Get Involved

Become a WOREC Peer ?

After 24 years of experience working with women in Nepal, WOREC has decided to engage further with the community through a new empowerment tool: the WOREC Peer Program. The program has been designed to share knowledge, exchange skills and build capacity, while contributing to the continuous struggle to end violence against women in the country.

 

Why become a WOREC Peer ?

Participating in the program will be helpful in many ways:

  • To the community, because it will bring new excited peers to work together.
  • To the organization, since it will fuel and support current initiatives.
  • To the volunteers, providing a life changing experience of joining forces to drive lasting and needed change, seeing the impact that your decisions and actions can have.

 

Who can be a WOREC Peer?

Any person older than 18, Nepalese or foreign, who is interested in contributing to end violence against women through rights based approach. You don’t need any special skill, just being energetic, open minded, empathetic, gender sensitive and eager to exchange experiences will do.

The WOREC Peer program is customized regarding community needs and applicants’ profile, in order to guarantee a fruitful encounter and learning experience.

 

What can I do?

There are specific areas addressed in our integral human rights based approach for ending violence against women. Each of these programs provides an opportunity for engagement as well as deeper understanding of the socio-cultural background. Identifying your areas of interest will help define the most suitable options for you.

 

WOREC’s programs:

Impunity, political protection, and a patriarchal state and society continue denying access to justice for women facing gender-based violence. Women’s inclusion in peace-building and transitional justice is still not deemed a priority and as a consequence of this, victims of sexual violence during the 10-year-long conflict (1996-2006) were excluded from the interim relief plan for conflict victims. Women also continue to be excluded in political and decision-making positions at all levels. Even in the legal system there are provisions that discriminate against women, such us:

  • Unequal rights to citizenship
  • A narrow definition of rape
  • A 35-day statute of limitation on reporting cases of rape
  • A ban on women under 30 years migrating to the Gulf for informal work such as domestic work, thus curtailing women’s freedom to mobility

 

Considering the Millennium Development Goals, there are specific areas where the gaps on gender equality and women’s rights are evidenced:

Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger (MDG1):  Significant gender gaps have been observed in employment rates. Women are in exploitative forms of employment and have less access to social protection. Women continue to bear a greater share of the work burden, and continue to have lower incomes (USD$35 for women against USD$58 for men), less paid work (77 percent of married women are employed but 61 percent of them are not paid, whereas 98 percent of men are employed and only 12 percent of them are not paid), and less control over assets and resource than men.

Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women (MDG 3): While women’s employment in the non-agricultural sector has more than doubled since 2000, their employment in government service remains minimal. The proportion of women holding seats in national parliament was at 33 percent until 2012, but the commitment of political parties to maintain this inclusion has faltered in the last election (the current Constituent Assembly has 30 percent of women presence). Sexual and gender-based violence continues to happen (22 percent of women aged 15+ suffered physical violence; 35 percent of women suffered spousal or partner abuse in their life) and so do impunity, a taboo around women’s sexuality, and violations against women’s bodily integrity.

The gender inequality index is 102 out of 148.

Improve Maternal Health (MDG 5): While progress towards MDG 5 has continued to look promising, the picture shows big disparities between urban and rural settings, geographic regions, and social and economic groups (the percentage of births delivered in a health facility reaches 35percent in average, but in urban areas it’s 71percent while it hardly gets to 32percent in rural regions).  Discriminatory practices, such as chhaupadi and child marriage continue. Though the maternal mortality ratio has reduced from 415 in 2000 to 170 in 2013, it is still high. At least 10 percent of Nepalese women suffer from uterine prolapse.

WOREC is devoted to changing this situation, guaranteeing justice and equality can be a right for all and not a privilege. Joining the organization you’ll have the opportunity of understanding the complex underlying reasons to the current status quo, and be a driver of change. The more people committed to the cause, the more powerful we can get. Challenging historical patriarchal norms take courage, effort and time, only with continuous struggle and considered citizens willing to participate can we end violence. We invite you to contribute to making the world a better place for women and girls, a better place for us all.

 

VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

Why we need to work on this?

Violence against women is a global issue, manifesting in different ways around the world. It is a result of patriarchy and it is deeply rooted in our cultures, therefore making it a big challenge to revert.

In Nepal, violence can take various forms and it’s reinforced by superstitions, illiteracy among women, poverty, marginalization, impunity and discriminatory laws. As a result of the unequal power relationships between men and women, the latter become targets of abuses that are seldom reported because they are still socially accepted. The main type of violence women and girls face is domestic violence, followed by rape cases and social violence (which includes blaming as witch, mental torture, beating/physical torture, child marriage, question on chastity–that’s expected from them–threats to their lives and verbal assault).

A society cannot be developed while keeping half of its population under this kind of heinous conditions, that’s why we are committed to eliminating VAW.

What we do to address the issue?

Ensuring human rights and promoting social justice is how we crusade to end violence against women and children. Through the different programs we build an integrated approach that aims to empower women by giving them the necessary tools to demand justice, raise their voices and guarantee their economic, cultural, social, health and sexual rights. The VAW program includes the following initiatives:

 

  • Capacity building on rights, gender, advocacy skills, leadership and institutional development, oriented to teachers, schools, women and youth groups.
  • Lobby and advocacy on the different issues (rape, witchcraft allegations, etc.) to put pressure on the main stakeholders and drive change.
  • Coordination and linkage between communities and organizations to raise the issues, exchange information, share experiences and give guidance to ensure women’s human rights.
  • Need based support to survivors of violence through our “safe house” system. A safe house is a quiet and unknown place where women can be apart from the community while they get the health treatment, psycho-social counseling and legal advice they need after the traumatic experience they have suffered. Skill training and capacity building are also part of the recovery, to generate confidence and empower women. Many of them, when they go back to their villages, become health counselors themselves, disseminating information and supporting others.

How you can be helpful?

Exchange is a key element when working on capacity, especially with younger groups. Your different points of view and experiences on human rights can feed the debates in the trainings.

If you have skills for event planning and coordination, we can definitely put them at use to generate workshops with the community or other women’s human rights networks.

Making issues visible is also a main part of building support and advocacy, so if you are good with words you can help disseminating information in a compelling way both for civil society and for stakeholders.

This is just a glimpse of alternatives, customization will be done according to volunteer profiles and program needs.

 

SAFE MIGRATION

Why we need to work on this?

Safe migration is our older initiative. WOREC was founded to end trafficking and in the process of doing so, we identified that the only way to stop trafficking and respect human’s right to mobility was ensuring safe migration.

Migration is a common practice in Nepal: 25 percent of the country’s GDP comes through remittance and 56 percent of the households in the country rely on this money to sustain their living.

According to official numbers from the international airport, 1,700 persons aged 18-35 leave the country every day to search for job opportunities in Malaysia and Persian Gulf Countries, and out of these, 13 percent are women. There are no official figures to account for undocumented migration that happens through India borders, but the estimated overpasses the 1,700.

Migrants are mostly people from rural Nepal, with low economic background, limited education and skills that, in the process of departure, face many threats that can lead to human trafficking and forced labor. Women are especially vulnerable due to the following facts:

  • Women have less job opportunities in the country, which forces them to seek for options abroad to sustain their families.
  • Sometimes, going away is also a means of escaping a situation of domestic violence.
  • The main task migrant women will assume at destination is related to domestic work, and the partial and complete ban being placed on the migrant women from time to time has increased the number of women migrating through illegal channel. The age ban policy sanctioned by the Nepalese Government in August 2012 prohibited women under 30 to migrate with this purpose. Recently, in 2014, the government completely placed a ban on domestic workers going to GCC countries and this increases the risk of human trafficking.
  • Patriarchal cultural norms frown upon women that leave their families in search for livelihood opportunities. Women do so silently, which also puts them in a more difficult position and makes them and easy catch for ill-intentioned brokers, agents and trafficking networks.
  • Domestic work itself is unregulated by labor laws at destination countries, so women can easily become subjects to forced labor and exploitation.

What we do to address the issue ?

WOREC’s Safe migration program focuses in:

  • Providing pre-departure information so that migrants can identify their rights and understand how to avoid deception.
  • Giving support to victims of human trafficking to ensure access to justice in cases of migrant’s rights violations.
  • Training civil society and other NGOs to provide conceptual clarity about the extent of trafficking and how to address it while ensuring the human right to mobility.
  • Gathering documentation, reporting cases and building advocacy.
  • Raising awareness of this issue and lobbying to change laws that increase the risks.
  • Skill training for potential and returned migrants to increase livelihood options in the country.

How you can be helpful ?

Information is key to empower the community, and there are different ways to approach this. Your communication skills can be useful to find new creative forms of educating and orientating women, youth and even women’s human rights defenders. Campaigns, street drama, radio shows, information booths are part of our current strategy in which you can participate and also bring new ideas!

Documentation and reporting is an essential tool to increase visibility at national and international level. Research skills and information managing are very important for this task to be accomplished.

This is just a glimpse of alternatives, customization will be done according to volunteer profiles and program needs.

LIVELIHOOD

Why we need to work on this ?

Our experience working to fight trafficking led us to look at the root causes of migration and identify food security as a key aspect to ensure livelihood. Having access to food is an essential element for people in the community to work, be healthy, and generate a socio-cultural stable environment where violence can be reduced. The lack of a nutritious diet gives way to sickness, which has a big cost for families (since health services aren’t always available, forcing them to travel, and treatments imply money). The stress of this kind of situation not only reinforces migration but it can also lead to violence.

Agriculture is still the main economic activity in Nepal, and rural areas are the poorest and more vulnerable parts of the country (which makes these peoples potential migrants). Every farmer in Nepal has a small property that can be enhanced to produce crops to guarantee sufficient food for the family.

What we do to address the issue ?

To fight hunger and the violence it generates, WOREC has come up with the Eco-Village concept. The objective is to maximize crop production in a limited space, using sustainable tools of bio-farming, managing natural resources in a friendly manner, with alternative sources of energy, and natural pesticides and fertilizers.

Educating communities to transform traditional villages into ecological settlements is not only about the environmentally friendly approach, but it’s an integrated comprehensive human’s rights based approach to meet their economic, social, physical and psychological needs. With that in mind, support is given to ensure capacity on bio intensive farming and human rights, access to education and primary health care, active participation of the community through groups and cooperatives, protection of ethnic culture and traditional knowledge, and the commitment to end violence against women and all forms of discrimination.

How you can be helpful ?

Our integral human rights based approach to working with the communities opens many possibilities for volunteers to help. The wide span of initiatives provides a variety of options, such us:

  • Disseminating information: generating campaigns, raising awareness of human rights and sanitation, collaborating with community radio and the media center.
  • Evaluating and monitoring performance to enhance the use of resources and increase productivity.
  • Educating on different skills, at different levels: from early child development centers to youth and women groups, there are always opportunities to share knowledge (language, computer, craft making, are just a few examples of what can be done).
  • Entertainment is a very powerful way to reinforce bonds in the community and avoid prejudice. Organizing cultural exchange events can be beneficial for everyone, leading to new ideas and fruitful debates.
  • Marketing advice and skills are also welcomed to increase income generation opportunities for the community (understanding the different initiatives and market environment can lead to alternatives to enhance current small businesses).

This is just a glimpse of alternatives, customization will be done according to volunteer profiles and program needs.

 

HEALTH

Why we need to work on this ?

Our health program is focused on enabling women, children and adolescent girls from discriminated and marginalized communities to exercise their human right to health. Healthy womanhood is an essential part of guaranteeing livelihood (primary health care, education on nutrition and sanitation) and also key to support women that suffered from violence or unsafe migration since these have harmful impacts (physical or psychological consequences, social neglect and marginalization). Reproductive health is still a taboo in Nepalese society, and women suffering from fistula and prolapsed uterus don’t generally get proper treatment, leading to social isolation.

What we do to address the issue ?

We have an integrated approach to health, working at three different levels to ensure proper information, support, and advocacy to change current reality:

 

  • At community level we have a set of tools and strategies in place to guarantee health support and basic treatment, psycho-social counseling, legal and health guidance. We ensure this through Community Health Clinics, Women Health Resource and Counseling Centers, Social Mobilizers, Community Based Organizations and Women Health Network. These initiatives not only provide services but also gather information on which are the main issues affecting women’s health. Documenting this is key for better addressing them, generating awareness, and reporting to the government for policy change.
  • Also at community level, in order to give support for survivors of VAW, we have developed quiet and unknown places called “safe houses”. The main objective of these spaces is that women get the health treatment, psycho-social counseling and legal advice they need in order to reintegrate into society. The trauma resulting from violence takes time to heal, and that’s why WOREC gives up to six month of devoted help. Skill training and capacity building are also part of the recovery, to generate confidence and empower women. Many of them, when they go back to their villages, become health counselors themselves, disseminating information and supporting others.
  • Lastly, with all the information and knowledge gathered from the work with the community, we intend to build advocacy that can generate changes in policy. We work to increase awareness of the issues affecting women’s health, alerting the government, civil society and other organizations, so that we can all get engaged into addressing them.

How you can be helpful ?

There are many things that can be done depending on your interests and skills, these are just some ideas:

Communication skills can be very useful in disseminating information on reproductive and health rights, encouraging women to speak about violence, bodily integrity, prolapsed uterus and fistula, generating discussions and debates.If you have health training you can provide treatment and also help to capacitate our barefoot gynecologists, people from the community that will support and guide their fellows.

Safe Houses are closed to public and we need to maintain this, but that doesn’t mean you cannot help women that are there. Legal advice and support to work on getting justice for survivors is a way in which you can contribute, if you have proper knowledge. Also, coming up with ideas for capacity training and education could be very useful for their reintegration.

As in the safe migration program, the health program gathers a lot of information about marginalized minorities in Nepal. We have a documentation system ongoing but we don’t have the time to analyze all the information available in order to produce interesting research that would increase visibility at national and international level. Research skills and information managing are very important for this task to be accomplished.

This is just a glimpse of alternatives, customization will be done according to volunteer profiles and program needs.

 

Where will I be working ?

The rural areas of Nepal are also the least prosperous. It’s here that women face more violence and difficulties to access education and justice. The human development index figures untitledalso depict how much work is needed in the rural areas, compared to Kathmandu and Valley region.

 

 

 

 

 

That’s why WOREC focuses its efforts in the districts, working in the following locations:

Udayapur

Located in the eastern region of Nepal, Udayapur is approximately 480 km away from Kathmandu. Part of the inner terai, at the foothills, it is characterized by its grasslands, savannas, hot weather and humid climate. Temperatures vary from 30ºc to 35ºc.

 

Dang

Located in the mid-western region of Nepal, Dang is 450 km from Kathmandu. Part of the inner terai at the foothills, it is characterized by its grasslands, savannas, hot weather and humid climate. Temperatures vary from 35ºc to 40ºc.

 

Siraha

Located in the eastern region of Nepal, Siraha is 450 km from Kathmandu. Part of the outer terai, it maintains the typical geographical aspects of terai region: hills surround the grasslands, savannas and forests and the climate is hot and humid. Temperatures vary from 30ºc to 40ºc.

 

Dhanusha

Located in the central region of Nepal, Dhanusha is 400 km from Kathmandu. Part of the outer terai, it maintains the typical geographical aspects of terai region: hills surround the grasslands, savannas and forests and the climate is hot and humid. Temperatures vary from 35ºc to 40ºc.

Kailali

Located in the far western region of Nepal, Kailali lies 670 km from Kathmandu. Part of the outer terai, it maintains the typical geographical aspects of terai region: hills surround the grasslands, savannas and forests and the climate is hot and humid. Temperatures vary from 38ºc to 42ºc.

Morang

Located in the eastern region of Nepal, Morang lies 550 km from Kathmandu. Part of the outer terai, it maintains the typical geographical aspects of terai region: hills surround the grasslands, savannas and forests and the climate is hot and humid. Temperatures vary from 30ºc to 40ºc.

 

How do I apply ?

The first step is to fill the form below. The more detailed information you provide, the more we can tailor make your program!

Once we receive the information, our WOREC Peer program officer will analyze the suitable options and e-mail you an alternative to match your needs.

  • Name:
  • E-mail:
  • Age:
  • Nationality:
  • Language/s spoken:
  • Language/s written:
  • Time (How long are you planning on staying? Note that longer periods will result in deeper bonds, knowledge and understanding of the communities)
  • Interests & Objectives (what do you enjoy doing and why are you looking for this opportunity?)
  • Skills & Background (any experience or expertise you have that you think can be of help)
  • Attachments (please include any information you think can help understand your profile better–CV, letter of intention, references, etc)
  • Restrictions (include here any comments on dietary or health restrictions you may have so that we can consider when planning your placement)

 

Fees

We are a non-profit organization and, as such, we are not aiming to make a profit from your participation, but to provide an exchange opportunity. You can transparently track the fees charged!

The objective of the fee is to guarantee you’ll have the main services you need.

Weeks* Administration Mobility Housing** Total Program Cost
2 US$150 US$150 US$300 US$600
3 US$150 US$150 US$400 US$700
4 US$150 US$150 US$500 US$800
5 US$150 US$150 US$600 US$900

 

There are no time limits if you want to stay more than 5 weeks, just consider that each week costs US$100 to cover housing needs.** The place and food have a cost of US$50 per week, but we have doubled the cost of accommodation because each day you stay will be supporting a day at the safe house for a Nepalese woman. Fighting against violence has many aspects. Getting justice is one of the biggest challenges we face, since patriarchal structures make women unaware of their rights. These women also suffer from stigmatization and discrimination after abuse. Social and political pressure makes them desist on entering the lengthy process that reaching justice in Nepal means.

Therefore, having a place where they can feel safe, recover, get legal and health support, and feel empowered to demand justice is done is essential.

There is also an extra US$100 charged in the first week that covers preparation and maintenance of the venue.

What does your fee cover?

  • Assigned Volunteer Coordinator to help with all pre-departure support and offer guidance
  • In-depth matching process to align your skills and interests with a placement that really suits you
  • Pick up and drop off from Kathmandu’s Tribhuwan International Airport to the program where you’ll be based.
  • 3 daily meals (aligned with local customs, please inform if you have any dietary or health restrictions) and housing
  • Cultural and mobility advice
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Library with reading material about violence against women in Nepal
  • Free WIFI at our office
  • In-country orientation and emergency support

What’s not included ?

  • Plane ticket
  • Visa
  • Health Insurance

 

Before your trip!!

Before planning your trip, it’s important that you know a little more about where you are headed. We advice that you do your own research, but we also want to provide some background information about the country, its customs and gender inequality landscape (you can surf through our website to find out more about campaigns, programs, events and accomplishments).

About Nepal

Located in South Asia, this 147,181 square kilometers nation has a population of almost 27 million people. It is located in the Himalayas, bordered to the north by the People’s Republic of China, to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India and with the Tibetan Autonomous Region across the Himalayas. Kathmandu is the nation’s capital and largest metropolis, with 2.5 million inhabitants.

Every year, many tourists approach the country, due to its amazing views and landscapes. House of the highest peak of the world, Mount Everest, Nepal receives adventurous trekkers, hikers and backpackers. Birthplace of Gautam Buddha, it is also considered one of the holiest places in the world and an attracting pilgrimage center.

Despite the important Buddhist influence, the main religion in the country is Hinduism, practiced by more than 80 percent of the population. Nevertheless, Nepal is a secular state, where all religions are respected and where Muslims, Christians and Buddhists are present as well. Many historical beautiful temples can be visited, especially in Kathmandu Valley, defined together with Lumbini as world’s cultural heritage by UNESCO.

Nepal has committed itself to the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) in 2000.  Since then, it has gone through many transformations: an armed conflict has ended; a monarchy has been abolished; the creation of a democracy has begun; a constituent assembly elected, dissolved and second constituent assembly elected; abortion has been legalized. However, while there has been a move towards equality and democracy, the status of women still remains a concern.

In 2014, Nepal scored 145th in the Human Development Index.

Living details

Some details about what to expect for your daily life, so you can be prepared:

The weather in Nepal varies related to the altitude, so the temperature will depend on where you are placed, but five seasons can be identified: summer, monsoon, autumn, winter and spring. During the monsoon season (June to September) roads can get blocked due to landslides and trekking can get dangerous, keep this in mind if you want to include some tourism before or after your volunteer work.

Energy is scarce and power outages occur during the day, both in the metropolitan and rural areas. Remember to pack a torch! The lack of energy might also affect internet availability.

Saturdays are the weekly holiday, so you should expect to work from Sunday to Friday. This can change depending on the program needs: we work with and for the community and are available 24/7, so flexibility is part of our service.

Squat toilets are largely used, and generally no toilet paper is provided since the local custom is to use water and a bucket. There is toilet paper available to buy at shops, just remember to carry some in your bag if that is your preference.

The typical Nepalese meal is Dal bhat, which is generally eaten twice a day. Dal is a spicy lentil soup, served over bhat (boiled rice), together with tarkari (curried vegetables), achar (pickles) or chutni (spicy condiment made from fresh ingredients). It can be vegetarian or not. Beef is not allowed since cows are considered holy, but buffalo meat is available and it’s also very tasty! You can expect to find a wide range of flavors in your meal, due to the use of spices such as cumin, coriander, black peppers, sesame seeds, turmeric, garlic, ginger, methi (fenugreek), bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, pepper, chilies and mustard seeds.

When preparing your bag you should mind your clothing, caring not to show so much skin. Avoid sleeveless shirts and trousers or skirts above your knee, since they are not common and you’ll may feel or make others uncomfortable. It is also advisable to pack a hat or cap to face the sunny weather.

 

We wish you a pleasant and fruitful stay!!