In Nepal, we’re supporting marginalised people to access the education and healthcare they need. We work with young people in raising awareness for sexual health and rights, and work alongside communities to break taboos and promote gender equality.
Our Response to Recovery project supports marginalised communities who are affected by natural disasters – and helps increase resilience in the face of these disasters.
In 2017/18, our work in nine districts of Nepal directly reached a total of 128,629 people.
We provided new Early Childhood Development and Learning facilities for 2,000 students affected by Nepal's devastating floods in 2017.
In 2017/18, we mobilised over 1,000 volunteers to support our work with the country's most marginalised people.
One of our key focuses in Nepal is making sure that poor and marginalised children in Nepal get their education – particularly girls.
Community volunteers are a key part of the approach, working within their own communities to challenge attitudes and affect change from within.
Sisters for Sisters
Discrimination and superstition are keeping girls out of school in Nepal. Early marriage, domestic duties and menstrual taboos all mean that girls are not getting to school. VSO volunteers are working with communities and community volunteers to change attitudes and emphasise the importance of educating girls.
Role models are powerful tools. Local volunteers – young women who have finished their education – mentor young girls as their “Big Sister”.
At the conclusion of the four-year opening phase of the Sisters for Sisters’ Education project, young girls are becoming convinced of their right to get their education, and the work within their communities is breaking down the barriers that have historically prevented them from doing so.
The project is now moving into a new phase that will see even greater strides towards inclusion for girls and other marginalised groups.
- 93.8% of the Little Sisters said that they liked the mentoring approach of the Sisters for Sisters project and thought it would help them stay in school.
- A comparison of two groups of girls showed that there was a significant difference in their study hours with Little Sisters studying more.
- Over 67% of the Little Sisters studied for 2 to 4 hours at home as compared to only 54% of other girls
- Little Sisters also experienced a significant boost in confidence owing to the counselling and motivation from the Big Sisters.
More information on Sisters for Sisters
Sisters for Sisters’ Education in Nepal is run in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Department of Education, managed by VSO and funded by the Department for International Development and the Million Hours Fund. Our implementing partners are Global Action Nepal and Aasaman Nepal.
Nepal has one of the highest poverty rates in Asia, with 25% of people living below the poverty line*. We’re working in some of the most deprived districts to develop new and effective approaches to local development.
Our volunteers are listening to marginalised communities and working with them, drawing on their knowledge and ideas and on the learning of VSO and our partners in Nepal and globally.*Source: Asian Development Bank
One Community One Family
Official statistics show that 10% of Nepal’s population are working abroad (and many more unofficially). And this puts a strain on communities, generating issues with gender-based violence and prejudice. Families that are left behind are more vulnerable to abuse, and workers endure tough working conditions, violence and exploitation – which can increase the risk of becoming perpetrators.
VSO Nepal’s project One Community One Family (OCOF) is part of a Global Programme on Violence Against Women and Girls. Volunteers work with communities to bring to light issues surrounding gender, prejudice and sexual and reproductive health and rights for marginalised groups.
Recently, the OCOF project has changed the lives of eight community volunteers. The female volunteers say that they have become more confident and vocal, and that their relationships with their family members have improved after they involved in the project.
Many of the men we work with are also reporting changes, becoming influencers in their own communities and changing them from within. One young man who is part of the project, Deepak, told us:
“I was not so responsible before –I used to stay out late with my friends and I did not do household chores. After becoming engaged in the OCOF project, I feel that I am responsible towards my family and community, and also realize that I can be the role model for my community because I am working in my own place.”
Deepak, male participant of One Community One Family project
- OCOF reached a total of 538 participants from migrant communities
- Social Inclusion and Gender workshop carried out in five VSO working districts in Nepal were attended by 129 people, made up of 86 women and 43 men
- Positive impact of income generating activities (IGA) in women’s lives has been observed including increased participation of women in financial decision making at the household level.
- Financial independence is leading women to be confident to speak up against violence.
- Men have started doing household chores
- Young women and teenagers are now more vocal in discussing and bringing up issues related to their Sexual and Reproductive Health.
- Teenage girls and young married women were also seen discussing exclusion during menstruation within their peer groups.
More information on One Community One Family
One Community One Family is a VSO research project supported by What Works – a UK Aid-funded global initiative to tackle gender-based violence.
Nepal is vulnerable to economic, natural and political hazards. We’re working with partners to build resilience against shocks, crises and disasters.
Through our projects on flood recovery (2017 Terai Flood Response) and urban resilience (PRAGATI), VSO has been helping local authorities and communities identify risks and working together to develop disaster risk management plans.
Disaster Risk Reduction
After a devastating flood damaged more than 400,000 homes in Nepal in August 2017, VSO intervened in Rautahat – a district with some of the country’s most marginalised communities that also happened to be one of the most flood-affected.
The aim was to strengthen schools and support increased community level resilience.
The two-year project, envisioned as a school-centred “response to recovery” project, reconstructed six schools, installing raised hand pumps and building separate toilets for boys and girls with WASH facilities in each.
In terms of long-term development, VSO Nepal succeeded in providing on farm and off-farm training for 30 of the area’s most marginalised communities.
We’re involving local people in finding and examining of the vulnerabilities and coping mechanisms for their communities during a disaster. This encourages meaningful participation and accountability in the community by helping local people to identify their own problems and prepare for risks.
Putting people in the centre of their own risk-reduction not only makes the most of the best local knowledge, but empowers them to and develop a deep understanding of the risks and action plans needed to build long-term resilience in their communities.
- Reconstructed six schools, installing raised hand pumps and building separate toilets for boys and girls with WASH facilities in each.
- Provided new Early Childhood Development and Learning facilities for 2,000 students in the six schools.
- Provided on farm and off-farm training for 30 of the area’s most marginalised communities.
VSO’s valued funding partners in Nepal include DFID, SAMRC and the EU. We have good relationships with Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development (MoFALD), Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA), Ministry of Education (MoE), Ministry of Finance and the National Youth Council (NYC).
“We need VSO’s support to focus more on accelerating collaboration and cooperation between stakeholders, especially with the government to reach the unreached and address their issues. One of the major achievements would be sustainability of VSO’s approaches. Lots of efforts through volunteers and programming interventions are going on which resulted into some good practices. Now we need to advocate for those good practices to be in the system.”
Mani Sharma, Bhimphokhara Youth Club (BYC), Baglung
PO Box 207
VSO Nepal (map link and directions)
Doka Dol, Sanepa
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