|Rural Women’s Development and Unity Centre (RUWDUC)|
RUWDUC believes in promoting the well-being of humanity and ensuring equality amongst all for an equal and just society. Established in April, 1995 with the objective of lending voice to the voiceless, particularly women, children and youth from most disadvantaged groups, RUWDUC believes every human being has an inherent right to a healthy life, equal opportunities to avail education, employment, quality health care, and access to justice, and to live a violence-free and peaceful life, devoid from all forms of discriminations. These beliefs fundamentally govern RUWDUC interventions which target some of the remotest parts of Nepal where discriminatory socio-cultural norms and values have hampered development efforts, negatively impacting overall empowerment and positive change. . RUWDUC recognizes transformation becomes possible only when the needs of communities are implicitly understood, communities are closely engaged in transformative processes, and consistent technical backstopping effort is rendered from macro to micro levels to ensure a society where women, men and LGBTQUI are all equal.
Empower women, children and youth to contribute to a holistic socio-economic and environment development in Nepal specifically in the Far Western Region of Nepal.
RUWDUC’s area of expertise and achievement
Socio-economic change: One of the first non governmental organizations initiating work and raising women’s issues in Far West, RUWDUC worked with mothers’ groups to improve families’ nutritional status. Supporting formation of over 72 women’s groups, cooperatives, bee-keeping groups over the years, training and seed grant support to women’s groups facilitated their economic independence through training on vegetable farming, sewing, bakery, and candle-making. Simultaneously social justice, where violence against women and social discriminations were intensively addressed. At national levels RUWDUC successfully supported release and rehabilitation of 59 women jailed for abortion from Nepali prisons and played a critical role in de-criminalization of abortion. RUWDUC is today recognized as a key player in awareness raising on gender equality and social inclusion, violence against women, socio-culturally discriminatory practices, potential risks of trafficking, bonded labor and safe migration, and more recently climate change.
Health promotion: RUWDUC’s support in nutrition based programs, Nutritional Rehabilitation Homes, in 4 districts of Nepal focuses on preventing and restoring health of severely malnourished children by providing nutrition education to caretakers, child treatment, and counseling to family. A pilot study on Prolapsed Uterus enabled a larger research through its network, Safe Motherhood Network Federation – recognizing the need and facilitating new policy to support prolapsed uterus. Health Camps on reproductive health, heart camps and general health needs have supported access of marginalized groups to health needs in remote areas. RUWDUC aims helping communities to adopt essential care and feeding diverse food practices at household and community level to improve and sustain the nutritional status of women and children under two years of age.
Enabling access to education: RUWDUC has been effectively running a children’s home for 10 extremely needy conflict affected girls. While working to transform institutionalization of children, RUWDUC was compelled to initiate it due to societal norms and patriarchal culture where relatives were unwilling to take in girls. Recognizing its need and quality the government has also been supporting it. RUWDUC is also supporting a Girl’s Hostel for 48 girls in a remote district, to prevent dropout of girls due to the distance of educational institution.
RUWDUC believes in evidence base approach, Therefore, engages/encourages in reasearch and publication.
Promoting peace and access to justice: The decade long insurgency in Nepal left a large number of women and children affected, many still suffering the consequences. RUWDUC has undertaken the responsibility of working closely with women conflict victims, and is playing a critical role in drafting of the National Action Plan Phase II of the UNSRCs 1325 and 1820. It is a pioneer organization initiating work on community mediation to promote access to justice for women and marginalized groups; Approximately 1041 mediators, including 383 women and 310 marginalized members have been trained on Community Mediation and successfully mediated over 5000 cases of conflict within household and communities in three remote districts of Nepal. 1885 Women and 2968 marginalized Community members have settled their disputes on land, community Forest, gender based violence, domestic violence, transactions, family disputes, etc.
Disaster Risk Reduction: RUWDUC has been supporting to the victims of flood, landslides and earthquake by providing food, clothes, tent, shelter, etc. RUWDUC works in Improved policies and practices of private sectors and other actors that respect the rights of river basin communities to water resources and Strengthen women’s voices indecision making process on water management and water infrastructure. RUWDUC supports in Better Access to Improved Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Services, Strategies and Technologies and Improved Access To Effective Disaster Risk Management Systems and Technologies though Improved Access to Productive Natural Resources and Resource Management Systems.
RUWDUC’s programs and activities enables grassroot level campaigns to policy level advocacy.
More recently, RUWDUC is working closely with the local governments and newly formed Judicial Committees which will play a key role in the country’s new administrative structure. It has already initiated consultations and training for enhancing common understanding of local governments’ needs.
RUWDUC’s Executive Board Members
Ms. Sajani Amatya, President
Dr. Arzu Rana Deuba, Founder President
Dr. Madhuri Singh, Former President
Ms. Shailaja Rana, Vice President
Ms. Jyotshna Saud, General Secretary
Ms. Madhur Rana, Treasurer
Ms. Pinky Singh Rana
Ms. Prasis Mahara
Mr. Sanjive Singh
RUWDUC’s Executive Board Members and their area of expertise
Dr. Arzu Rana Deuba served as Member of Parliament of Nepal for two consecutive tenures. She was a member of Constitution Drafting Committee and served as Chair of the Women Parliamentarians Coordination Committee. Dr. Deuba ia a well-known gender activist and social worker and has established a number of women and children issues related NGOs in Nepal including RUWDUC , Saathi (www.saathi.org.np) , SMNF (http://www.safemotherhood.org.np/) and established SAMANTA, research based institute for Social and Gender Equality. She served as elected Regional Councilor for South and East Asia for IUCN and currently serves as the Board of IPAS, USA and Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Education on Peace and Sustainable Development based in New Delhi.
Dr. Madhuri R. Singh, the former Chair of RUWDUC is a known name in the Women’s Rights Movement
of Nepal and has represented the country in national and international forums as GBV expert. Dr. Singh is the co-founder of SAATHI (www.saathi.org.np). She served as AID Development Program Specialist with USAID Nepal from 2001 to 2012 and currently serves as a faculty with Tribhuvan and Pokharal University and is in the Board of several Women’s Rights organizations. Dr. Singh has been recognized and honored nationally and internationally for her service in the sector of gender and human rights and was listed by One Action World, United Kingdom among the One Hundred Women, the (unseen) Powerful Women Who Change the World in October 2011. http://oneworldaction.wordpress.com/100-unseen-powerful-women/.
Ms. Sajani Amatya is the president of Rural Women Unity and Development Center (RUWDUC) that helps women and children, mostly in Mid and Far Western Nepal. With the belief that every human being has an inherent right to a healthy life and equal opportunities, RWDUC has actively organized service, support and awareness programs on health, maternal care and domestic violence mainly for women and children.Ms. Sajani Amatya is one of the five founding Board of Trustees of the Ullens Education Foundation (UEF). She has been continuously serving in the UEF board since the inception of the foundation in 2006. Sajani served as the founding and active board member of the Happy House Foundation, the non-profit child welfare organization of the Ullens. Born and raised in Kathmandu, Sajani has well earned her status as a vibrant social worker in Nepal. Sajani is a passionate advocate of children and women. Her high values in life, selflessness, straightforwardness and powerful enthusiasm to help the people in need has connected her with many different social organizations, in Nepal and abroad. Sajani sits in the Board of several prestigious organizations in Nepal, all in voluntary capacity. She served for almost 30 years at Nepal Youth Foundation; a child welfare NGO involved with protection of children under difficult circumstances, nutrition and education, in the capacity of its board member. Today she continues to serve at the advisory board of Nepal Your Foundation Nepal. Jayanti Memorial Trust is one of them which is solely focused in heart care and probably the largest heart care foundation established by a late Princess, Jayanti Shah, by donating her landmark five-star hotel for the trust. In initiation by Sajani, Jayanti Memorial Trust has developed a great partnership with University of Denver Medical School. SAATHI organization is another NGO that Sajani serves as the Vice-President. With the mission to “create violence free homes and society where women and children can live a life of dignity”, SAATHI is the first and largest organization in Nepal that provides shelter and takes care of the women and children suffering from domestic violence. Furthermore, it also provides victims with opportunity to engage in community and social mobilization initiative psychological counselling and vocational training in an effort to encourage women empowerment. To make her living, Sajani has a job with a British agency that has a program in Nepal. Sajani is also an awardee of the Dalai Lama Unsung Hero of Compassion.
Ms. Madhur Rana’s strength lies in overall Financial Administrative Management. As a treasurer she guides in developing financial strategies, ensuring suitable funding, offering advice on investment matters, and detecting financial risks. She regularly Supervise and mentor accounting staff and Human Resource Department.
Ms. Pinky Singh Rana is an active board member of SAATHI and serves in the board of SMNF (http://www.safemotherhood.org.np/) and RUWDUC . Ms Rana has been actively advocating for gender equality, eliminating violence against women and ensuring women’s reproductive rights since the last two decades. A fervent women’s rights activist, Ms. Rana’s forte lies in socially-based research, training, training manuals, training to security personnel, NGO Programming at grassroots, gender mainstreaming and evaluations and has a number of ground breaking publications which have been effectively used by and for the women’s movement in Nepal. Ms Rana is a trained trainer on women, peace and security.
Mr. Sanjive Singh, has more than 28 years of experience in diverse aspects of project management encompassing administrative, financial and contract administration responsibilities. He has experience of implementing multifarious program activities for various development agencies, projects, the private sector and government as well as non-governmental organizations both in-country and abroad Mr. Singh has worked with the private sector as well as different international agencies such as USAID, SNC-Lavalin International (CIDA funding), Research Triangle Institute (RTI) International, USA (DFID/UK funding), and Asian Development Bank (ADB), World Bank (WB) etc. in locations such as Nepal, Indonesia, Afghanistan and UAE.