Women Acting Together For Change(WATCH) is a secular, non-profit, politically non-aligned NGO, which was founded in March 8, 1992. It focuses on helping the poor, oppressed, and marginalised communities of Nepal, especially rural women. WATCH is committed to and experienced in supporting self-reliant and sustainable development through organizing women and other oppressed groups at the grassroots level and supporting them as they carry out action research to improve their lives.
WATCH uses discussion, dialogue and reflection to organize communities so that they may build social resources and come to a consensus on actions needed to improve their lives. WATCH uses this approach to participatory development to give ownership of decision-making rights to the people it works with, to encourage commitment from the people of the community, and to build up people’s confidence and self-esteem.
WATCH staff work as facilitators to organize the people, and is very effective in working with women, disable people, bonded labourers, HIV positive people, sex workers and other people who have been oppressed and exploited, and need encouragement so that they can create and implement a plan of action for themselves. WATCH’s primary role is facilitating the formation of groups and strengthening existing groups through activities and projects such as literacy classes, awareness raising, training, health services, health camps, saving and credit scheme programs, income generation, scholarship for girls, etc. These activities are a way of bringing individuals and groups together to raise their awareness, to raise their self-confidence and esteem, and to begin building or strengthen their organizational and institution building capacities.
THE VISION AND MISSION OF THE ORGANIZATION
The vision of the organization is “to try an approach to development through which rural people, especially women and disadvantaged groups, become partners in development rather than the subjects and/or objects of development. In this way, they can develop their self confidence, self esteem and capabilities by making their own decisions and implementing them as required.”
We have found that as rural people start recognizing their own capabilities, rights and possibilities, they begin to systematically use them for their own personal and communal development and transformation. Thus, WATCH’s mission is “to move away from the “hand-out” mode of development to a mode of facilitating organizing people for self-reliance and sustainable development. WATCH does not view itself or its staff as ‘change agents’ or ‘development experts’ in the traditional sense of the roles, but instead as facilitators of the development process.”