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. Nepal is recovering from a historically strong earthquake of April 2015.
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.
Temporary learning spaces, teacher training for post-earthquake context
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.
We are also providing psycho-social support in cooperation with a Nepalese organisation specialising in psychosocial support. More than a thousand teachers, two hundread parents and over 10,000 students have received training 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.
Supporting discriminated population groups
We aim to support Nepal’s discriminated population groups, members of which have, in the past, been forced into serfdom, for example. We offer emancipated serfs information on human rights as well as vocational training. The work is particularly focused on girls and young women who have worked as servants to landowners.
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.
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. The Women’s Bank supports and strengthens women’s cooperatives in Nepal.