Nepal is one of the poorest countries in Asia. About a quarter of the population lives below the poverty line. The vast majority of people earn their livelihood through agriculture. Many people from the Nepalese countryside move abroad for work, especially to India. This has resulted in a host of problems, including human trafficking.
Our efforts in Nepal focus on strengthening the rights of poor and socially excluded women and children, improving their opportunities for earning a livelihood, and ensuring the realisation of human rights. The work also includes improving preparedness for natural disasters. The development programme is implemented in cooperation with local NGOs and organised village communities.
After the earthquakes of 2015, Finn Church Aid has constructed temporary and semi-permanent learning spaces to replace school buildings destroyed by the earthquakes. The violent earthquakes claimed thousands of lives and destroyed half a million homes and also thousands of schools.
Going to school provides a safe, everyday routine for children, which helps them recover from the catastrophe. Soon after the earthquake, FCA started constructing temporary learning spaces with bamboo walls. They were followed by semi-permanent two-classroom buildings with cement walls and lifespan of about 15-20 years.
In 2017, the school construction project in the areas affected by the earthquake was completed. All in all, FCA built 334 schools and 178 temporary school spaces.
We provided psycho-social support in cooperation with a Nepalese organisation specialising in psychosocial support. In addition, 1,750 teachers have received Teacher Training in school-based Disaster Preparedness and Child-centered teaching, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education.
FCA also works to strengthen the capacities of educational authorities at national and local level and of the local communities through piloting innovation on inclusive education and upscaling.
Supporting discriminated population groups
FCA aims to support Nepal’s discriminated population groups, members of which have, in the past, been forced into bonded labour. We offer freed bonded labourers information on human rights as well as vocational training.
FCA provides Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) services for unemployed youth and women from most marginalized groups such as ex-bonded labours and supports them with career counselling and job placement.
We provide the ostracised Dalits – i.e. ‘untouchables’ – with education on human rights and exert pressure on the administration to weed out human rights violations against these people. FCA supports to bring various civil society actors in common platforms to combat against caste-based discrimination (CBD) through advocacy and awareness to strengthen the implementation of Nepal’s non-discriminatory legal framework. We also support investigative journalism to surface unreached CBD issues including discrimination of Dalit women from remote areas.
Strengthening the livelihood of women
FCA works to improve the livelihoods of women in Nepal. Women are still faced with discrimination and infringement of their rights. Our goal is to get women involved in the decision-making of communities and ensure their rights with regard to land ownership, education and sustainable livelihood.
FCA works to promote the access to finance to rural women through establishment of women-led and owned institutions such as women’s groups and cooperatives. The Women’s Bank supports and strengthens women’s cooperatives in Nepal.
Due to these efforts, 557 new small business were established in 2017, 287 of which were led by women.