As we were only able to inform the small number of women we found in the tea shops, we were concerned whether anyone would turn up. However, the team were all pleasantly surprised when over 30 women appeared more than an hour early.
During the event the volunteers of November Charlie 6 enjoyed Henna Art Mehendi together and became even more integrated with the women from the community. We shared a love of Chiya (Tea), biscuits and small talk. This fascinating opportunity was also to exchange interests as well as learn about their day-to-day lives in Aghor. Besides celebration and sharing, we came to know about their issues, such as a lack of work opportunities and childcare. Additionally, we explored that the lively and diverse women of Aghor possess a broad range of skills including sewing and pickling foods. We used the event to discuses some further actions: whether they would be interested in setting up a girls youth group, which could help in addressing the childcare problem and empower them by building upon their own skills and knowledge .The event lasted several hours and was a complete success and also paved the way to engage with local women in days to come.
To conclude, this was an opportunity for us to bond with our host Ahmah (mother) and host Didi/Bainee (elder sister/younger sister). Now, as we conduct further events and research, the women welcome us happily, often calling us ‘didi’ – Aghor feels increasingly like home. We have started arranging for knitting training which will hopefully be as successful as our Mehendi evening and looking forward to our upcoming events as well.