Participants in Referral Support Village Clinic in Lekhbesi Municipality, Surkhet

“I found many women and girls from this community have been facing domestic violence and other forms of gender based violence. They are suffering a lot, but still are quite because they were not aware about referral support and service mechanism. I am sure that after this program they are aware and will access such services. Now LGU should contribute on such programs and reach to vulnerable groups to address GBV.” Bimala Khadluk, Deputy Mayor, Lekhbesi Municipality

JuRI Nepal along with Feminist Dalit Organization (FEDO) is working in Karnali and Sudurpachhim Province addressing discriminatory norms and harmful practices. Under “Hamro Sahakarya” project, access to referral mechanism/services is being ensured of GBV survivors and vulnerable populations. For this project has mobilized its volunteers, Self Help Groups members to identify and support such people in the community. Beside this LGUs level referral committee has been formed in the leadership of local government (mainly Deputy Mayor/GBV Focal person) where updates on the mechanism, service delivery, its challenges, future plan and strategy is discussed. The referral committee has identify vulnerable areas/community where domestic violence is very high in the LGUs and decided to organize various awareness raising activities to aware the community on GBV and available support mechanism.

One of the key initiative “Referral support village clinic” was facilitated with support from local government in Lekhbesi Municipality, Simdar ward-9 of Surkhet district on 29th April 2024. The referral clinic helped to sensitized vulnerable community on GBV and available support mechanism in LGUs/district that can be accessed by the GBV survivors. The roles and functions of each service providers in the referral mechanism was also informed. During the event LGU Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Nepal Police, Psychosocial counselor, lawyer from Bar Council, LGUs officials along, project staff, SHGs volunteers and locals from the community participated. All together 85 community people (Dalits: 57, Janjati:13, BCT: 15) participated of which 71 were women and 14 were men. At the end of the event 11 survivors came to the referral mechanism who were further consulted by psychosocial support counselor and legal aid lawyer.

Some of the key reflections from the event;

“This event is conducted aiming to aware the most vulnerable community of municipality on GBV and available services to ensure access to justice of the GBV survivors. I highly appreciate FEDO for coming up with such innovative ideas. After listening my community people here, I think this one event is not sufficient local government should go for more in many other similar communities. I request FEDO and other CSOs to collaborate with Municipality in near future and expand such work.” – Umesh Paudel- Mayor, Lekhbesi Municipality

“I and many women’s in this village are facing violence from their own family, relatives and neighbors. We were not aware that judicial committee, FEDO, Police and Aawaj are there to support GBV survivors. Now we can reach out to them and express our pain asking justice. _ Kamala Sharki, Participant from the community – women with disability

Mayor along with Deputy Mayor from Lekhbesi Municipality, Surkhet in the event: referral support village clinic