Girls Empowered by Travel-Nepal (GET Nepal) is a non-profit organisation, that provides culturally enriching, safe-traveling opportunities for young girls, while building awareness, character and leadership skills through community service.
Travel is a dynamic way, to empower young girls and women through informal and experiential cultural learning. The mission of this organisation is to create a powerful network of Girl Travel Circles (GTCs) and a movement around the world, uniting women who support and build up each other in character and life skills enabling positive lifelong contribution and sustainable progress in our world.
Girls Empowered by Travel-Nepal (GET Nepal) welcomes all young girls and women to join.
Hitaishi is one of the leading projects of GET-Nepal. The project develops skills and knowledge, and empowers girls to develop their unique talents and abilities, through traveling in diverse community settings. Hitaishi is a rural and urban cultural exchange project. (Hitaishi is a typical Nepali word, which refers to the bond of a ‘good friendship’)
The objective of ‘Project Hitaishi’ is to establish an enabling platform, for young Nepali woman and girls, where the cultural and social lifestyle of urban and rural communities actively and purposefully interact. Urban-based girl participants are provided an opportunity to travel to and interact in different remote/rural and urban parts of Nepal, and likewise, those from rural communities are introduced to the many positive opportunities that urban environments can provide.
Two meaningful visits have already been organised by the Hitaishi project. In March 2018, the first Hitaishi was organised in the Sarlahi district (in the lowland of Nepal). Five girls were selected from fifty applicants. Participants were provided the opportunity to travel and explore the remote region of Nepal.
The travel was quite meaningful in many different ways. The small initiation of stationary distribution from our Urban-based girls, has motivated the parents to send their children to school. One of our well-trained participants shared some self-defense techniques to rural girls. Due to these overwhelming results from the first series of Hitaishi project, we planned to give the continuity of the second series.
Five young and passionate rural girls from Sarlahi, Dhanusha and Bhaktapur districts were chosen to visit the historical sites of the Kathmandu Valley. It was challenging to bring the rural girls into the cities. Exploring the city areas was the first experience for some of the rurally raised girls. Different program activities were designed to give them basic knowledge: Public Speaking; Self-Defense; Domestic Violence; and Time Management skills were shared with our Hitaishi participants.
Additionally, they were taken to visit an Agro lab to see current innovations in Agriculture. This visit helped them to grow their interests in the Agriculture field. There are 131 ethnic groups in Nepal, so every culture has different meanings, with unique formation. Each participant belongs to the most marginalised communities, (belonging to Dalit, Mushar, Muslim, Tamang castes). These girls share their cultures and skills with rural girls. Overall, the second Hitasihi was a huge success.
One of the biggest challenges, in initiating the program was convincing parents of Rural Hitaishi girls, to allow them, to be part of and experience the cultural tours and participate in life-learning skill sessions.
It is rewarding, that the initial Hitaishis, have been a grand success. Participating girls have initiated projects in their own communities. One participant has planned to initiate adult education for women in her own village.
Similarly, one will be doing research for banana farming. Another participant, Bindu Bishwokarma stated, “I was so shocked, when we came to know some of the different forms of violence in the big city. I will definitely share my learning experiences with young and adult women in my own community. I feel fortunate to have been one of the Hitaishi participants. I will become the leader of a GTC chapter from my village.”
In the next series of Hitaishi projects, the program schedule will be focused toward providing information on a widespread need, in the rural communities. Research found that many youths from rural areas are often deprived of essential health education.
Schools are reluctant to educate students regarding health and human sexuality, because of social taboos. As a consequence, social issues arise such as drug abuse and crimes of sexual assault and rape, when adolescent students aren’t properly informed. The next Hitaishi will be tailored to this important health issue.
Nepali Sansar appreciates and supports initiatives like Hitaishi that work towards the betterment of the Nepal. We are enthusiastic to help organizations like GET-Nepal. If your organizations look to make a difference, then we are more than happy to educate people about your cause. Send us your details at firstname.lastname@example.org