Promoting Environmentally-Friendly Hygienic Practices and Products in Nepal

Robin McDonough
April 23, 2024
Three women in a room in Nepal, wearing gloves and working with environmentally-friendly products in plastic basins, under a banner about 'green homes, green Kathmandu.'

Women make soap during GPF Nepal training session.

Working together to create a sustainable environment is at the heart of Nepal’s “Green Homes: Green Kathmandu” program. Initiated by the Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Nepal in collaboration with Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) Ward 5 and Ward 15 in January 2023, the program continues with the ongoing support of Engage Nepal and Fredericksburg Kathmandu Sister City.

In January 2024, several training sessions were held in KMC Wards 5 and 15 in Kathmandu to promote making and harvesting environmentally friendly bar and liquid soap, teach Menstrual Health and Hygiene Management (MHHM), and make eco-friendly sanitary pads. A total of 103 participants, including women attendees, ward chairmen, ward representatives, and GPF staff, attended multiple training sessions. These sessions were designed to encourage the participants to work together to create and use sustainable and hygienic practices and products in their homes that also benefit their communities and society.

On January 8 and 9, a two-day training session was conducted in KMC Ward 15. The training is designed to raise participants’ awareness of the value of personal hygiene and home cleanliness while providing them with the essential skills to make and use environmentally sustainable bar and liquid soap. In addition to acquiring knowledge and skills that can be shared within their communities, the participants are empowered to generate income by selling the soap they make.

Multiple blocks of environmentally-friendly homemade cheese on a blue cloth, with some pieces broken open to reveal the texture.

Soap made by Nepalese women.

To assess the progress of soap-making activities, participants, ward representatives, volunteers, facilitators, and GPF staff gathered in KMC Wards 5 and 15 on January 12 and 18, respectively. During the two sessions, the soap-making trainees received hands-on training on the practical aspects of making and distributing bar and liquid soap.

In addition to acquiring environmentally friendly soap-making skills, the Green Homes: Green Kathmandu participants are also learning the value of teamwork. Participant Kalpana Ranjit stated, “I discovered that working in a team makes the process easy. Our team is now planning to produce soap and liquid soap for personal use and potentially sell them based on demand.”

A group of environmentally-friendly women holding up small white boxes, standing in front of a banner titled

Women hold up soap made during a GPF Nepal training session.

An interactive program focused on menstrual health and personal hygiene was conducted in KMC Ward 15 on January 31. The MHHM awareness session was attended by 27 women, GPF staff, and volunteers and featured a hands-on workshop on creating eco-friendly sanitary pads. Participants shared their menstrual health ideas and experiences during the session, enabling them to collectively learn from each other. Participant Rojina Khadki commented on the session’s effectiveness, “Today’s training emphasized the environmental benefits of using sanitary pads, inspiring me to create eco-friendly alternatives for my family.”

Making and using bar and liquid soap and eco-friendly sanitary pads benefits individuals, families, and society. By raising awareness of the environmental sustainability of these products and practices, women become more vested in their personal hygiene and home cleanliness. Green Homes: Green Kathmandu will motivate participants to continue their environmentally friendly practices through home monitoring and purchasing their upcycling products.

Learn more Nepal | Global Peace Foundation

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