Kaushila Chaudhari, 23, who hails from Dang district, was one of participants at a female-focused Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) training organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) for the three Security Forces in Pokhara in May 2019. She has been serving the Nepal Police for five years.

 

“Before the training I was both excited and nervous at the same time, as I was unsure if I would be able to comprehend all the training content. But now I am confident that I can apply this knowledge in disaster response work in the future. The interactive and participatory approach helped us to learn things more easily,” said Kaushila.

 

When the devastating earthquake hit Nepal in 2015, Kaushila was stationed at Metropolitan Police Beat at Maharajgunj, Kathmandu, and was involved in rescue and relief work. This was her first experience in disaster response. She found it challenging and developed an interest in working in disaster management.

 Kaushila Chaudhari (right) took part in a female-focused training on camp coordination and management organized for Nepal’s security forces. Photo: IOM.

 

But she was soon transferred to the remote mountainous district of Mugu in the far-west of the country, where she had few opportunities to participate in any disaster management activities. A few months ago, she transferred to a Disaster Management Unit in her hometown in the Dang district of Province 5.  

 

Kaushila was delighted when she learned that she had been nominated for the CCCM training in Pokhara. “When I was in Mugu I could not participate in any such trainings – although I really wanted to. So I was very happy when my supervisor told me that I had been selected for this one,” she said.

 

She particularly appreciated that the training was female-focused. “Female-only training meant that it was easier to speak out. We could really express our views, which would not have been the case in presence of a senior male officer.”

 

As a child, every time Kaushila saw Nepal Police personnel in uniform - sky blue shirt with black strap around their left arm, navy blue pants, black shoes and black belt - it made her dream about the day that she would wear the uniform herself.

 

The youngest among five siblings, Kaushila fulfilled her childhood dream of joining the Nepal Police when she was 18. Her two brothers are also in security forces – one in the police and one in the army, while her two sisters are teachers.

 

She married another police officer two years ago and manages to sustain her professional and personal life with support from her husband and other family members. The couple are often stationed in different provinces. 

 

The female-centered CCCM training was part of IOM’s contribution to the efforts of the Government of Nepal in disaster preparedness through increasing the capacity of first responders to effectively manage displaced populations in line with international standards and best practices.

 

To provide Nepal’s National Security Forces – Nepal Army, Nepal Police and Armed Police Force - with knowledge and skills on emergency response and post-emergency camp management for displaced people, IOM has conducted CCCM trainings for security forces in all seven Nepali provinces.

 

It then conducted the separate training for women in Pokhara, with the aim of encouraging more female participation in disaster preparedness and management. Female candidates from all over Nepal were invited to attend the training, which focused on a comprehensive response in camp management to improve the quality of life and dignity of affected populations during displacement.

 

Thus far, 24 personnel of the security forces have been trained as Master Trainers and 604 security forces personnel and Nepal Red Cross Society representatives have been trained on CCCM.

 

Participants, facilitators and organizers pose for a group photo at the female-focused CCCM training in Pokhara. Photo: IOM.

 

The training is a part of an IOM initiative: ‘Capacity Building of National Security Forces in Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM)’ funded by USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), implemented in close coordination with the National Security Forces and Nepal’s Department of Urban Development & Building Construction (DUDBC.)

 

Nepal is among the 20 most disaster-prone countries in the World. The 2015 earthquakes displaced approximately 2.8 million people. Some 117,700 people in the 14 worst-affected districts were forced to find shelter in makeshift camps. 2017 saw heavy rains resulting in flooding across 35 of 77 districts. Over 190,000 houses were destroyed or partially damaged, displacing tens of thousands of people and leaving many homeless.