Nicole Farkhouh ( Uterine Prolapse Alliance)

Nicole Farkouh (Collective Campaign for Peace – COCAP): Nicole graduated from Smith College with a BA in Cultural Anthropology. She also has a Master of Education from the University of New Orleans. Nicole’s professional background is in education. She has worked as a teacher, administrator, and consultant, mainly with middle school students with special needs. She is also a certified community mediator and has studied a complementary model of mediation based on Non-Violent Communication. She has studied abroad in India, lived and taught in Mexico. At the time of her fellowship, she was studying for a Master of Public Policy degree at the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley. After her fellowship, Nicole wrote: "More than anything, this summer I received a new level of understanding /appreciation for the complexity involved in “development” and “human rights” work…. Particularly being a foreign body trying to work in a new culture."


16 Jun

It feels surprisingly great to be back in Nepal – the key part of that phrase being “back.” This may not be a surprising twist for the logical among you, however, in the hectic buildup to my departure I had not thoroughly thought this through.

Last year I wrestled through eager taxi drivers on my way out of the airport, spent the first days trying to get my bearings, and visited tourist sights. Instead, this year I was met at the airport by my best Nepali friend, settled into the home of some ex-pats I know, and have spend my days reconnecting with folks from the various organizations I worked with last year, trying to help the other AP Fellows get situated, and working to re-activate the Nepali-language part of my brain.


I have also had the privilege of returning to “Naya Nepal” (the New Nepal) as everyone is fond of stating. Since I was last here there has been a lot going on:
* The Constitutional Assembly elections were finally held in April and received international praise for their fair and peaceful processes.
* The election results surprised everyone as the former rebel Maoists took a sweeping victory.
* Sarita Giri, the woman I worked closely with last fall, was elected to Parliament, along with roughly 10 other women who were involved in our projects on increasing political participation of Madeshi women.
* Nepal was officially declared a Republic in the first meeting of the new Assembly and the former king was transformed into an ordinary citizen.
* And finally, since I’ve been here, amid much celebration the King vacated his palace in Kathmandu (although he was granted temporary residence in one of the smaller palaces just outside of the Valley as, despite his billionaire status, he complained of having nowhere to go…)

It has been incredible treat to return to Nepal at a time of so much celebration and to be able to share in it with those who have played such an important role in making it come about.

And of course, there is still an enormous amount of work to do in this beautiful and complicated country to realize the vision of “Naya Nepal.”


For my part, this summer I will be focusing my energy on the women’s health problem of Uterine Prolapse. I will be working the Uterine Prolapse Alliance (a group of Nepali NGOs, or non-governmental organizations) who are engaged in this issue as well as WWRP-CAED (the Women’s Reproductive Right’s Program of the Center for Agro-Ecological Development) which is a cutting-edge organization on this issue. We have already had several planning sessions, and throughout the summer we will be engage in a range of efforts intended to lay the groundwork for an international awareness campaign about UP that will be launched next year.

So…. Please cross your fingers for a productive 10 weeks that don’t fly by too fast… and… Welcome to “Naya Nepal!”


Posted By Nicole Farkhouh ( Uterine Prolapse Alliance)

Posted Jun 16th, 2014

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