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Kathmandu, Nepal, January 3, 2019 - SMART, a telecommunication company, had joined hands with the USAID-supported Suaahara II program to support 1000 days mothers, ensuring they receive real time counselling and technical support.
A MoU was signed between Smart Telecom and Suaahara II, implemented by Helen Keller International Nepal. As a telecom partner to the program, Smart Telecom would provide free SIM cards to selected Suaahara beneficiaries along with SIM Cards at NRs. 99 to selected volunteers of the program. Smart Telecom had announced they would distribute 6,000 SIM cards in two of Suaahara II program districts – Nuwakot and Kapilvastu.
Smart has implemented and distributed 3500 Smart SIM to beneficiaries at Nuwakot for the first phase of the program and will be implementing the Suaahara project to Palpa & Rupandehi in the next phase.
Suaahara’s Chief of Party, Christopher Landry said, “We are pleased to have the support of Smart Telecom in Nuwakot and Kapilvastu, to assist us in tackling malnutrition by improving communication between frontline workers and 1000 days mothers. Through this effort our frontline workers will be able to provide important and timely information to 1000 days mothers more frequently and efficiently without the need to physically travel door to door.”
The partnership will help 1000 days mothers communicate via their mobile phones free with Suaahara’s frontline workers. In the process the frontline workers can work efficiently and communicate frequently with the 1000 days mothers to provide them real time counselling and technical support. One of Suaahara’s major challenge has been reaching individual households due to the rough topography and unavailability of safe public transportation. The free SIM which also provides 100 minutes free talk time in a closed user group will support the program’s frontline workers to frequently reach 1000 day’s mothers and continue follow up. Real time counselling along with continuous follow up with 1000 day’s mothers is crucial in changing their behaviours to improve their and their children’s nutrition status.
The USAID-supported Suaahara II program is working to improve the nutritional status of women and children in at least 1.5 million households across forty districts of Nepal. This will be achieved through multi-sectoral partnerships with the Government of Nepal (GoN), the private sector, and other development partners.
Smart Telecom established in July 1, 2008, is the third largest private company providing telecom services that is actively involved in meeting the needs of Nepalese citizens for easy access to information and communication by providing them quality services since 2013.