Street Child expanded its operations to Nepal following the devastating earthquakes in 2015 to assist local partners in re-establishing education in some of the country’s worst-affected communities. Since then we have developed our work to focus on long-term educational opportunities for vulnerable communities across the country.
Currently ranked 143 out of 189 countries on the Human Development Index (HDI) 2022, one of Nepal’s key educational milestones in the last 20 years has been achieving an enrollment rate of 97% (UNICEF). Despite having met this goal to ‘achieve universal elementary education’, serious concerns remain about the quality and equity of these educational opportunities.
The country’s most vulnerable communities are still recovering from the damaging effects of a four-month COVID-19 national lockdown which began in March 2020. These lockdowns have had a disproportionate impact on the local ‘lower-caste’ communities who cannot access information and supplies or services due to isolation and stigmatization.
Street Child has substantial programming in Nepal's Madesh Province, where nearly half of the population is categorized as multidimensionally poor; that means they are deprived across all socio-economic indicators.
As key contributors to the provincial ‘Beti Padhau, Beti Bachau’ (Educate Daughters, Save Daughters) campaign, our programs, which are delivered by national NGO partners, support out-of-school girls who are trapped in inter-generational cycles of bonded labor to be free, and to learn and earn. Across Nepal we also work with children of migrant workers and children with disabilities to ensure fair and inclusive educational opportunities.
In addition to our education in emergencies project, supporting children who live in areas affected by the earthquakes, Street Child has launched a new initiative to address COVID-19 learning losses in Nepal through Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL). Funded by the World Bank, this began as a pilot intervention in 64 schools, reaching 2,240 children with foundational learning and training 140 teachers.
After delivering the project for ten weeks, an evaluation found remarkable progress in the learning levels of the students, with significant increases in foundational reading and math skills.
Nepal is ranked fourth in the world in terms of vulnerability to climate change (UNDP) so Street Child has been working with our local partners to develop a green schools model. This works to address the climate crisis and the nature of human-wildlife conflict in Nepal by training school leaders and teachers in environmental education and sustainability, and supporting them to deliver it.
Nepal's Musahar people are among the world's most politically marginalized, economically exploited and socially outcast groups, and Musahar women also affected by gender-based violence and discrimination. For these reasons, Musahar women and girls in particular are almost entirely excluded from education, employment, voting and other social structures.
Our flagship programs Marginalized No More and Breaking the Bonds delivered an integrated intervention of education, livelihoods and socio-emotional life skills to more than 11,000 out-of-school Musahar girls (aged 10-18) between 2018 and 2022.
The program had startling results - 55% of participants achieved foundational literacy and numeracy, average business profit rose by 25%, and 28% of girls transitioned into public school versus 0% ever before.
This was the only program graded A+ by core funder the UK Government's Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) in the ‘Leave No Girl Behind’ portfolio.
The children of migrant families face continuous interruptions to their studies. Nepal's brick factories attract seasonal workers who often bring their families with them, and the communities around Kathmandu Valley's brick factories are now home to 60,000 children, only one-third of whom have completed first grade.
Through our Breaking Down Barriers program, Street Child has constructed 14 schools across selected brick factories. These earthquake-resilient schools now cater to 3,000 children and include free quality education, WASH facilities including gender-sensitive latrines, daily mid-day meals and learning materials.
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