School education, health and hygiene for adolescent girls and livelihood security for marginalised families
Palpa and Rupandehi Districts in Lumbini Province
What are the challenges?
Thinking in terms of caste hierarchies and discrimination against Dalits and other marginalised groups is also deeply rooted in Nepal. Rigid gender roles and widespread oppression of women, as well as economic hardship in families, mean that girls face immense obstacles to successfully completing school. The situation at the schools – outdated teaching methods, the risk of harassment on the way to school, and lack of sanitary facilities – add to the difficulties. Often the result is that girls drop out of school, marry early and are even “sold” into labour migration. Only about 40% of Dalit girls complete their primary education.
This precarious situation was enormously aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The economic hardship in the families has further increased and daily survival is often not secured. The disadvantage of girls from marginalised groups has further increased.
What is the aim of the project?
Education and a good school-leaving certificate are essential prerequisites for girls to be able to leave poverty and discrimination behind. The project is based on the experience of our successful predecessor project “Strong Girls!” In two districts in southern Nepal, the tried and tested approach is being extended to 55 schools in order to provide all girls with a sound school education and self-confidence. Boys also benefit from better equipped schools and well-trained teachers. In addition, families can improve their economic situation through vocational training and sustainable livelihoods.
What are the main activities?
• Training of stakeholders at school administration level on the application of sustainable modern school management.
• Development of livelihoods for families in need. This includes the establishment and strengthening of women’s groups to secure the income of mothers through access to economic activity and systematic savings, qualification measures in selected future-proof trades, such as vegetable growing, plumbing, beekeeping, mobile phone repair.
• Involvement of rural communities and local and community authorities to raise awareness and acceptance of the relevance of girls’ education.
• Establish learning centres where girls are provided with a safe space to learn. Equipping these centres with the necessary school materials, library and modern audio-visual teaching materials. Training of assistant teachers who take over the management of the learning centres and are in contact with the girls and their families at village level and ensure the continuity of the girls’ attendance.
• Founding of girls’ clubs where girls exchange, support and motivate each other. Older girls are mentors for younger ones.
• Founding boys’ clubs in which boys are sensitised to changing gender norms through role play, films and other methods in order to become multipliers for girls’ rights.
stories from the field
Studying in Lockdown