Nepal

Jhuwani

Gender Health

Library

Jhuwani Community Library and Resource Center

Supported in part by READ Nepal, this community-owned library focuses on social inclusion and economic stability, especially for women. At the Beyond Access 2012 Conference, Jhuwani won the People’s Choice award for its “My Digital Friend for My Healthy Life” program, which aims to improve pregnant women’s access to appropriate local healthcare services and information. The library also hosts the Jhuwani Women Cooperative, in which women pool their savings and establish lines of credit. They also learn basic math and savings techniques that have helped some members to establish their own small businesses.

Government Partner

Bachhauli Village Development Committee

In the Chitwan district, where Jhuwani and Bachhauli villages are located, the majority of residents belong to the Tharu community — an indigenous ethnic community. Many are socioeconomically poor with limited access to resources, information, and services due to many reasons, including illiteracy. As a result, they are often unaware of local services. The Village Development Committee provides resources to help improve development in the region, and has begun to allocate annual budget funds for community programs based at the Jhuwani Community Library and Resource Center.

Community Partner

Jhuwani Women’s Cooperative

Hosted at the Jhuwani Library, women in the cooperative collect their savings to establish trusted lines of credit while learning basic math and savings skills. According to READ Nepal, the country is one of the poorest in the world. The CIA Factbook reports that although overall literacy rates in Nepal approach 60%, male literacy is actually above 73% while women’s literacy remains below the 50% mark. The Women’s Cooperative helps empower women with skills, knowledge, and provides them with a safe place to share information and experiences with other women so they can improve their lives and livelihoods.