trail running nepal participants

Running girls from Gorkha, Helambu and Langtang

As mentioned a couple of weeks earlier, the Dolomites Skyrace organisation, and the mail winner together collected a sum of money to assist the victims of the earthquake. Mira had a think about where she wanted that money to go. She wanted to help other sisters and in particular runners.

Smiling-girls-red

Happy girls

This is what Danielle of Her Turn said: 

Her Turn has watched with excitement as Mira Rai has exploded on the trail running scene and proven what women and girls can do when given the opportunity to develop their innate abilities. The girls that Her Turn works with come from similar backgrounds to Mira and very often have little opportunity to explore and develop their own unique talents.

Life in the Nepali hills can be a tough existence with families doing what they can to get by. Girls often bear the brunt of this tough scramble and typically put their family’s survival needs before their own desires. Mira has shown a new generation of girls how to dream.

Her Turn is excited about the possibility to connect with others encouraging women’s and girls’ involvement in sports. We believe sports can be an important avenue to raise girls’ health, confidence, and self-esteem and “level the playing field.”

women football in nepal

Girls enjoying sport

Here’s a little about us and what we hope to do with incoming funding in light of the new post-earthquake situation in Nepal:

Her Turn is a non-profit program that runs educational workshops on leadership, health, and safety for adolescent girls in rural districts known for high rates of trafficking, child marriage, and sexual violence (you can find out more about the program on our website, or by reading our latest annual report). These districts (Sindhupalchok and Gorkha) are also two of the districts most affected by the earthquakes that ravaged Nepal this spring. Disasters typically affect women and girls more severely, particularly in contexts where gender discrimination impacts resource allocations such as relief materials and food. Problems such as sex trafficking and early marriage stem from structural, cultural, and economic causes, like poverty, low social status of girls and women, and limited work opportunities. The unstable post-disaster landscape puts women and girls at even higher risk of sexual exploitation and abuse.

In addition to the destabilization of disrupted family networks (through death and dislocation) and economic networks, traffickers are reportedly taking advantage of the vulnerable situation by increasing efforts to solicit women for sex work. The monsoon rains are now exacerbating the situation, with the threat of landslides further dislocating families and communities who must move elsewhere to seek safety. Adolescent girls in particular report high levels of sexual abuse and harassment after disasters, and cite the lack of privacy of emergency shelters. Girls are also more likely to be pulled out of school after disasters than boys, as female household members may need to devote more time to domestic tasks that are more difficult after disasters. Girls are also reportedly considering leaving school for work abroad to help their families through this economically trying time.

girls learning in nepal

Her Turn educational programme

Her Turn has been working to address problems such as trafficking, early marriage, gender-based violence (GBV), and school dropouts through workshops in several schools since 2012. Her Turn now proposes refresher workshops to support previous participants and reinforce Her Turn educational content, which is even more relevant and needed in the new post-earthquake landscape. At this critical time, it is important to make sure girls and women remember and have access to life-saving information on preventing trafficking, early marriage, and GBV, and remember how staying in school can help them and their families in the long-run. While these issues do not immediately come to mind as life-saving assistance, they are incredibly important and often overlooked issues in times of disaster.

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