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CONNECT's Women

Ruth McPake, CONNECT Coordinator

Since joining RAP in January 2017 I have been motivated by the determination and ambition of the many women I’ve met.

It was a great pleasure to help tell the stories of some of these women at an exhibition at RAP’s offices on 8th March, in celebration of International Women’s Day.

Women like Krishna, a seed producer from Achham.  Krishna not only manages her seed farm, she is President of her community's seed farmer group, manages her household and, when she has time, makes and sells mudas (small stools)

 (credit: Sabrina Dangol and Rashik Maharjan)

Seed farmer and CONNECT Yuva Vayu, Krishna Buda, Dailekh, February 2017

Krishna is one of 282 YVs CONNECT is working with. Yuva Vayus (Youth Wind in Nepali) are in-community volunteers that mobilise and shepherd the commercial farmer groups they belong to. This solution aims to strengthen the enabling environment for business by encouraging the participation of women in commercial activities while creating a collective identity aimed at increasing the confidence and voice of rural women.

You can read more about the Yuva Vayus here.

Radha, another young, ambitious woman that has volunteered to take on this leadership role within her community is a ginger farmer from Doti.  She is also studying for a Bachelors in Population Studies.

(credit: Ruth McPake)

Radha Baam being formally appointed as a Yuva Vayu, following level one training.

While in Dailekh and Achham I had the opportunity to visit five of the 100 Hamri Didis, selected by CONNECT and trained and appointed by Unilever Nepal as direct-to-door sales agents.  I first met these women in Kathmandu, when all 100 women came together to complete their training.  It was inspiring to see the zeal with which they have committed to their new businesses since.  Each of the women I met reported turning a profit and were confident they would continue to work as direct-to-door agents.

Sabina Rawal talking about her role as a CONNECT UNL Hamri Didi with seed producer Yuva Vayus and showcasing Unilever products she sells in Malika, Dailekh, February 2017

(credit: Ruth McPake)

Sabina Rawal talking about her role as a CONNECT UNL Hamri Didi with seed producer Yuva Vayus and showcasing Unilever products she sells in Malika, Dailekh, February 2017

Seeing the early success that CONNECT’s interventions are having in these women’s lives is driving us to deliver more, faster to connect their ambition to opportunities.