How to impact the lives of thousands of women within a remote community? • Identify a need • Listen carefully to the unspoken words • Partner with local social workers/doctors/stakeholders • Create an awareness campaign • Empower women with the knowledge and tools to initiate that change • Go for it! Smile for Hope … read more
Spreading Hope One Smile at a Time
“Smile for Hope” is dedicated to addressing the needs of local communities in remote and forgotten parts of Nepal.
Apart from the various disaster relief programmes we conducted during the aftermath of the devastating 2015 earthquake, it has been our mission since the beginnings of “Smile for Hope” Foundation in 2012, to support children from the remote parts of Nepal, who fight illness and disease, mainly cancer, without the right support system to ensure their healing. We are therefore building the “Smile for Hope” health care center – a “Home away from Home” in Kathmandu. This is a place where children can stay with their parents while undergoing their treatment in hospital. A safe, clean and warm environment where their emotional, psychological, nutritional and generally physical needs are met, where they can play with other children who share their experience and where they get the chance to study with qualified teachers.
“Smile for Hope” ran our first pilot project, providing a safe space to tackle a very sensitive and taboo subject of menstruation in December 2019. An ancient practice, Chhaupadi (Nepali: छाउपडी, is a form of menstrual taboo which prohibits Hindu women and girls from participating in normal family activities while menstruating, as they are considered “impure”. Chhaupadi is practiced primarily in the western part of Nepal.
This leads to a cascade of serious issues dropping out of school, forbidden from accessing family kitchen and reunions, infections, shame, and potentially even death. As recently as December 2019 a young woman died in a chhau hut. In January 2020, the Nepalese government started to destroy menstruation huts as well as try and educate the public against their use, but much more must be done.