Nepal is a Himalayan mountain state with eight of the world’s 10 highest peaks, located strategically between China and India. The signing of a peace agreement in 2006 ended a 10-year civil war, but nine years passed before Nepal presented its new progressive constitution that sets in place a federal structure. After elections at the federal, state, and local level, a new government took up office in February 2018. Although the massive earthquakes in 2015 damaged infrastructure and many homes, there is optimism for political stability, good governance, and inclusive economic growth. Still, the implementation of the equal rights guaranteed by the constitution remain very challenging given the legacy of caste-based discrimination in Nepalese society. Nepal is culturally very diverse, with more than 60 ethnic groups. Close to one fourth of the population lives in poverty, alleviated to some extent by the money transfers from millions of Nepalese immigrant workers in the Gulf countries and Asia. Nepal needs to address several development challenges, including the delivery of basic services, maintenance of infrastructure development, and creation of an environment that attracts private investment, in order to achieve its goal to become a middle-income country by 2030.
Key words: mother and child health, food, livelihood, ethnic minorities, disabled persons
Implementing partner: Shanti Nepal
CHEP (Phase 4) aims in 2018-2021 to enhance communities’ right to health, food, and sanitation, as guaranteed by the Constitution of Nepal. Covering approximately 17 000 ethnic minority persons living in hilly northern Dhading in Nepal, the project facilitates better health and sanitation practices in the communities; it enables families to construct family toilets and have access to safe drinking water, and increases access to maternal and child health services. Climate change resilient food production and livelihood diversification will help families reduce malnourishment of expecting mothers and children. Alternatives for livelihood (small-scale vegetable or herb farming or keeping bees, chicken, or goats) will enable families (including those with disabled family members) to improve their situation in the severe living conditions of the mountain area. The project works through developing women’s groups and other community groups, to ensure that communities can participate in decision making as equal partners with local authorities and other stakeholders. This ensures long term sustainability of the changes.
Key words: peace, conflict prevention, Muslim, Madhesi, education, disabled people, youth, women
Implementing partner: Sansthagat Bikas Sanjal –NGO network’s members Jana Jagaran Samaj (JJS) in Banke and Welfare Association for Children Tikapur (WACT) in Kailali.
The ‘Community Peace for Sustainable Development’ project strengthens local community networks in order to address causes of social, economic, and cultural injustices, with the aim of community members of different faiths, cultures, and ethnicities living together in a peaceful and just society in Khajura and Janaki in Banke and Janaki in Kailali District in south-western Nepal. In total the project covers approximately 20 000 people. This is achieved through encouraging exchange and cooperation among people of different faiths, cultures, and ethnicities. Youth, women’s, and community leader’s networks are formed to create an environment of collaboration for community peace building, conflict prevention, and transformation. Working through community institutions and local authorities results in sustainability of project achievements. The right to education of children (especially girls) of the Muslim and Madhesi communities is enhanced through raising awareness among parents, training teachers in child-centered teaching, and improvements to learning environments / classrooms in the project area. The changes will also improve disabled children’s access to education.
Key words: people with disability, employment, UN Convention of Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD)
Implementing partner: Forward Looking (Parilakchhit)
The ‘Empowerment Programme of People with Disabilities’ promotes access by persons with disability to their rights, as defined by the Constitution of Nepal and Nepal’s international commitments. This enables persons with disabilities to become self-reliant and to participate in society on an equal basis with other Nepali people. The project aims in 2018-2021 at inclusion of persons with disabilities (PWD) in community activities and services; PWDs acting as change agents for the rights of all PWDs and increased income and employment rate of approximately 1 300 PWDs (60% are women) in the project areas in Lalitpur, Dhading, Kaski, Banke and Kailali. The main activities undertaken by Forward Looking and its local Disabled People’s Organization (DPO) partners are: increasing the awareness and advocacy skills of DPOs and self-help groups, facilitating employment and small enterprise building to improve the livelihood possibilities of the PWDs, building the organizational capacity of DPO-partners, and helping the DPOs to organize vocational training (training workshops, on-the-job training, apprenticeships).
Key words: ethnic minorities, food security, livelihood, water, advocacy
Implementing partner: Group of Helping Hands (SAHAS) Nepal
Sahas-Nepal’s ‘Enhancing Livelihood through Local Efforts’ project (ELLEP) aims in 2018-2021 at improved food security and sustainable livelihood for approximately 2 400 families in seven marginalized and vulnerable communities in the hilly and mountainous areas of Gorkha, Tanahu, Dhading, and Mugu. This will be achieved through improving the families’ food production, increasing their household productivity and income, as well as enhancing their access to safe drinking water. Better adaptation to climate change of the communities is an important aspect of the project. The project encourages the formation and development of community-based organizations (CBOs), involving, in particular, the women of the communities. As the CBOs develop, they form CBO-networks that are able to actively advocate for the human rights of their members and negotiate with local authorities to obtain public resources and government support for this purpose.
Key words: mental health, education, children, adolescent, councelling
Implementing partner: Centre for Mental Health and Counselling
The School Mental Health Programme aims at ensuring that the rights of children to protection, development, and education are respected in schools and at home. This is achieved by training and supporting teachers and school management in adopting child-friendly teaching methods and positive disciplinary practices. They are also trained in identifying children and youth with psychosocial or mental health problems, and in providing counselling and referring the children and youth with more serious problems to health centres for appropriate diagnosis and treatment. A system of comprehensive counselling, including psychosocial, education, and career counselling, is being developed and tested in cooperation with the health and education authorities. Parents of school children are sensitized regarding child and adolescent psychological development, positive disciplining, supportive attitude, and importance of listening to their children’s and adolescents’ views and needs. At the same time, the project helps the communities and authorities to develop the support and services available for people with mental health problems. Through self-help groups, the awareness and capacity of people living with mental health problems is enhanced and their ability to defend their right to treatment, support, and respect vis-à-vis local authorities, media, etc. is improved. There are approximately 60 000 people (of whom 2/3 are children and youth) belonging to various ethnic minorities living in the project areas in Gorkha, Rasuwa, Salyan and Kailali.
Key words: mental disability, advocacy, UNCRPD
Implementing partner: KOSHISH
Persons with psychosocial disability (PWPD) face daily barriers in society, exacerbated by lack of psychosocial disability-friendly laws in Nepal. In 2017, KOSHISH carried out a study to outline the gaps in the Nepali legal framework within the context of the constitution of Nepal and UNCRPD (UN Convention on Rights of People with Disabilities). On the basis of the study, the project advocates for setting up a psychosocial disability-friendly legal framework in Nepal, to protect and promote the PWPDs’ rights. Approximately 350 Members of Parliament, public servants, Constitutional Body members and judges are encouraged through trainings and expert meetings to include psychosocial disability in their agenda; the amendment of the legal framework of Nepal and its implementation in the interest of psychosocial disability-friendliness and agreement with the Constitution of Nepal and UNCRPD. The Disability Act (2017) is to be amended, and rules and regulations related to the Act developed to be psychosocial disability-friendly and in line with Constitution of Nepal and UNCRPD. These amendments are also to be reflected in public services and resource allocation. Indirectly the project will benefit some 31 000 persons with mental disability in Nepal (source: Nepal census 2011).
Key words: mother-tongue education, ethnic minority rights, education policy
Implementing partner: United Mission to Nepal (UMN)
In 2018-2021, the “Mother Tongue Based Multi-Lingual Education” (MTB-MLE) project addresses the key language barriers to access to quality education and improved learning achievement of children belonging to the Kham Magar ethnic minority in the areas of Rukum’s Bhume and Putha Uttarganga. The project is implemented within 25 community (public) schools and covers approximately 3 900 grade 1-3 students. MLE is needed to reduce drop-out in primary grades, especially in languages other than Nepali. The project will increase awareness, capacity, and ownership of parents / communities, school management, and rural municipalities’ education officials of implementation of MTB-MLE. Functional process, structure, and collaboration are established in target schools for sustainable MTB-MLE development and implementation. MTB-MLE textbooks and study materials will be available for the lower grade students and teachers, and the teachers will be trained in their use. An improved system of monitoring, documentation, and dissemination of the project results will be used to advocate for MTB-MLE in other ethnic minority areas of Nepal. The project is aligned with the Constitution of Nepal 2015, the Multi-Lingual Education Framework 2012, and the School Sector Development Plan (2016-2021) of the Government of Nepal.
Key words: dalit, caste-based discrimination, ethnic minorities, civil rights, poverty
Implementing partner: Samari Utthan Sewa (SUS)
The ‘Community Empowerment through Social and Economic Upliftment Project’ (CESE-UP) aims at strengthening the social capabilities of the most marginalized people in 6 communities in Morang, Sarlahi, and Chitwan, and to act as ‘change agents’ at the household and community level against caste- & gender-based discrimination. Although the main visible problem in the project communities is poverty, at its root is caste- and gender-based discrimination against dalits and ethnic minorities, in particular women. They are often landless and survive ‘from hand to mouth’ doing hard daily labour or seasonal work. They often have no identity papers and therefore cannot access the services and rights guaranteed by Nepalese legislation; sufficient livelihood or land to cultivate, health, water and sanitation, education, and social security benefits (senior-citizens, people living with disabilities, etc.). The project sensitizes them to their fundamental rights as guaranteed by the Nepalese Constitution, and encourages them to form their own local organizations to advocate for their rights. Through the community organizations, in particular women’s groups and cooperatives, health and sanitation conditions and practices can be improved. By supporting children with school uniforms and materials, the drop-out and truancy rates can be reduced. The community groups are assisted in setting up and operating small funds, where the members can get loans for developing cottage industries, purchase of small livestock, renting land and cultivating vegetables and herbs. In Terai’s flatlands where floods and droughts alternate, mitigating natural disasters is possible through disaster preparedness and climate-change sensitive construction and cultivation. The project involves approximately 13 000 people (belonging to Santhal, Musahar, Paswan, Chamar/Sarki, Tamang, Biswakarma, Pariyar ,Chepang, Bote or Majhi dalit or ethnic groups) and some 280 local civil servants and civil society organization employees.
A Healthy Forest A Healthy Community: An Initiative Towards Climate Change Mitigation
Keywords: climate change, climate fund, reforestation, community-based reforestation forest, carbon sequestration, women participation
Implementing partner: Group of Helping Hands (SAHAS) Nepal
The overall goal of the project is to contribute to the actions of the Government of Nepal in response to climate change mitigation and the national government policy on 40% forest coverage. Further, it aims to build community resilience to climate change through strengthening sustainable land and forest management capacity and increasing livelihood diversification opportunities.
This project will adopt a forest-based mitigation approach, one highly recognized for climate action globally. The intervention will occur through the existing community Forestry User Group (CFUG) as an entry point, with community participation and a bottom-up approach as an integral part of the implementation design. The project will ensure 70% female participation in each activity designed to achieve the outcomes of the project.