Our work in Nepal
In April 2015, Nepal suffered a catastrophic earthquake which damaged or destroyed more than 50,000 classrooms and left over a million children out-of-school. Education is a crucial priority for the Nepalese government, but many things need to be done both in rural and urban areas.
After our quick and effective response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa, Street Child was asked by UNICEF to help restore education in some of the country's worst-hit communities, together with local partners in Nepal. First in charge of school restoration in Okhaldhunga, one of the most difficult districts to reach, we have expanded our actions to help the most vulnerable children and families in the country.
Schools and the earthquake
Street Child works in 4 districts, Okhaldhunga, Nuwakot, Rasuwa and Sindhuli, on the construction of 120 schools and 65 WASH facilities. Street Child has now trained more than 360 teachers in crisis management, so that they can offer greater resilience in future disasters through more psychosocial support for children. We also ensure that schools in the region receive educational programs to provide quality education.
Brick workers' children
Migrant workers are used for making bricks six months a year, and during this period their families live at the brick factory. Because their children have to move every time, the education is seriously disrupted, so many children already quit school. Street Child has now built 2 safe and child-friendly schools for 80 children in a factory in Bhaktapur. We intend to apply this successful model to other factories so that we can help even more children in the Kathmandu valley.
Due to a caste system that considers them untouchable, Musahars suffer extreme exclusion from education and employment. Girls are particularly disadvantaged, facing caste, class and gender discrimination. Street Child wants to tackle this problem through a targeted intervention, designed to change public opinion, by fighting marginalization and by freeing them from bonded labour.
BIMALA, THE HARD-WORKING MOTHER WHOSE CHILDREN ARE BACK IN SCHOOL
'I am really happy with the school here... I don’t have to worry about my children’s education and I know that they are happy and safe. I don’t mind what my children decide to do in their future, I only want them to be happy and educated so they can freely choose what to do with their lives.'
Bimala travels to Nepal for work every year with her husband and 3 children. Like many parents who migrate to Nepal for brick kiln work she was worried about her children being out of school. “I just want a better life for my children, and education is very important for this. But in order to provide education I must work hard, even if this means my children must move schools twice every year.'
Street Child partnered with local NGO Kopila Nepa to setup a small school on the site of Bimala’s brick factory, so that the children have somewhere to learn whilst their parents work.
Bimala’s 5-year-old son, Ashish, currently attends. This school uses a special curriculum and teaching methods designed to allow children to transition easily in and out of schools in their home districts, in order to minimise the disruption to their education caused by the yearly migration.
SARASWATI, THE EARTHQUAKE SURVIVOR DETERMINED TO SEE HER DAUGHTERS IN SCHOOL
Sindhuli was one of the districts worst affected by the earthquakes. For Saraswati, it meant her three daughters were unable to go to school, something she never wanted to see happen:
“When the first earthquake struck I ran to the school to check if my daughters were okay. I was scared to send my children back to school after the earthquakes, the building had cracks….whenever there was an aftershock all the children would start running out and get hurt….and I would rush to the school to check if my girls were alright.'
'My parents didn’t want me to go to school because I was a girl. They said it wasn’t necessary. Today, one of my brothers is a doctor, one’s a vet and one has his own business but I was never given that opportunity. This is why I am determined to educate all of my three girls so they can have a better life than me.'
After the Nepal Earthquakes, many parents were scared to send their children to school because of damage to school buildings. Now Street Child are building more learning spaces in Sindhuli to ensure that children are safe to go to school. Saraswati is championing education for girls and boys in her community, leading by example in showing her community that it is safe for children to go back to school.