Building Better Futures

Dates: 2011 – 2014

Funded By: Humanity United

Child labor in the brick industry is one of the most harmful forms of child labor in Nepal. Children work more than 10 hours a day transporting heavy loads of baked and raw bricks and usually do not attend school. If they do attend school, their education is disrupted by their families’ patterns of migration, and their learning is stunted by lack of time for proper studying or the inability to concentrate due to exhaustion. Building Better Futures (BBF) works to remove children and families working in the brick industry from exploitative labor by giving them greater access to education and helping families diversify and improve their livelihoods. The project, funded by Humanity United, also collaborates with members of the Brickclean Network to advocate for a cleaner, less damaging, brick industry. Regionally, BBF focuses on the Kathmandu Valley and Terai district of Sarlahi.

Project activities follow the seasonal migration patterns of workers in the brick industry. During winter and spring, efforts focus on motivating and preparing families to get children in to school; helping families manage and save money; and building linkages back to home communities for work to address longer-term livelihood development. Families return to villages for the monsoon and autumn harvest seasons, during which time the project focus is on families accessing microfinance and livelihood development support to build longer term viable livelihood alternatives that will make them less reliant on exploitative labor in brick factories and forced to migrate for work. To date, 124 girls have attended Girls’ Access to Education (GATE) classes; 389 people have received financial education, and 119 people have received family livelihood support or skills training.

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