Green Tara Trust has helped thousands of women over the years. Here are some of their personal stories:
I am Rojina. I studied only up to grade two and I married at age 21. My sister-in-law was coordinator of the health group, which met at my house. During my pregnancy I joined the group. I followed all the advice such as taking iron/folic acid, getting my vaccinations, taking de-worming tablets, and going for my monthly check-up at the mobile clinic. I did all the things they recommended to prepare for my birth such as having enough money, clothes for the baby, clean delivery kit… I gave birth at my local health facility and the delivery went well.
Since post-natal care is far from my village, I would not have been able to attend if there was no mobile clinic. Now I have completed all immunisations for my daughter through the clinic. I also don’t want to give birth to another baby til my daughter is 5 years. I have therefore used a temporary family planning method. Now on the 10th day of each month I go around the village to tell other women about the clinic. Observing all the changes in my life, I feel Green Tara staff are like my God, who have helped me to change so much. Thank you Green Tara.
Anita Gives Birth Safely
Anita is 17 year old girl from the Pharping programme area who recently gave birth to her first child. Her age is typical for a first-time mother in Nepal. She shares a seven by ten foot room with her husband Ashok, and now the baby, where they sleep, cook and eat in close confines. Anita only gave birth five days ago. She is happy to share her story but looks shell-shocked after what she has been through and now being responsible for a child.
Ashok doesn’t earn much money, so when I became pregnant I didn’t go to the hospital because I thought we’d have to pay for it and we don’t have much money.
Anita’s attitude is a common one, that the hospital will charge money for an ante-natal check-up, when in fact it is free. Many women are too shy to go and put themselves in the hands of strangers, and prefer instead to consult with traditional healers in their villages.
Luckily Anita’s friends were in a health group run by Green Tara and they encouraged her to get a check-up in the Government hospital. They were also able to help her when she started to experience a painful labour. With the support of the group they were able to arrange free transportation to the hospital where her baby was delivered with no complications.
I am so grateful to my friends. I got so scared when the pains started. Without them I dread to think what would have happened to me. It is due to them that my baby was born healthily and that I know how to care for him properly.
Anita and Ashok speak proudly about their son’s future and say they are thinking about how to give him the education they didn’t have.
Reshmi is 19 years old. She married at age 9. She is a Balami, a tribal “untouchable” community who traditionally marry young. We encountered Reshmi while we were setting up our pilot project in the Kathmandu area. She had recently lost her third child. Sadly, her story is typical of many women in rural Nepal. Reshmi had to tell us her story in secret because she was scared of her husband’s family:
I could feel my baby wasn’t moving well and I kept saying I needed to go to hospital. My mother-in-law wouldn’t let me; she told me to wait until labour started as the hospital was a waste of money. But I was one month overdue. I tried to contact my parents but my husband’s family wouldn’t let me.
Eventually they agreed to take me; the doctor said I had to go to a bigger hospital in Kathmandu because the baby was not well. My husband’s family said they didn’t have the money and wouldn’t take me. So I had to go home and three days later my belly had gone hard. Then I started shouting and refused to stop until my husband’s family took me back to hospital. The midwife there said it was too late and my baby had died. She scolded me for being a bad mother and said if I had come sooner maybe they could have saved my baby.
I am telling you this because I want you to help educate pregnant women and their families. I want people to know it is unacceptable for a family to torture a pregnant woman like this.
Prativa Receives Antenatal Care
Prativa, age 27, was resigned to the fact that she wouldn’t be able to have ante-natal checkups for her second child as it meant a one and a half hour walk to the hospital in Pharphing. After a visit from a GTN health promoter she discovered that they organised a clinic locally. Here she received good advice and iron tablets as well as ante natal and post natal checkups.
I didn’t have any problems during pregnancy, delivery and postnatal period because of your proper advice and health check up in outreach clinic. You guys solved my ANC check-up problems.
She expressed a lot of gratitude for Green Tara Trust and felt that that she and her child were healthy because of the support and care they received.
Suna Tamang, a 20-year-old woman, has a 4-month-old baby boy. Her husband works in Kathmandu so she stayed with him during her pregnancy period and gave a birth in the maternity hospital in the city. She then came back to her husband’s home in Simpani, Chhaimale VDC, where we run a health promotion group. Suna joined the group and said:
I love coming to the meetings because we get lots of informative knowledge on women’s health and caring for our children. At the same time I am getting closer to women of this village because although my husband is from this village, my maternal home is too far from here.