TEEJ TALK Program in Connecticut
Nepali Women’s Global Network (NWGN) in collaboration with Nepali community at Storrs, CT successfully organized “TEEJ TALK- Tales of Empowerment, Equality, and Joy” in Storrs, CT on November 3, 2018.
The concept of TEEJ TALK was introduced by SAATHI couple of years ago in Nepal and NWGN was honored to get approval from SAATHI to adopt the concept here in the United States in the initiation of NWGN advisor and former president Dr. Bidya Ranjeet. This event was the second of its type organized by NWGN in collaboration with the local community organization.
The first talk was held in New Haven, CT in September which was successful and motivated NWGN to continue it in series. The main goal of the TEEJ TALK was to address gender-based violence and create an action plan towards intervention and prevention. NWGN would like to thank the Storrs community for organizing the event successfully.
Approximately 60 men, women, and children attended the event. Majority of the presenters were young men and women from Storrs and UCONN community. They shared their research and experience about menstruation, gender stereotypes, and gender-based violence. Dr. Bidya Ranjeet coordinated the speakers and facilitated the event.
NWGN President Avima Upreti attended the event who elaborated on gender-based violence and presented action plans towards intervention and prevention. The former president of the NWGN Rukmini Karki also presented about the roles of community in helping the violence victim and ending the gender-based violence. It was a historical event in the United States that had opened up talks of self- criticism where they openly talked about social taboos and gender-based violence. The participants were receptive of the issues that were presented.
The Nepali community members and local restaurant owners of Kathmandu Kitchen sponsored dinner for the event. Participants donated funds for the Menstruation hygiene education and pad project in Nepal. The Storrs community showed exceptional strength in swift assembly, support, and execution of such a uniquely formatted event. Moreover, they tackled some of the toughest discussion topics related to their personal identity with acceptance and understanding. Their cohesive handling of the event demonstrated the powerful capacity of our people in Storrs, CT.
NWGN is planning to organize more events like this throughout the county, which will not only help our younger generation to come forward and speak of issues that plague our community but will provide a platform to give back to the Nepali diaspora and Nepal. Change is only possible when we talk about the issues, break the barriers and eliminate bad practices. The young participants realized the need of such events and shared the impact it made after attending the event.
They have emerged from this experience determined to intervene in gender-biased practices they see going forward in their own families and extended community. Their enthusiasm is precisely what inspires NWGN to encourage more community organizations to join us in this talk series.
We have experienced uncharted success through the TEEJ TALK programs both in developing a cultural connection between generations and in initiating a focused cultural shift in the way we regard women. NWGN is developing a similar event model for a new talk series that will be implemented in communities throughout the states in 2019.