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 enrolment rate of 97% (UNICEF). Despite having met this goal to ‘achieve universal primary 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 stigmatisation.
Street Child of Nepal prides itself on being willing to go to Nepal’s toughest places, including remote, hard-to-reach areas and fragile, disaster-affected states to support marginalised communities. Street Child has substantial programming in Madesh Province of Nepal where nearly half of the population is categorised as being multidimensionally poor. The intensity of poverty in the province is also very high, meaning that those identified as being multidimensionally poor are deprived across all socio-economic indicators.
As key contributors to the provincial ‘Beti Padhau, Beti Bachau’ (Educate Daughters, Save Daughters) campaign, our programmes, delivered by our national partners, support out of school girls trapped in generational bonded labour 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 of Nepal has launched a new initiative to support the learning losses in Nepal. Given the COVID-19 related school closures and economic shocks, Street Child has implemented a promising project to accelerate learning. Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) began as a pilot intervention, funded by the World Bank, and supported by our local partners and was implemented in 64 schools across, reaching 2,240 children and training 140 teachers.
After implementation of project for 10 weeks, there was remarkable progress in the learning levels of the students and helps to improve the foundational reading and mathematics skills of the students.
Nepal is ranked fourth in the world in terms of vulnerability to climate change (UNDP). In Nepal, Street Child has been working with our local partners to develop a green school model. This education model works to address the climate crisis and the nature of human-wildlife conflict in Nepal through capacity building of school leaders and teachers, focusing on environmental education and sustainability.
This programme supports young Musahar girls who would otherwise be left behind. The Musahars are one of the most politically marginalised, economically exploited and socially outcast groups in Nepal. These women are affected by gender-based violence and discrimination, and because of this they are almost entirely excluded from education and employment.
In the Madhesh Province, Marginalised No More provides over 7,000 out of school Musahar girls (aged 10-18) with holistic support to improve their opportunities. Street Child’s Accelerated Learning Programme (ALP) has resulted in over 3,000 girls re-entering education. Further life skills education is also provided as an important tool for development.
The Marginalised No More education programme was the only programme graded an A+ across the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office global ‘Leave No Girl Behind’ portfolio.
The children of migrant families face continuous interruptions to their studies. Brick factories attract seasonal workers who often bring their families with them. The brick factories in Kathmandu Valley are home to 59,500 children, only one third of which have completed year two of their education.
Through our Breaking Down Barriers programme, Street Child has constructed brick schools across selected brick factories. 14 brick schools with access to 14 gender sensitive latrines have been established.
The earthquake-resilient brick schools now cater to over 2,934 children. Through the programme we provide cost-free quality education, WASH facilities, along with daily mid-day meals and educational supplies necessary for children’s learning.
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