Beth van den Elst

My name is Beth van den Elst and I work in the Social Work field in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. In 2010, I travelled to Nepal to volunteer with Sahayatri for two months. At that time, Sahayatri was based in Kathmandu and worked predominantly with women in the sex-trade industry. Sahayatri's main focus was to provide health and awareness education for women who found themselves working within the sex trade industry, and to give them the opportunity to sustain themselves financially in other sectors of work by empowering them through skills training sessions. During my involvement with Sahayatri, I presented topics I am knowledgeable about and facilitated the following classes: Basic Hygiene, An introduction to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and English classes. The director, Abha Shrestha, and her volunteers, work tirelessly to provide up to date health information and education to their participants. They provide an access point for women to meet, obtain support and build community. They help women gain financial independence through sustainable income-generating activities and ultimately, empower the women of this community. Resilience building processes take time. The economic, social and political vulnerabilities of communities living in poverty can only be reduced through sustained, long- term change. Women in this community need a grass root organization to bring about lasting change and that is what Sahayatri does. I now support the Sahayatri Nepal Makawanpur Kids for Education program because I believe so strongly in the good work that Sahayatri Nepal does. I encourage you to do the same. Please consider Sahayatri Nepal as an indispensable organization to receive funding

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