Dates: 2003 – 2009
In rural Nepal, women do not have access to credit from banks. If they borrow money from village moneylenders, they are forced to pay back the loan at unreasonably high interest rates. It is rare to hear of female community members saving money and investing those savings into livelihoods improvement because there is no mechanism for them to do so at the local level, especially in remote areas where there is little access to local markets and services.
In Nepal, “green roads” use environmentally friendly, labor-intensive construction techniques to build roads that link isolated, rural village development committees (VDCs) with district centers. In hill districts, green roads have been promoted for the development of secondary road systems to improve access to markets and services for remote VDCs. Green roads bring immediate economic benefits to communities along the road corridor. A skeletal network of “green roads” was developed in Gulmi and Arghakhanchi Districts that linked the district centers to more remote VDCs. As part of this initiative, expansion of microfinance and economic education activities were implemented to ensure that these new routes brought economic benefits to the families that surrounded them.
To take advantage of those benefits, World Education worked with its NGO partners in Gulmi and Arghakhanchi to reach older women with little or no literacy skills, while at the same time provided opportunities for women with limited formal education to receive relevant nonformal education. By using the Women’s Economic Empowerment and Literacy (WEEL) package along the “green roads” corridors, women increased their literacy skills, and especially their math skills, so that they were better prepared to participate in savings and credit groups and gain knowledge and skills for improving their livelihoods.
Dates: 2007 – 2012
Funded by: USAID (World Education was one of several subcontractors to John Snow, Inc on this project)
Public health in Nepal, while improving, suffers due to inadequately trained and supervised staff and a lack of consistent supplies of essential drugs, resources and equipment; access to proper facilities; and knowledge about healthy behaviors and habits. World Education and its NGO partners implemented the Literacy and Life Skills (LLS) component of the Nepal Family Health Program (NFHP II), funded by USAID from 2007-2012 to help improve maternal and child health outcomes. LLS aimed to empower girls and women to change their health behaviors and access health services. It also aimed to build the capacity of Female Community Health Volunteers (FCHV) to facilitate health education.
LLS had four activities:
- Learning Circles, a one-year program which targeted mothers groups to teach proper maternal health practices and was facilitated by FCHVs;
- Health Education and Adult Literacy (HEAL), a nine-month program cycle focusing on improving healthy behaviors and targeting 15-45 year old women;
- Small Grants Support Programs (SGSP) for HEAL groups to conduct health education activities in their communities; and
- Girls Access to Education (GATE), a nine-month program cycle for out-of-school girls between 10-14 years or age, teaching them about health and preparing them for school and their adolescent years.
Through the Learning Circles program, 1,619 FCHVs were trained, and 31,285 women of reproductive age participated in the program. GATE saw 4,316 adolescent girls participate, of whom 2,824 went on to enroll in formal school upon completion of the program. Of the 10,814 women of reproductive age who participated in the HEAL program, 4,854 in 221 SGSP groups became actively involved in carrying out health promotional activities.
The Literacy and Life Skills component increased participants’ awareness about health, turning it into action as well as advocacy for health services. Pre- and post-tests show that the health knowledge of participants increased after HEAL courses, and use of contraception, antenatal check-ups, and health facilities also increased. In addition, the program built the capacity of FCHVs as well as NGO partners.
Dates: 2007 – 2012
Funded by: UNICEF
After ten years of conflict from 1996-2006, the communist party of Nepal (Maoists) agreed to enter into the peace process with the government, leaving an estimated 10,000 children formerly associated with armed forces and armed groups (CAAFAG) in the wake of the violence. These children originally joined Maoist forces to escape poverty and unemployment, but faced many of the same problems after the end of the conflict. As a member of the CAAFAG Working Group, World Education promoted the rights of children and youth by supporting the reintegration and rehabilitation of CAAFAG, children affected by armed conflict (CAAC), and verified minors and late recruits (VMLR) in 11 districts across the country. Since 2007, World Education has identified over 1,200 CAAFAG, of whom around 1,000 and another 450 CAAC and VMLR have received or are receiving educational support to attend formal school, vocational training, and economic literacy to start their own business initiatives.
The identified children received educational support packages of admission and school fees, school uniforms, stationary, and a monthly stipend. Schools also received structural support through in-kind contributions of books, furniture, and sports materials. To address cross-cutting issues such as gender, the program provided nutritional and diet support, child grants, and structural support through children’s centers to female beneficiaries, especially those with children. World Education also provided capacity building for NGOs and staff working with CAAFAG, CAAC, and VMLR including trainings for psycho-social counselors, trainings on outdoor and experiential learning, and support to youth and child clubs for community-based peace building. Over 50 community-based groups and 10,000 community members received orientations on social reintegration and support. Other services the program provided include food support, formal community sensitizations, and strengthened district and local-level child protection systems.
Dates: 2009 – 2013
Funded by: World Education Australia
Limited economic opportunities and lack of proper financial education contribute to the extreme poverty that people face in Nepal. Good Return is an innovative social enterprise established by World Education Australia to address poverty issues in the Asia Pacific region through microfinance and microloans.
In Nepal, Good Return partners with Nirdhan Utthan Bank Limited to provide loans to groups of poor women living predominantly in the southern Terai region of the country. World Education also provides technical assistance by delivering trainings in areas such as financial literacy and business, technical and vocational skills for income generation especially to women. In 2011, 1,394 clients took basic literacy classes, economic education classes, or participated in livelihood workshops. For more information about the Good Return project please visit: http://www.goodreturn.org/
Dates: 2009 – 2013
Funded by: US Department of Labor (DOL)
In Nepal, the worst forms of child labor (WFCL) are a significant problem. Nepal’s lack of compulsory education, low minimum working age, and inadequate enforcement of labor laws all contribute to this problem.
Naya Bato Naya Paila (NBNP), or New Path New Steps, is a project funded by the US Department of Labor and aims to eradicate child labor in Nepal by working within school systems to provide alternative vocational opportunities; engaging the government to strengthen policy and capacity for involvement in child labor issues; increasing access to case management systems for children; and increasing public knowledge on child labor-related issues. It is one of the largest anti-child labor projects currently being implemented in Nepal.
Building on the DOL-funded Brighter Futures Project, NBNP takes on key gaps in existing child-labor programming by drawing on World Education’s thematic expertise in prevention and removal, and regional experience in districts with some of the highest rates of child labor. Where the Brighter Futures focused primarily on removing and protecting children, NBNP picks up with a more holistic approach that includes partnering with government organizations to strengthen policy implementation and existing child protection systems. NBNP targets the brick making, domestic labor, mining, portering, and zari/embroidered textile industries, as well as commercial sexual exploitation of children.
To date World Education has achieved the following cross-cutting results:
- 14,905 beneficiaries, including both children in WFCL and Children at Risk, have received educational services;
- 8,688 children have been withdrawn from WFCL;
- Over 682 families have received family livelihood support;
- 1,051 children of working age have participated in vocational education or practical skills training including apprenticeships, use of skill training centers, and the Self-Employment and Economic Education Program (SEEP).
NBNP also engages the government to strengthen policy and capacity for involvement in child labor issues. In response to the upcoming government school reforms which will include vocational orientation in basic education (Grades 1-8), NBNP team members are working with local schools and the Department of Education as well as the Curriculum Development Centre to develop an integrated pre-vocational education curriculum for school students. The pre-vocational curriculum places emphasis on learning the soft skills needed to make a vocational choice viable.
The project has also conducted action research and rapid assessments on specific program issues which contribute to the monitoring and evaluation of the project. The MIS Tracking system has been an integral part of tracking beneficiary progress and the system contains individual data on over 130,000 beneficiaries from child labor projects alone. The research and data from these efforts strengthens larger information systems that provide more reliable information and data for use in planning.