Kate Bollinger

Kate Bollinger (Women’s Reproductive Rights Program – WRRP): Kate’s interest in Nepal began when she studied for a semester in Nepal as an undergraduate. She then went on to study for a Master’s degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Oxford. While at Oxford, Kate pursued field research and language study in Sikkim, India and Kathmandu, Nepal. Her research in this area continued as an intern and consultant in the Anthropology Department at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC. Kate has also interned at the Association for Women in Science in Washington DC and the Consortium for Gender, Security, and Human Rights in Boston. At the time of her fellowship, Kate was a graduate student at the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS) studying International Policy Studies with focus on international development and South Asia. After her fellowship, Kate wrote: “I don’t think I’ve seen the level of poverty that I saw in the field. It made me feel extremely privileged. It was great to get experience working in a local organization abroad – something I’d never done before. Also, the skills I gained in the process (interviews, editing, web site development, etc) will be great to carry into future work. I will cook daal bhat more often!"



Getting to Business in Lahan

09 Jul

A few hours after our arrival in Lahan, it is time to get to work. The next two days will be spent in day-long meetings with representatives (or ‘campaigners’) from nine local NGO’s who WRRP has partnered with in surrounding villages. For me, this is a great introduction into the structure of WRRP programs in the field.

Within the Lahan district, WRRP has one program office – which is where Sunita and I will be based for the next week and a half. In order to be most effective in the villages in which they work, WRRP runs its village programs in partnership with local NGO’s based in these villages. This seems to be a very effective structure as these local NGO’s are already familiar with the dynamics of running programs in their particular village. While each NGO runs independently, each has also partnered with WRRP to run uterine prolapse support and prevention programs. As such, one campaigner from each NGO has come to attend this two day meeting put on by WRRP. The focus of this meeting will be something a little different than WRRP or these campaigners have done before – designing and running village fairs. A secondary focus of the meeting will be updating the uterine prolapse school programs already in place across Lahan.

The first day of the meeting is meant to begin at 11 am but, following traditional “nepali time”, it gets going sometime after noon. Sunita and Rakesh, the Lahan program officer, spend the afternoon discussing their ideas for the village fair  with the campaigners and getting feedback on what might or might not work in their particular villages. While the vast majority of these nepali discussions is lost to me, the campaigners are engaged and interested and Sunita and Rakesh are pleased with the day’s outcome. We all retire for a welcome night’s sleep after a healthy serving of daalbhat.

The next morning, after a cup of lemon black tea, we begin the second day of training. Today will focus on the school programs which are in place in villages across Lahan. The idea is to energize these programs through having the chidren – ages 11 to 13 – play games related to uterine prolapse. Given the generally conservative nature of nepali culture, I am surprised at how forward these programs are. The fact that graphic pictures of women with prolapsed uteruses is a normal sight to see – painted and postered on village walls, for example – highlights how much progress WRRP has made towards educating people about uterine prolapse. Related to these games, children will put together puzzles with pictures of the three stages of uterine prolapse. Other games to be played include a blind-folded version of putting the puzzle together, fi.slotzo.com games, a whisper train with terms such as ‘gender empowerment’ passed along a line in whispers, cherades (trying acting out ‘heavy workload during pregnancy’), and a trust fall.

Game day goes well and around mid-afternoon the meetings come to a close so that the campaigners can return to their villages by evening. Stay tuned to see how the village fair and school programs turn out later this week!

Blindfold Game with Campaigners

Campaigner Team doing a Cheer

A Mural Depicting Uterine Prolapse and its Causes on a Village Wall

Posted By Kate Bollinger

Posted Jul 9th, 2010

1 Comment

  • Christine Marie Carlson

    July 29, 2010

     

    Wow. Uterine Prolapse games! Thats so wonderful that women can engage in such a hands on activity to embrace their health.
    Keep up the good work my friend. I can’t wait to hear more when we return to school.

    Best,
    Christine

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