Chhaupadi research volunteer program is design to research the Chhaupadi pratha a social ritual followed by people in some regions of Nepal. Chhau ritual regards as women impure during their menstrual cycle; it is known to have initially originated centuries ago from a belief that gods and goddesses become angry if any woman stays in her home during that time. Following the ritual, women are made to live in sheds outside their homes called chhaupadi goth. A menstruating woman cannot touch anyone; if anyone touches her, the person needs to be purified by taking a bath and drinking cow’s urine. Specifically, she is not permitted to touch pregnant women or trees, because of the idea that the fruit each are bearing will die or will be malformed. Menstruating women are not permitted to participate in religious ceremonies, nutritious food is forbidden and warm clothing is not allowed. Yet, they are still expected to participate in hard labor, carrying out the daily chores that they would normally do, such as working in the fields, fetching firewood, washing clothes, and so on.
Chhaupadi goth is sometimes built within the household premises but in other cases, they are isolated from the villages, up to a mile away from the houses. Most sheds can barely fit two people: they tend to be around six feet wide and four feet high and made of mud, stone and wood with no windows Mostly, the women stay in the shed for four or five days. At the end of the ritual, they take a bath; wash their clothes and bedding and return home. There are two kinds of chhau (menstruation): minor chhau and major chhau. During minor chhau, the stay lasts four to five days. During major chhau, which occurs after childbirth and during menarche, women are obliged to stay in the goth for ten to eleven days. Due to the unhygienic nature of these huts, women tend to suffer from various infectious diseases. Diarrhea and respiratory diseases are quite common. In several situations, cases of malnutrition are also seen. As women are made to stay in the mud shed after childbirth, the mother’s and the baby’s health is compromised.
Chhaupadi pratha ritual is a leading reason for high infant and maternal mortality in the western region of Nepal. Complicating these issues even more, women are sometimes raped during their stay in the huts, given their physical isolation from the village. Only a minority of these cases are likely to be reported given the social stigma associated with such incidents. Despite the diseases and deaths that are occurring during or following the stay in the chhaupadi goth, it is difficult for people to discard the practice as it has been followed by their families for centuries. Unfortunately, only a few government and non-government organizations have been involved in education or advocacy work regarding this practice. In 2009, the government of Nepal published a protocol for the eradication of the “Chhaupadi pratha” as directed by the Supreme Court of Nepal. We hope that, through continued education and advocacy campaigns, the health of women can be prioritized and measures can be taken to minimize health risks associated with practices such as this. We appeal all desire volunteers for the participation in chhaupadi research and eradication programs to donate and contribute your effort in society, let’s join our Chhaupadi research volunteer project.
Highlights: Chhaupadi research volunteer placements available on volunteer hostel and local host family basic.
Available Duration: 3weeks to 12 weeks
Experience Required: It is not necessary any specific skills and qualification for Chhaupadi research volunteer program. Upon your arrival you will receive relevant training towards the Chhaupadi research volunteer projects. If you are flexible and patient, you’ll cope better during the Chhaupadi research project and successfully complete your project as working conditions. For Chhaupadi research project volunteer may need physical efforts, so you should be in good health. We just ask our volunteers to be flexible, enthusiastic, be patient and an open mind. Chhaupadi research is open to worldwide participants, families, couples and individuals.
Project Location: Chhaupadi research project placements available in western Nepal only. Most of the volunteer placements are located within 2-4 km. from their accommodation.
Program start dates: Chhaupadi research program starts every week, year round.
Program Requirements: Volunteers must be 16 years or older at the beginning of Chhaupadi research program. Volunteers need to have an open mind and flexible attitude for working in a new and different environment. The volunteer should bring energy and enthusiasm to make a difference.
Arrangement of room/food/supervision: CSVFN will manage your accommodation, food and supervision while you work in a volunteer program. You will stay either with a host family, in a project hostel or in a home base. In the home base, you’ll share your room with other volunteers and use communal toilets. You’ll be served 3 meals a day. Meals in the home base can be local or continental. In the host family, you’ll have a room for yourself and will be served 3 local meals a day. Staying with a host family will provide you with a wonderful opportunity to experience Nepali lifestyle and live with a warm and welcoming family. You can even learn to cook Nepali food. While volunteering, our staffs will visit you every two weeks. During the visit, we will check on your progress and make sure you’re satisfied and happy.
Volunteers are met at the Nepal international airport in Katmandu, upon arrival into Nepal. Once you are in your placement you need to work out transport for any traveling you wish to do, whether this is simply to the local shops or further a field for sightseeing. All Chhaupadi research projects are located just walking distance.
Trip upgrade: We proudly offer this project and travel packages in Nepal. You can customize or upgrade this travel itinerary to meet your specific interests. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us via e-mail. We are looking forward to hear from you.
Note: You will also need a weekly budget up to $10 to cater for all your personal expenses like bath soap, laundry, Telephone, mineral water etc.
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