Chhimeki (meaning ‘neighbor’ in Nepali) is a non-governmental grassroots volunteer organisation which was established in 2004 by neighborhood women volunteers and members residing in Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) wards. The objective was to empower women from poor backgrounds to promote the nutritional health of mothers and their children; and to improve their overall wellbeing. Chhimeki is registered with the District Administration Office, Kathmandu, Government of Nepal, and affiliated with the Social Welfare Council.
Starting initially in 9 wards, the group expanded its activities to 11 wards (Ward no.9, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 25, 27, 31 and 32 of KMC) by 2008 through the creation of an active volunteer base in the community. Volunteers form the bedrock of Chhimeki. Each of them together provide some of their time and work needed to implement the project activities in the communities in which they live. Chhimeki Sanstha has trained 1730 neighborhood volunteers and has 352 registered members in the 11 wards in KMC. These volunteers, with the support of staff organize monthly baby weighing sessions, promote healthy eating for babies/toddlers, provide information on hygiene, and run Child Care Centers in their locality. Chhimeki also produces its own Sarbottam Pitho, a local infant cereal preparation. The aim of the organization is also to empower the women of the community by mobilizing them through saving groups, income generation activity like spices making. With this aim, Chhimeki is currently running spices production through its volunteers.
The Terres des Hommes Nepal provided financial and technical assistance to implement the program from its inception till 2012. Now Chhimeki has been receiving major support from Germany (Stiftung 100), Nepal Chhimeki, Barcelona, Spain and other individual well-wishers thereby facilitating the continuity of some of Chhimeki’s key activities. Paid staff members are responsible for the administration of Chhimeki and the implementation of the programs. Chhimeki works with approximately 27,334 families in 11 wards of Kathmandu Metropolitan City through volunteer’s mobilization.
Core Values of Chhimeki
• Utilize local resources to maximize effective and efficient work
• Accountability through measurement, reporting and ongoing improvement
• Innovation to meet the evolving needs of our stakeholders, sponsors, collaborators and beneficiaries
• Cooperation, Teamwork and partnership at every level
Mobilize communities and its local resources through direct and indirect engagement of women from community to create positive social changes for the promotion of the health of children and mothers using nutrition awareness as an entry point to improve autonomy and self sufficiency.
Chhimeki’s vision is to bring about improved nutrition and wellbeing of young children, pregnant women, and post-natal mothers through the empowerment of women.
The main objective of Chhimeki is to promote the health and nutrition status of antenatal and postnatal mothers and their children under three years old (especially those from low socio-economic backgrounds) and to empower women through improving their social and economic status.