Mumbai Smiles promotes a social center for women in Kathmandu

 In Mujer, socio-economical development, Women
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Sesión grupal en Pariwartan

The social centre for women who want a shelter and a change

One of the latest projects that the foundation has promoted is the Pariwartan social center for women, located in the Thamel neighborhood, in Kathmandu (Nepal). This area is one of the busiest prostitution enclaves in the capital and one of the neighborhoods with the highest rate of sexual exploitation in the country. That is why, together with the local NGO Chhori, we manage this day center to offer a safe place to all those women who work in the many places where these types of sexual services are offered.

In Nepali, the word Pariwartan means “change” and the aim of this project is to offer all these women the tools and resources necessary to achieve an alternative livelihood, making it easier for them to escape from prostitution.

Safe place and training centre

At the center they find a quiet and safe space, and receive the attention of social workers who listen and support them. This center is a shelter for girls like Sarita (not her real name), who points out that “the social center is like my parents’ house, where I feel relaxed being there, I share my sadness and happiness.” Similarly, Devaki (name changed) shares her personal experiences visiting the social center: “the social center is a very confidential and safe space for us, where we can come and share our problems without hesitation like our mother, and we learn a lot.”

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Session of empowerment in Pariwartan

The social center for women offers them a series of services that they can hardly access on their own, given the marginalized situation they suffer. All women in the neighborhood can go there to benefit from the advice, listening and psychosocial support provided by social workers. Depending on the specific needs of each beneficiary, they are offered the support and tools that best adapt to each situation. In other cases, they are just looking for a safe space in which to relax and rest for a few hours in the company of women and girls in situations similar to theirs and whom they can trust.

The center also offers training in sewing and clothing, so that they can acquire skills with which to build a future away from sexual exploitation. Likewise, follow-up and support is provided to other beneficiaries who choose to receive vocational training on other subjects in nearby centers or businesses, so that they can access a decent livelihood. Once the training process is completed, the center also provides them with support for the implementation of businesses that allow them to generate income with which to sustain themselves. This year, for the first time, some of the beneficiaries of the Pariwartan women’s social center have participated in the making of the Sant Jordi roses that Mumbai Smiles sells to continue promoting these projects.

Sant Jordi solidario

Elaboración de rosas de Sant Jordi

Empowerment to change life

Thanks to the sessions offered by the center, many girls have been empowered to focus on their well-being, taking care of themselves and valuing themselves. After several interventions, some women and girls have abandoned prostitution and have begun to earn a living in other professions such as tailoring, catering, education or as shop assistants in small tea and grocery shops.

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Acompañamiento psicosocial

Some women come to the women’s social center with trauma and serious mental health problems. Many women suffer from insomnia, anxiety, fear, anger problems or even suicidal thoughts and the organization provides them with sessions with psychiatrists and psychologists so that they can improve their health and focus on changing their lives. In addition, all of them are also offered legal support so that they can obtain their citizenship, since many of them do not even have a birth certificate.

Supporting the entire community

Apart from the sessions and training carried out at the center, other services are also offered such as visits to the places where these girls work to reach a larger number of people and provide them with information about assistance and protection services. In addition, social workers carry out what they call “family methodology development,” in which a worker accompanies the beneficiary and her family for an average period of six months. During this time, the worker not only offers her support, but also builds trust so that she understands her problems and can seek solutions on her own.

In the same center, awareness days are also organized to raise awareness about self-care and women’s rights. They talk about topics such as family, sexual and sexist violence, reproductive health, unwanted pregnancy or positive parenting.

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Mujer with her son in a session of well-being

Although the figure can vary greatly, currently the center regularly accompanies 75 women and girls in situations of sexual exploitation or at risk of being so and there are more than 300 non-indirect beneficiaries, such as children, families and communities.

Thanks to your collaboration we can continue to offer support to women and girls who are victims of exploitation and trafficking.



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