The Bachali Appeal – growing opportunities for women in Nepal
The concept of not having proper medical care and being without a consistent food supply seems far removed from most of our experiences.
But this is Bachali’s reality.
Balchali is one of the many women who has lived through these challenging circumstances. Just 35 years old, she had five hungry mouths to feed and no resources to help. She was left alone and afraid for the future and safety of her children.
PHASE is here to change this all-too-common narrative.
When they first entered the remote village of Mugu, PHASE was intent on improving the lives of women and children by providing education, healthcare and support.
Healthcare was completely inaccessible in this region, leaving mothers to give birth alone in dangerous conditions. 85% of women give birth by themselves in this region, and Bachali is one of them. “My first four children were born at home,” she explained. “I gave birth alone, with no support, I didn’t know what I should do or shouldn’t do. I felt scared.”
Women shouldn’t have to fear for their own lives and the well-being of their children in this way. Since PHASE’s involvement in the Mugu community, healthcare has improved drastically and support is readily available for expectant mothers. PHASE set up a local health point for the people in this community so that they could easily access medical help. “I felt so safe during my last pregnancy” explained Bachali, “they even let me listen to my baby’s heartbeat which was amazing.”
After a treacherous birth, mothers would then face the challenge of raising their children in extremely adverse conditions, as 36% of children under five years suffer from malnutrition in this region of Nepal. During their involvement in Bachali’s village, PHASE educated mothers on how to breastfeed, wean and feed their babies to prevent more children from falling prey to this statistic.
PHASE shared their knowledge and resources to empower these women with the tools to be independent and self-sufficient all year round. Due to the extreme weather conditions in Bachali’s village, growing produce and farming effectively was impossible during the harsh winter weather. This meant that both Bachali’s income and her own food supply were consistently under threat.
“We were dependent on seasonal food, which was slow to produce and during the winter, we couldn’t grow any vegetables at all. When my husband travelled away for work, it was even more difficult to feed my children” she explained.
80% of people in this region do not have a secure food supply all year round. In PHASE’s partnership with the people of Mugu, Bachali and her fellow villagers were provided with the skills and resources to build polytunnels for offseason farming, as well as improved seeds and new farming equipment. PHASE also held workshops to share their knowledge of nutrition so that women like Bachali can use her vegetables to feed her family and thrive independently.
“I’ve learned so much from PHASE,” Bachali said. “Now I feel like a good mother and a good farmer.”
Together we can break this cycle of poverty, and give women just like Bachali a chance at succeeding. PHASE empowers women with the skills to control their lives, and raise their children without fear.
As a digital product studio PHASE are one of our key charities we support, so to find out more or donate to the Bachali project please follow the link.