An Exchange Learning Program was organised from 16-17th Feb 2022 with 11 community young women from Phek and Kohima District and SEWA Shakti Kendra staff.
The group spent 2 days learning about gender issues while gaining first hand experience and interaction with women run enterprises. The team spent the first day with Sakhi One Stop Center Kohima, where a sensitization program on Gender Based Violence was organised especially for the community women.
Medociinuo Chelie, Counselor addressed the issues of Gender Based Violence faced in the communities and the need to identify such issues and seek help for the same. Repabenla Longkumer, Case Worker, highlighted the facilities available at the centre and other women centric programs and schemes available in the state.
In Kohima, the team visited the Bamboo Market at T-Khel Market BOC, where they observed and interacted with the women vendors. Kama, a vendor from the market shared her experiences as a vendor and the challenges she faced. The team also visited the Made in Nagaland store where the team interacted with the management team at the store. The Management team shared some of their experiences and challenges and also extended access to their store for any local products from their respective communities and encouraged the young women to create their own products in the near future. The team also visited another women run enterprise SEWA Dukaan at APO Building, an outlet for local products made by Home based workers in and around Kohima district and Dimapur.
On the second day, the team had a workshop on Mental Health and Self Care facilitated by Serendip Guardians. The sessions covered understanding the different forms of mental health issues, common wrong conceptions about mental health and the need to address the stigmas attached to it. The importance of taking care of oneself was also highlighted.
The team also visited a hydroponics garden ML Grows, a home based startup at Indisen Dimapur. The proprietor Marbong Longkumer gave a tour of the garden and demonstrated some of the processes of gardening. He shared his experience as a grower, the economic viability and reduced usage of water compared to conventional farming methods.
The exchange learning was thoroughly beneficial for the participants. Some of the community members shared it was their first time knowing that a center existed solely for women in need, knowing this is comforting and empowering.