Katherine Parker Comes to Wesley United Methodist Church

On August 21, 2023, the Wesley United Women in Faith hosted a presentation and workshop with Katherine Parker, who is a missionary in Nepal.  She has been a missionary in Nepal for the last 10 years with the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church.  She is an advisor working with the United Mission to Nepal (UMN).
The UMN is an ecumenical organization focused on “fullness of life for all in a transitional Nepali society.”
Katherine’s main focus are:
--Adolescent empowerment, including sexual reproductive health and rights, mental health, and menstrual hygiene.
--Dignity for migrant workers, and
--Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)
Her presentation was of particular interest when she mentioned how in certain areas in Nepal some harmful traditions are practiced that involve isolating women and girls in small huts during their menstrual cycle.  The thought being that they are “unclean” during their menstrual cycle and should be separated from family and society.  However, Katherine also cautioned us to consider the feelings of these women involved in this practice.  Maybe this tradition is not always a “bad idea.”  Some women actually see this time as a respite from cooking and the heavy chores that make life in Nepal particularly challenging to women.  This was an interesting thought.
The workshop portion for the event also involved making reusable menstrual products for women and girls.  Modern products can be purchased in Nepal, but they are very expensive.  The workshop attendees sewed and assembled washable panty-shields with leak proof barrier and inserts that can be changed out as needed. (An environmentally friendly idea.)  41 shields and 78 liners were produced!
All in all, this workshop proved to be fun, productive and very informative for everyone involved!  If you are interested in learning more about Katherine Parker and all her amazing  work in Nepal, check out the following URL:  https://bokashi.blogspot.com
Missionary Katherine Parker
Flo Oishi at a serger in the foreground, Marsha Yasukawa, Cynthia Fukuda and Carolyn Bircher (Good Samaritan UMC) on sewing machines.