NCBL started to support people in the Dolakha district of Nepal in 2015. The main project in the district was providing livelihood support to 75 survivors of landmines and IEDs, with the support of ICBL-CMC, as well as survivors of the 2015 earthquake and other people with disabilities (pwds). NCBL provided cash and commodities equivalent to NRP 25000/-per person. As part of that project, NCBL also offered multiple other activities to unite, empower and support victims of conflict in leading a sustainable life and advocating for a mine-free and peaceful Nepal. The organization provided opportunities to learn leadership skills, plan formulation and implementation and activity monitoring and evaluation which allowed the members to establish a network in the district. It also provided three trainings to all beneficiaries on landmines and cluster munitions ban treaties and the impact of the project at a national and local level. Part on the project was also the conduction of capacity building meetings, consultation on how to gain access to local authorities and organizations and resource mobilization. In addition to the support project in 2015, NCBL also supported 32 girls with disabilities for their education.The 2015 project did not limit its capacity to only providing livelihood support for survivors and pwds. NCBL also worked on mobilizing local resources during the project to be able to help and support a bigger number of people. It provided relief support to over 400 people with disabilities with food, clothing and temporary shelter. The organization also organized a clothing collection campaign and distributed those clothes to over 200 people with disabilities to help them overcome the cold weather of Dolakha.NCBL played a big role in supporting people with disabilities in the Dolakha district by distributing wheelchairs to 5 people and crutches to 14 people. It also provided computer training to 3 people with disabilities, including one of the person we interviewed during our visit. The organization helped 65 people get their pwds card and helped build access to other various organization.NCBL also organized multiple activities for advocacy and mine free world in the Dolakha district. It helped organized meetings of the National network of mine victims as well as meetings with high level government authorities and security forces to urge them to ban landmines and cluster munitions. NCBL also played an important role in providing opportunities to past conflict parties such as security forces, CPN Maoist members and civilians to participate in meetings and workshops.
During NCBL’s visit to Dolakha, three members of the organization interviewed six survivors and person with disability. For the interviews, the NCBL team met with the survivors/people with disabilities at their homes and places of work. Each of the interviews included the same questions and everyone was asked about general information and information about their disability. The support from NCBL ended in 2015 in Dolakha, but the organization wanted to go back to witness how that support impacted the lives of the survivors and people with disabilities. Ban Landmines Campaign Nepal wanted to see how their work and support was sustainable even after their departure and decided to obtain that information by interviewing people who have been supported in the past. By interviewing these people, NCBL was able to understand how their lives changed after they got support from the organization. That will help us understand what kind of support works best and how it can change people’s lives. Another objective was to find and understand the needs of the survivors and people with disability in that district of Nepal. This would allow NCBL to gain better knowledge on what those people need to be able to create future project and support in that area.
During the visit, NCBL was able to witness the impact the project had on people’s lives and how it’s still helping two years later. Even if the project is over and the organization is not in Dolakha, many activities are still being organized and many people NCBL helped in the past are now playing a major advocacy role in the region. They are multiple ongoing activities taking place in the district with the help of many survivors and people with disabilities. The members of the NCBL network are often organizing advocacy activities for the promotion of the rights of people with disabilities like rallies and different kinds of meetings. One of the more pressing issue in the district of Dolakha is the accessibility to public places for people with disabilities. The network that was created in the district is working strongly on that issue, but there is still a lot of work to be done. By meeting with people from the government and politic parties, survivors and pwds were able to make some public spaces more accessible. At the moment, there is a library being built in Dolakha which will be accessible for all people with disability. Even with NCBL gone, changes are still possible with the help of the network that was created in the district. They are now able to raise funds from local authorities to organize activities at the local level.The project in Dolakha in 2015 helped multiple people with livelihood support, but it also helped create a network that is still strong today. The survivors are still very active in the district and are participating to many meetings of organizations on behalf of NCBL. This helps the work of NCBL because the survivors are able to spread the message on different key issues the organization is working on. The role they have in the community has helped the survivors have voice and be heard by the government. Another important aspect of the work NCBL has done in Dolakha is building the dignity and confidence of survivors and people with disabilities. They are not just being supported and they left alone. They are a part of the survivors’ network and members of NCBL. This has helped many of them to gain more self-confidence as well as more independence. It makes them realize they are part of something and their help and hard work matters. The survivors feel proud of themselves for being able to help other survivors and people with disabilities.
Even if the project is over in the Dolakha district, the visit was very important for the relationship between the organization and the survivors. The survivors are now representing NCBL in their district, so it is very important to keep open channels of discussion. The organization realizes it is important to keep tight and strong relations with the people in Dolakha, because if we forget about them the link will be broken. It is also important for NCBL to encourage the community in the district to continue their activities because it makes a big difference. With the visit, the organization is now also aware of the strengths and desires of the network as well as all the activities they are working on. With the visit, NCBL is now aware of how important it is to go back to the communities after projects are over to witness the impact those projects had on the people. It is also very important to not stop the communication with the survivors once the support is over, because these are the people that can help the organization and make a difference.
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