Women Groups in Chepang community rise together against COVID-19

Bipin Kumar Shrestha, Program Officer, ECCA

“Hello sir! We have oriented women groups of our community on COVID-19 prevention and also provided them with masks, gloves, chlorine solution as well as banners and pamphlets related to COVID-19 prevention… Hello, hello, am I audible?” Through the phone was the enthusiastic voice of Resham Chepang, our field coordinator. He was adding that women groups of Chepang community had, thereafter, made plans to conduct orientation programs on COVID-19 prevention and to distribute masks, gloves, chlorine solutions and pamphlets in their community.

“Sir, you are hearing me, right?” His reassuring question made me think that perhaps he finally reached a place with a good network connection. Resham and I had been talking for an hour about the program and additional plans. I wondered silently when he would reach another place with a good network to provide me with further updates of the program.

ECCA Nepal has been actively engaged in increasing general awareness for prevention of COVID-19, ever since it began spreading worldwide as a pandemic. In this course, ECCA has been organizing various orientation programs on preventive ideas for COVID-19 in the local communities of Chitwan. ECCA has also additionally provided the locals with masks, gloves, chlorine solution, banners and pamphlets related to COVID-19 prevention. On a personal level, my daily routine has been a series of receiving updates on COVID-19 situation of my work area, developing COVID-19 related materials for awareness, coordinating with field coordinators for project activities, providing feedbacks, record-keeping, financial reporting and coordinating with stakeholders on various issues.

Since a while ago, women groups of Chepang community had been requesting essential materials to conduct orientation programs on COVID-19 prevention in their community. But the lockdown announced by Nepal government halted our attempt to provide the support. As soon as the lockdown eased a bit, we were able to send these materials to the women groups.

After a week, Resham called up again and sent program updates, photos and videos. All 13 women groups had conducted the orientation program as well as distributed masks, gloves and sanitizer in their locality. Despite the challenges of remote geographical area, small roads and lack of electricity and communication network, awareness program activities on prevention of COVID-19 are being conducted with active participation of field coordinator, local youths and women groups. Additionally, these actions are being supported by the behavioral change brought by ECCA program in the sector of water, sanitation and hygiene. Resham expressed his eternal gratitude towards the supporting organizations (ECCA and action medeor e.V.) for supporting his community to fight COVID-19. His words now make me feel that women groups of Chepang community are really putting their best efforts in increasing awareness about prevention of COVID-19. Resham is happy to play his part in this positive initiation and so am I, for being able to help the women empower themselves for the betterment of their community.

Local Counselor crossing river during materials supply
Giving orientation using banner on COVID-19 prevention
Giving orientation using banner on Chlorine solution usage
Visiting each household in the village
Using spray bottle filled with chlorine solution
Women group members during orientation program

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