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. Street Child launched in Nepal in 2015 in partnership with UNICEF to help rebuild schools in the communities worst-affected by the earthquake.
We have stayed to work with some of the most marginalized communities in Nepal where children's chances of education are slim. We are working to ensure that no child is forgotten and has access to the learning opportunities that they deserve. We believe every child deserves the chance to go to school. With your support, we can give more of some of the poorest and most vulnerable children that chance.
What We Do
Street Child provides education for children in marginalized rural and urban communities across Nepal. From building schools in earthquake-affected communities to giving the most marginalized children a chance to go to school, we believe in long-term solutions.
SUPPORTING THE MOST MARGINALIZED INTO EDUCATION AND OUT OF BONDED LABOR
Musahars are the most politically marginalized, economically exploited and socially outcast group in Nepal.
Due to a caste system that considers them untouchable, Musahars suffer extreme exclusion from education and employment. Street Child research shows that:
- Just 4% of Musahar children are in school after age six; and 100% are out of school after age ten
- The literacy rate is 7% amongst Musahars; and a mere 3.8% amongst Musahar women and girls
- 85% of Musahars are unable to read or write at all
Our latest project will aim to free Musahar communities from bonded labor, by supporting vulnerable women and girls to learn basic literacy and numeracy. We will provide livelihoods support in the form of training and business grants so young Musahar women are financially independent, and we will organize weekly workshops where women and girls can learn important life skills - from understanding their rights to basic hygiene practices, and access counselling and support.
In total, we will be supporting 3,000 Musahar girls across three districts in Nepal.
BUILDING SCHOOLS IN EARTHQUAKE-IMPACTED COMMUNITIES
The devastating earthquakes of April and May 2015 disrupted the schooling of approximately 4 million children in Nepal. The earthquakes also displaced thousands of children and families from their homes - straining the resources of these families and risking children's chances of going to school long-term.
As part of the recovery phase of the earthquake response, UNICEF appointed Street Child as the lead education organisation in Okhaldhunga, one of the hardest to reach districts affected by the earthquake. With their support we built 40 temporary learning centers to provide 1,595 children with a chance to go to school.
Further support from UNICEF, the EU, and the Swedish Postcode Foundation allowed us to:
- give 5,239 children access to a safe classroom
- provide 7,242 children with access to gender-friendly toilets and wash facilities
- distribute educational materials to 48,773 children
- train over 300 teachers, parents and school managers in psychosocial support, disaster risk reduction and hygiene practices.
The Nepal earthquake highlighted the need for training in schools and communities on disaster risk reduction, school safety and how to respond in a disaster. In 2018, Street Child will be supporting 4,000 children and more than 1,000 teachers, parents, and community members across 200 schools in earthquake-impacted communities. In partnership with Nepali NGOs Children & Women in Social Service & Human Rights (CWISH) and SAHAS Nepal, we will strengthen the communities’ ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from a disaster by providing training, psychosocial support, and educational materials.
HELPING CHILDREN IN BRICK FACTORIES GO TO SCHOOL
In Nepal, brick factory work is seasonal and many workers migrate from India and South Nepal, spending six months at the factory, and six months in their hometown. Often whole families will live and work on site for the entire six month brick season – during which time children are often living in dangerous conditions, exposed to labor, and out of school.
In the Kathmandu Valley alone there are 125 brick factories which are home to around 59,000 children. Research shows that 66 per cent of children living in brick factories have never been to school. The majority of parents are desperate for their children to have an education, knowing that it’s the pathway to a better future.
To ensure children don't miss out on vital education, Street Child has built six schools within brick factories in Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, and Lalitpur. These schools are providing 175 children with access to an accelerated learning program, where they learn a year’s curriculum in just six months, as well as a safe space to play.
Stories From Our Work
BIMALA, THE 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 three 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 set up a small school on the site of Bimala’s brick factory, so that the children have somewhere to learn while their parents work.
Bimala’s five-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, to minimize 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.
Meet the Musahars: Understanding Musahar Marginalization
Our latest research in Nepal aims to understand the factors affecting the Musahar community - the most marginalized group in Nepal - and their ability to access education.