Mother's Society member Sarita Khadka and daughter Subeksha.
Tintale Village, Nepal | In the final days of our time in Tintale village, PFCF administrator Shyam Basnet receives a call from Bhim Kumari Raut – the vice mayor of Katari municipality. She accepts his invitation to meet representatives from PFCF and publically acknowledge the Mother’s Society on their 10th anniversary. So it’s agreed a major village event will take place in two days. We gather for milk tea and details are quickly envisioned. Plans are made and our team steps into action. Word spreads throughout the region. Before long, a handful of local luminaries, politicians and VIPs commit to join a very special presentation scheduled on our last day here.
In preparation for the event, members of the Mother’s Society together are called to meet us at the school. To their surprise, we present them with a handcrafted Mother’s Society handbag and other gifts provided by dedicated supporters. Beautiful new Shakti colored sari uniforms provided by PFCF were personally distributed by Tuhin to each excited member. A very special thanks to Mamata and Ishor for procuring the fabric and tailoring 40 uniforms in Kathmandu.
We’re also grateful to Dustin and Jeff of Gnosis for designing the new Mother’s Society logo free of charge. After a unanimous decision, the mothers began the process of reregistering their new logo with the Nepali government. Working together like this appears to boosts their self-esteem and helps bring power to the intention.
Village volunteers rise up early and prepare the school grounds for the day’s events. Deep holes are dug, bamboo poles are placed to hold up the tarps protecting the stage and VIP seating from the harsh sun. The PA system and MP3 player are set in place. We have electricity for now. Wireless mics tested, dressing room and makeup in full swing, banners prominently displayed, music instruments tuned up, ready and in position - you get the idea – there’s a lot to going on.
Vice mayor Bhim and the special guests arrive to an excited crowd. We are all seated on the stage as music and dance is delightfully performed by PFCF music students. Speeches are offered by the various guests and politicians. The Mother's Society actors perform a number of scenes relating to trafficking for the audience. And then comes a very poignant message from the vice mayor. We hold hands as she speaks directly, “Please don’t forget us.” Looking out into the crowd I can see this is a proud moment for everyone involved. I’m told frankly it’s rare to have a woman serve as vice mayor. To have her join us representing the district feels downright auspicious. And we share this joy with each one of our supporters. You know who you are.
Bhim Kumari Raut - Vice Mayor of Katari Municipality, Devi Karki and William Aura.
At the completion of the drama performances, 10-year anniversary certificates of achievement are awarded to the proud members and their supporting crew. Because of our collective efforts, there’s no question the awareness of women’s rights issues is now in the forefront of the minds of many here. This work is only possible through the power of music and people like you. Stay tuned.