on some of the major highlights from my fellowship. These three months have provided me with professional and personal growth, and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as a Peace Fellow with Advocacy Project. It was an experience that I will always look back on.

The work I accomplished.

Over the course of the last 3 months I spent at WRRP, there were multiple projects that I participated in, including creating training that teaches students how to create an effective campaign on the untouchability issue of girls during menstruation. However, my primary project involved profiling students in their home and school at a local village in Gutu, Nepal and training them on reproductive rights.

Screen Shot 2016-10-03 at 2.07.00 PM

I started my fellowship with WRRP with no prior experience in reproductive rights and discrimination of women in Nepal. However, I am glad I had the opportunity to dive right into work on the ground level.  Coming up with a training tailored towards empowering adolescent groups in rural Nepal proved to be overwhelming; for every single boy and girl that WRRP targets, it could mean something life changing.  I started by monitoring how WRRP staff conduct life skill training in different districts of Nepal. I came to learn about a practice called Chaupadi, where girls are isolated to a hut during their menstruation.  Every school in every district was different and every district had different forms of discrimination towards women.  It was a challenging task to create a training that teaches reproductive rights and menstrual hygiene, while empowering students.

I thought it would be a great idea and educational if I taught students on a campaign strategy that not only teaches about reproductive rights, but also encourage students to understand the issues of gender discrimination. This would thereby enable them to work as the main catalysts in bringing change to their society. The campaign is not rigidly structured and each student contributes to this according to his/her own capacity. The overall goal of the campaign is to empower women and girls by presenting the idea that women are not dirty or unclean during menstruation, and isolating them is a violation of their basic human rights and thus there is a need to end all violence against women.  During the training, campaign ideas were not imposed on the students, rather they were encouraged to design a campaign they can execute based on their skills and capacity. The value behind this approach is that people will want to change themselves and their own environment.

Although my tasks were different from what I thought I would be accomplishing during my time in Nepal, I am proud of the contribution I made in the community I worked in. I hope I was able to empower some adolescent groups and bring changes in their lives.

The Places I Visited

Serving in another country for an extended period of time means having the opportunity to explore it. I was able to visit two districts and 7 cities. I have never visited Nepal, so the opportunity to explore Nepal was a privilege that I will cherish forever.

Lakuri, Daliek: I went to Lakuri in Daliek to train students. I was there for 7 days in total. It took about 7 hours to climb up the mountain to reach the little village, which was breathtakingly beautiful and worth climbing on unknown paths for hours.

Screen Shot 2016-10-03 at 2.07.17 PM

Gutu, Surkhet: My fellowship started 400 miles away from Kathmandu in Gutu Nepal. As I mentioned before in my other report, I felt that I was reversed back in time. I stayed in a mud hut powered by a solar panel. I had to walk an hour every day at 5:00am to shower at a creek. I was welcomed with open arms and heart as I worked in the school. I was the talk of the town since I was the only American that ever visited the town.

Screen Shot 2016-10-03 at 2.07.32 PM

dorothy blog 1

The Things I Learned

There are many things I learned while I was in Nepal. Apart from the skills I attained from working at WRRP, I took away some significant pieces about me from this experience. I learned that I can withstand any hardships that come my way. I can move to any city, and any environment, and adjust quiet easily. I also learned about the many forms of discriminations that women in Nepal face. It is hard to put into perspective what these forms of discrimination and their solutions look like. From seeing the open huts that these girls sleep in, to watching them be isolated merely because they menstruate. I am not sure if I would’ve understood what these women feel if I hadn’t worked there.

The Connections I made.

I came across a number of extraordinary individuals who positively impacted my life and changed me as a person. From the boys and girls who taught me to keep an open mind, to the coworkers who supported me through every obstacle that came my way, and the community who welcomed me with open arms, I will cherish them all. I cannot wait to go back to Nepal and pick up where I left off.

 [content-builder]{“id”:1,”version”:”1.0.4″,”nextId”:”1″,”block”:”root”,”layout”:”12″,”childs”:[{“id”:”2″,”block”:”rte”,”content”:”\u201cWill you ever come back to Nepal?\u201d This was the question that many people asked during my last week at WRRP. It\u2019s been a long and exhilarating 14 weeks in Nepal, and although I had to confront many challenges, I wanted to focus on some of the major highlights from my fellowship. These three months have provided me with professional and personal growth, and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as a Peace Fellow with Advocacy Project. It was an experience that I will always look back on.\r\n\r\nThe work I accomplished.<\/strong>\r\n\r\nOver the course of the last 3 months I spent at WRRP, there were multiple projects that I participated in, including creating training that teaches students how to create an effective campaign on the untouchability issue of girls during menstruation. However, my primary project involved profiling students in their home and school at a local village in Gutu, Nepal and training them on reproductive rights.\r\n\r\n\"Screen<\/a> \r\n\r\nI started my fellowship with WRRP with no prior experience in reproductive rights and discrimination of women in Nepal. However, I am glad I had the opportunity to dive right into work on the ground level.\u00a0 Coming up with a training tailored towards empowering adolescent groups in rural Nepal proved to be overwhelming; for every single boy and girl that WRRP targets, it could mean something life changing.\u00a0 I started by monitoring how WRRP staff conduct life skill training in different districts of Nepal. I came to learn about a practice called Chaupadi, where girls are isolated to a hut during their menstruation.\u00a0 Every school in every district was different and every district had different forms of discrimination towards women.\u00a0 It was a challenging task to create a training that teaches reproductive rights and menstrual hygiene, while empowering students. \r\n\r\nI thought it would be a great idea and educational if I taught students on a campaign strategy that not only teaches about reproductive rights, but also encourage students to understand the issues of gender discrimination. This would thereby enable them to work as the main catalysts in bringing change to their society. The campaign is not rigidly structured and each student contributes to this according to his\/her own capacity. The overall goal of the campaign is to empower women and girls by presenting the idea that women are not dirty or unclean during menstruation, and isolating them is a violation of their basic human rights and thus there is a need to end all violence against women.\u00a0 During the training, campaign ideas were not imposed on the students, rather they were encouraged to design a campaign they can execute based on their skills and capacity. The value behind this approach is that people will want to change themselves and their own environment.\r\n\r\nAlthough my tasks were different from what I thought I would be accomplishing during my time in Nepal, I am proud of the contribution I made in the community I worked in. I hope I was able to empower some adolescent groups and bring changes in their lives.\r\n\r\nThe Places I Visited<\/strong>\r\n\r\nServing in another country for an extended period of time means having the opportunity to explore it. I was able to visit two districts and 7 cities. I have never visited Nepal, so the opportunity to explore Nepal was a privilege that I will cherish forever.\r\n\r\nLakuri, Daliek: I went to Lakuri in Daliek to train students. I was there for 7 days in total. It took about 7 hours to climb up the mountain to reach the little village, which was breathtakingly beautiful and worth climbing on unknown paths for hours.\r\n\r\n\"Screen<\/a>\r\n\r\nGutu, Surkhet: My fellowship started 400 miles away from Kathmandu in Gutu Nepal. As I mentioned before in my other report, I felt that I was reversed back in time. I stayed in a mud hut powered by a solar panel. I had to walk an hour every day at 5:00am to shower at a creek. I was welcomed with open arms and heart as I worked in the school. I was the talk of the town since I was the only American that ever visited the town.\r\n\r\n\"Screen<\/a>\r\n\r\n\"dorothy<\/a>\r\n\r\nThe Things I Learned<\/strong>\r\n\r\nThere are many things I learned while I was in Nepal. Apart from the skills I attained from working at WRRP, I took away some significant pieces about me from this experience. I learned that I can withstand any hardships that come my way. I can move to any city, and any environment, and adjust quiet easily. I also learned about the many forms of discriminations that women in Nepal face. It is hard to put into perspective what these forms of discrimination and their solutions look like. From seeing the open huts that these girls sleep in, to watching them be isolated merely because they menstruate. I am not sure if I would\u2019ve understood what these women feel if I hadn\u2019t worked there.\r\n\r\nThe Connections I made.<\/strong>\r\n\r\nI came across a number of extraordinary individuals who positively impacted my life and changed me as a person. From the boys and girls who taught me to keep an open mind, to the coworkers who supported me through every obstacle that came my way, and the community who welcomed me with open arms, I will cherish them all. I cannot wait to go back to Nepal and pick up where I left off.\r\n\r\n “}]}[/content-builder]

Posted By Dorothy Khan (Nepal)

Posted Sep 30th, 2016

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