Prayatna Nepal is the self-help organization working for empowering the living condition women and girls with visually impairments. The organization is established by the composition of both women with and without visually impairments. Among the seven board members, five of them (71%) are with visually impairments where the organization is led by the totally blind woman as the Chairperson. This idea of inclusion in the organizational structure is to ensure equal efforts from every individual with better understanding in improving social, cultural, economic and political aspects of lives of women with disabilities.
With the aim to ensure independence among visually impaired girls and women, Prayatna Nepal organized 3-days refresher daily life skills training to enable them in preparing and cooking meal/food, washing dishes, cleaning rooms, and so on. Ms. Navina Gyawali, who is herself blind, was hired as the main facilitator of the refresher training so that the participants would feel more empowered. She was also the main facilitator of the first-round training to the same participants which helped the participants to feel more open during the learning process. Ms. Jima Lamkoliya, executive board member of Prayatna Nepal as well as assistant facilitator for the training, who is also blind facilitated the opening session by welcoming all the participants and highlighting the objectives of the refresher training. She asked all the participants to introduce themselves and collected their expectations from the refresher training and then handed the floor to the main facilitator. Ms. Navina explained about the training module. She explained that the training this time will focus more on basic revision and targeting the challenging aspects of cooking as per the individual participants. The training began with participants re-learning to wash, peel and cut vegetables. Among all participants, some felt more confident while some needed more guidance and attention. Thus, they were assisted accordingly by the main and assistant facilitators and volunteers from Prayatna Nepal. Ms. Sabita Lamichhane also took the place as one of the main facilitators. Participants felt that having a sighted trainer would give a more useful perspective on learning, wherever they felt lacking on their part.
The participants were divided into groups to learn their way around using gas stoves, pressure cookers and cooking. For this, the facilitators as well as all the representatives of Prayatna Nepal assisted the participants individually. The participants were divided into groups of two or three to ensure better and effective learning. In the 3 days refresher training, everyone got a chance to be involved in all kinds of kitchen and household chores. In overall, the participants learned to prepare tea for breakfast, typical Nepali style Dal-bhat-tarkari-achar (including meat) for lunch and chowmein/pasta, chatpate (Nepali spicy/tangy snack) for mid-day snacks/meal. Similarly, they also learnt to clean/mop kitchen spaces.
In last day of training, we took feedback from each participant. The participants expressed their gratitude towards Prayatna Nepal team and suggested to provide further advance trainings. On the third day, the participants were able to carry out most household chores independently with confidence.