Brittani Michelle helps empower and support women and girls in Nepal

EMPOWERMENT: Brittani Michelle at Fisherman's Village in Nepal after taking part in a blessing ceremony.
EMPOWERMENT: Brittani Michelle at Fisherman's Village in Nepal after taking part in a blessing ceremony.

Driven by a passion to empower women, girls and communities in Nepal, Wauchope's Brittani Michelle is setting out on her most ambitious project yet.

Brittani has just got approval to build a multi-functional building in Fisherman's Village in a remote part of Nepal which she hopes will be used an an all purpose health and wellness centre.

To build this building she needs to fundraise $50,000 but having completed over 10 projects helping other villages and people in Nepal she believes her goal is achievable over the next couple of years.

"My aim for this building is for it to become a place where women and girls can come for health checks, to get vaccinations and improve their literacy skills but really the opportunities for the building are endless," Brittani said.

"It is certainly the biggest project I have taken on but this is something that is close to my heart and I know it will transform the lives of people living in the village."

Brittani travelled to Nepal in January to hand deliver more than 2000 chickens to a village in Chulthedada for an economically sustainability chicken egg farming project and while she was there this project developed.

REAL PEOPLE: On her latest visit to Nepal, Brittani visited Fisherman's Village to meet the locals she will go on to help.

REAL PEOPLE: On her latest visit to Nepal, Brittani visited Fisherman's Village to meet the locals she will go on to help.

"Child marriage is something that I want to help stop because I believe that every child and in particular girls have the right to getting an education," she said.

"I am passionate about advocating for equality. Not only do I want to improve the overall health of the villagers, and regulate school attendance among children, but I want to put plans in place to eliminate child marriage.

"Not only does child marriage pose a great risk of physical health problems such as sexually transmitted diseases, cervical cancer and possible death during child birth but it provokes many psychological and social dangers that will affect their future also."

Brittani said during the initial planning for the project a needs assessment was conducted in December 2018 and it showed that more than 30 percent of women in the village experience chronic health problems.

It showed there is less than 10 percent literacy rate among the villagers and child marriage is a very real problem in the village common among girls aged between 14-16 years old.

Identifying that children and babies are currently not receiving adequate care due to lack of knowledge and education, she wanted to do something that aimed to address a number of the problem areas.

"My aim is to create a safe place where issues can be raised and welfare and livelihood of these individuals can be addressed," she said.

"By addressing the health concerns, education opportunities and the poor economy of this village my hope is the rates for child marriage will decrease.

"Child marriages still occur due to old traditions, the lack in education behind the dangers in this custom and economic poverty.

"By targeting these areas and giving women and children a voice, I believe we can drive a long lasting change."

RURAL NEPAL: Her building will be one of the only buildings in the Fisherman's Village.

RURAL NEPAL: Her building will be one of the only buildings in the Fisherman's Village.

Part of the Rotary Club of Port Macquarie, Brittani is being backed by Rotary International and the Rotary Club of Dhulikhel in Nepal.

Brittani was also award the Youngest Rotarian award for Rotary District 9650 at their district conference in Armidale last month.

"I am working on the ground with the Rotary Club of Dhulikhel and we have the support of the local government to build our building in the village.

"When it is finished we will hand it over to the local registered women's group and the women will be trained in the management and regular maintenance of the building.

"As there are no current buildings or developments for such opportunities other Rotary Clubs or NGOs can run beneficial programs out of the building at their own cost.

"The establishment of this building will provide greater opportunity for improved physical, psychological and social health long-term for community members."

Brittani has a number of fundraisers in the pipeline to help fund her project.

"I have been so lucky to receive so much community support for my previous projects and I am in the process of planning some really great upcoming events so stay tuned for more."

WOMEN: There is a real need for a centre like this in Fisherman's Village.

WOMEN: There is a real need for a centre like this in Fisherman's Village.

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