I am Srijana. I am currently working as a field officer for the project ‘Change Starts at Home‘. As a field officer, I am responsible for providing support to 12 radio Listening & Discussion Groups (LDG) in..Chitwan district…

Working in this project has been a very good opportunity for me. I have learned so much including gender identities, violence, its types, social norms and values contributing towards violence, prevention and life skills like self-awareness, effective communication, anger management and empathy. I have also improved my inter-personal skills after joining the program. I have found myself to be better at dealing with others. I am also able to adapt myself in any difficult circumstances, I am better at handling stress and have become more self-aware.

After coming to the weekly sessions every week for the last 6 months, we (field officers) have had many members come to us and tell us that the program has brought many positive changes in their lives and relationship. For example, some members were drinking too much and never used to consult their wives…(they have) told me himself that the program has been like a god for them. They have started communicating with their wives and started caring about household matters as well. They said that after the weekly discussions, they realized their shortcomings and have improved their relationship with their wives. When I talk to the wives they confirmed what their husbands say and also told me that feel like their husband is a new man. Many members have come to me and told me that their husbands have reduced their drinking habits significantly and many have a better handle over anger management too.

When we first talked about the importance of consent during a relationship, many members confided that their husbands never took consent before sex and many also pressurized them, even when they didn’t have any interest. But a few weeks later, I have had many members tell me that it is no longer the case anymore. Nowadays, the husbands are concerned about the interest of their wives and don’t pressure them. Many male members also share that these days they talk about sex openly with their wives, which never happened in the past. They also tell us that wives used to feel shy talking about those things but these days they have realized that it is not something to be shy about. Rather sexual relationship plays an important part in any marital relationship and open communication is vital to have a strong and healthy relationship.

Couples tell me how the husband has started involving the wife while making any household decisions including financial matters, which yhey never used to do before the program started. …The husband no longer consider housework as a just the  responsibility of women and they help their wives around the house. Many female members come to me and tell me that they are surprised to see the changes in their husbands and share that this has improved their relationship so much.

Working in this project has been very rewarding – not only I have developed skills but helping a community to be violence-free is an achievement in itself.

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