Rukmini Foundation Mom’s Club
At the very first Rukmini foundation Mom’s Club meeting in 2017, LitClub Mentor Banada Adhikari described Rukmini Foundation Mom’s Club as being
… a platform for mothers of the Pharping community to come together and create an opportunity for them to learn from one another, while also igniting a change within themselves in the hope of creating a better community.
Since then, Mom’s club members have been getting together on a regular basis to work and thrive together so that they may help their community grow stronger. This month, Rukmini Foundation Mom’s Club hosted visitors from Global G.L.O.W HerStory Campaign. During their visit, they attended a two-day special event organized by RF Mom’s Club at Shikharapur School, participating with the mom’s in their meeting and celebration. Our mentor, Prakriti provided translation between English and Nepali during both day’s meeting, helping everyone understand each other and share stories.
Welcoming our guests to the Mom’s Club, mentor Ms. Lalita Lamichane explained to them how Mom’s Club is helping mothers (women) in the area to bring out their hidden capability for their benefit that will help their family and the community. Ms. Lalita explained that :
“After joining the club, mothers have been able to ask questions about concerning their children, daughters, at school, have helped building relationship between mothers and daughters and have been bringing positive changes in the community”. Mom’s club helps the mothers in the area get together, helping them bring out their inner capabilities and strengths, empowering them through network and community.
As always, we started off the meeting with introductions and Namaste song, garlands and followed up with the Q&A part. This valuable part of our Mom’s Club meeting brings together all the members together as they share their stories and life, bond beyond the work they do together. On the first day of the meeting, the members shared with each other what special dish they prepared that week was most loved by their family member. Surprisingly, all mom’s mentioned “ kheer”, a traditional Nepali rice pudding prepared for Shrawan 15 (Nepali Calander), was the family favourite all around.
On the second day of the meeting, Mom’s asked each other a different question: “What is one of the strong quality about you that has helped you in your life?”
Mom Shakuntala K.C told the group one of her stronger traits was her friendly nature, that she always has a smile and time to talk to everyone. Another member Deuti K.C told us that she is always happy to help those in need. She believes that helping each other supports the community grow. Similarly, local businesswoman Kamala Shrestha shared with the group about her supportive business policy:
“I am a farmer and vegetable seller. I charge less than others in the market, so my vegetables sell quickly. This way vegetables do not go waste and consumers get fresh vegetables. People like to buy vegetables from my store, thus I believe my strength is business.”
One of the many perks of the club is an opportunity for the mothers to get together and educate themselves, so they are able to better participate in their children’s education. During the first day of the meeting, some of the moms attempted to read stories from a book. They also told stories based on other tales they have heard from their parents and grandparents. Their attempts to read and share stories from their own imagination was admirable and their quick thought process to come up with a story on the spot showed confidence on their part. At the end of the story time, Ms. Lamichhane read a story, “A bull and a pig” about friendship, encouraging interaction and participation as she read.
The Core Activity of this month’s Mom’s Club meeting was a group activity where the team was divided into three groups and worked together to answer the question – “What are the obstacles for women on the path of their progress?”
The groups discussed among themselves and shared experiences to come up with a list of things they believed to be obstacles in their path to progress. At the end of this activity, the women identified five major hindrances in their path to progress and independence: a lack of higher education; pressure to bear a male child and keep home; 3. lack of employment opportunities that accommodate familial duties; 4. lack of opportunities with local government and, 5. financial hardship in starting a business.
While the obstacles the moms face seem vast and difficult, together, they share experience, ideas, and skills to help each other learn and grow. Learning new skills, with support from each other, they look towards a better future as they overcome their hardships together. They want a better future, not only for themselves but also for their children, in hopes that they do not share the same obstacles on their path to progress.
Mangal Laxmi Shrestha, a member of the Mom’s club shared how her confidence has risen since she became a member of the Mom’s club. She told us that she is more confident and able to share her skills and talents in the community. She learned how to talk to with her children’s teachers and understand what she can do to help them. She is happy to have friends to share each other’s feelings and learn new things.
Bima Shrestha, another member also added that she appreciates the Club activities that help build confidence among the women. She has more confidence and wishes for more skill training activities for the moms that help them make a living.
Global G.L.O.W. and Her Story Team were happy to have been part of the meeting where they could experience a community of mothers working together. While most women as still confined to their household in many Nepali communities, Mom’s club provides women with an opportunity to meet with other women in a similar situation, learn skills and boost their confidence to be a better part of their community. Our visitors complimented the Club’s work as ‘Praiseworthy’ and wished them to be able to do more in the community.
To mark the end of Mom’s club two-day meetings with our guests from Global GLOW and HerStory Campaign, we celebrated with music and dancing. Mom’s Club members gifted the guests with red, yellow and green bangles; colors considered auspicious for women during the Nepali month of Shrawan. While we said goodbye to our visitors with a heavy heart, we at the Rukmini Foundation were happy to have had the opportunity to share the experience of our Mom’s Club with other members of Global G.L.O.W HerStory team.