Since my last post, I have been busy shooting, and just got back from 5 days in Achham District (more on that later). I didn’t have my computer with me out there, and as we just got back late last night, I am only now getting to an update.
I am really grateful to the folks at World Education Nepal who connected me with a wonderful organization called Pouraki who are doing work with Nepali women who have been exploited and abused as workers in foreign countries. I spent some time on Thursday photographing at the shelter for women who have managed to return to Nepal after suffering serious abuse abroad. Most of these women arrive at the Kathmandu airport late at night with nothing more that a small carry-on, and many of them have only temporary travel documents. This woman did manage to still have her passport, but not much else. Pourakhi have people meeting these late flights who screen for women who are in an obvious state of distress. They are then taken to the shelter where they receive attention relating to their physical and mental health.
In addition, once they are settled, the women are given vocational training which helps them get back on their feet and eventually return to their families, if that is possible. Because of the nature of the shelter, and the stigma that is attached to this issue, I can’t publish faces of any of the women, but the shelter is totally amazing and I am so grateful to have been made to feel so welcome.
After the shelter, Shanti Thapa Magar who works for World Ed took me to a temporary housing camp in the Chuchepati area of Kathmandu. It is basically a tent city in the middle of a large open area. Pourakhi is running SEEP classes for the residents. The Self Employment Education Program helps those who have been displaced by the recent earthquake. We dropped in on a math class, and this fellow was really happy to have a bit of an audience.
Here’s the class, who were nice enough to take a break and come out for a group shot.
After we left the SEEP class, Shanti took me around the camp and introduced me to several residents.
I was amazing how open people are in the camp.
People were curious about seeing me walking around with a camera, but were so nice to chat with.
Here is Dhalak Kumari Dotel with her grandchild, standing outside of her family’s tent.
And here they are inside where they live with her son and daughter-in-law.
Here is Shova Khadka sitting outside of her tent working with wool. / A vast number of Nepalis lived in villages that were more or less destroyed in the earthquake, and many of them are now living in these temporary camps in Kathmandu. The day after I shot these photos, I went to another camp in a different part of town. I hope to get a post up about that visit by Friday. Tomorrow, Shanti and I and another World Education staffer are off to Sindhupalchowk to photograph an area where over 95% of the houses were destroyed by the quake.