GUTHI is a non-governmental organization that offers all kinds of social services. From providing education about environmental conservation and sanitation to the sector of child development and their protection, it has been consistently working for the betterment of the society since the year 2000.
“During the 90’s, youths were not likely to get involved or have any kind of professional career in social development activities. But someone had to change the scenario,” says Prakash Amatya, technical advisor at GUTHI. “So, back then, a group of young graduates with similar ideas and thought processes got together and started GUTHI. The intention was to create a platform where youths are mobilized and empowered,” he explains.
According to Amatya, GUTHI primarily works in six different areas: Advocacy, rainwater management, water quality inspection, fecal sludge management, solid waste management, and menstrual hygiene management. It also conducts several local as well as national level campaigns to educate individuals from various communities so that they become capable and responsible enough to look after the resources they have.
So far, GUTHI has managed to establish some mandatory rules in Ward 15, Dallu Aawas. Now, people there must incorporate rainwater-harvesting systems whenever any new building is to be constructed. Similarly, to secure the water supply source, two rainwater harvesting systems and concrete underground tanks were installed, one with the capacity of 50,000 liters at Viswa Niketan Secondary School in Kathmandu and the second of 100,000 liters capacity at Liwali in Bhaktapur. These installations have been serving more than 2500 households.
Amatya says that through these projects, the hygiene and sanitation system of the targeted communities have improved and their accessibility to water has also simultaneously increased. Likewise, GUTHI has also transformed the lives of a hundred poor and marginalized students living in the Bansighat slum by providing them free informal classes on practical lessons under the project titled ‘After School Program’. Even now, it runs classes for children who have dropped out from school for various reasons. Children are provided many opportunities to better their social and moral behavior and they also learn to read and write, or at the very least recognize basic alphabets. They are also taught to think and express things creatively.
The organization has also conducted many menstrual hygiene management awareness campaigns and worked to create child-friendly spaces for children at different internally displaced camps in the Kathmandu immediately after the earthquakes of 2015. It is still engaged in menstrual hygiene management campaigns via social media.
“These projects are just a small part of our program list,” says Amatya adding that they had to deal with a lot of challenges during the start of all these projects due to political instability, lack of skilled manpower, and poor dissemination of required information. Also because the projects are funded by grants and donations, there have been times when they have had a fair share of economic crises.
Regardless of these hurdles, since the inception GUTHI has been making relentless efforts to better the livelihood of local people and furthermore attain sustainable development. Their efforts have been, time and again, acknowledged and appreciated by organizations like Water Aid Nepal and the communities that have benefitted from their programs also express their gratitude. Motivated to do even better, GUTHI now aims to take up more pressing issues and devise a range of projects to tackle them.