Send Deserving Children to school in Rural Nepal

 
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While education is a challenge for all impoverished Nepali children, young people in remote rural villages face even more obstacles than their urban counterparts do.

The dropout rate is exceedingly high in these remote villages – many quit school before 5th grade.  These families are so destitute that the cost of school uniforms, supplies and even a modest school fee is far beyond their meager budgets. Many parents also need their children to work on the family farm or perform household chores and feel that school is beyond their reality, and sadly beyond their dreams.

In several rural districts in Nepal, the Nepal Youth Foundation grants scholarships to children to cover their school expenses. This is the first generation in most of these areas to receive an education. The cost – about $100 a year per child – is an incredible investment. An education will best prepare these youngsters for the very difficult future that awaits them.

In 2012-2013, NYF provided scholarships to 43 children in impoverished rural families – 19 girls and 24 boys in grades one through ten.

We have seen some interesting ripple effects from this program. Our scholarships motivate parents other than those whose children we support to send their children to school, too. There is social pressure in the village when some kids go to school and others do not. Some parents hope that NYF will sponsor their children if they start school. Headmasters tell us that there are noticeable rises in general attendance after we bring our scholarship program to their schools.

Our field workers visit the schools regularly to check on the children and to see how the schools are functioning. To do the job, they walk the mountain paths of isolated rural areas, sometimes ten hours a day, stopping at various village schools along the way to survey the situation and discuss problems with the headmasters and students.

The Nepal Youth Foundation supports children until they can support themselves. After they graduate from high school, we provide them with college scholarships or vocational training.

We have asked some of the girls we support in rural schools to write about their lives and ambitions. Pushpa, a student in class five writes, “Despite the … adversities, I am not hopeless… I am studying hard because I am determined to become a nurse and take care of the poor.” Kamala, who is in the 8th grade, says: “After getting this scholarship I have been able to go to school regularly and keep myself neat and clean.” And Menuka writes, “I am happy that this scholarship has provided an opportunity for us to get education on an equitable basis with other rich and high class people. We can also become a renowned person if we get equal access of education.”

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Although 70% of Nepali children enroll in primary school, many of them drop out before the 5th grade. In the rural areas where we work, the dropout rate is very high. Often, a family simply can’t afford the cost of the school uniform and school supplies, or even the very small school fee. Furthermore, many parents expect their children to work on the family farm or do housework all day.

IMG_1148
In several rural districts in Nepal, the Nepal Youth Foundation grants scholarships to children to cover their school expenses. This is the first generation in most of these areas to receive an education. The cost – about $100 a year per child – is an incredible investment. An education will best prepare these youngsters for the very difficult future that awaits them, since an increasing number of the next generation in Nepal’s overpopulated hills will inherit no land and will have no choice but to find their fortunes competing for jobs in the cities.

We’ve seen some interesting ripple effects from this program. Our scholarships motivate parents other than those whose children we support to send their children to school, too. There is social pressure in the village when some kids go to school and others do not. (Keeping up with the Joneses, Nepali style.) Some parents hope that their children will also be sponsored if they start school. Headmasters tell us that there are noticeable rises in general attendance after we bring our scholarship program to their schools.

Our field workers visit the schools regularly to check on the children and to see how the school is functioning. To do the job, they walk the mountain paths of isolated rural areas, sometimes ten hours a day, stopping at various village schools along the way to survey the situation and discuss problems with the headmasters and students.

The Nepal Youth Foundation supports children until they can support themselves. After they graduate from high school, we provide them with college scholarships or vocational training.

Links:

Sushmita
Sushmita

Many Nepali children do not attend school because their families cannot afford the uniform and small fees. Furthermore, many parents expect their children to work on the family farm or do housework all day.

In 2011-2012, the Nepal Youth Foundation’s village scholarships provided education to 74 children in impoverished rural families – 33 girls and 41 boys. Many are the first members of their families to attend school.

NYF’s Solution

 Only 70% of Nepali children enroll in primary school, and many of them drop out before the fifth grade. In the rural areas where the Nepal Youth Foundation works, the dropout rate is very high. Often, a family simply cannot afford the cost of the school uniform and school supplies, or even the very small school fee.

In several rural districts in Nepal, the Nepal Youth Foundation grants scholarships to children to cover their school expenses. This is the first generation in most of these areas to receive an education. An education is the best way to prepare these youngsters for the very difficult future that awaits them, since an increasing number of the next generation in Nepal's overpopulated hills will inherit no land and will have no choice but to find their fortunes competing for jobs in the cities.

The impact of the program ripples throughout communities. The scholarships motivate parents other than those whose children NYF supports to send their kids to school, because there is social pressure in the village when some kids go to school and others do not. Some parents hope that their children will also be sponsored if they start school. Headmasters report that there are noticeable rises in general attendance after NYF brings its scholarship program to their schools.

NYF’s field workers visit the schools regularly to check on the children and to observe how the schools are functioning. They walk the mountain paths of isolated rural areas, stopping at various village schools to survey the situation and discuss any problems with the headmasters and students.

The Nepal Youth Foundation supports children until they can support themselves. After they graduate from high school, the organization provides them with college scholarships or vocational training. 273 children have received life-changing opportunities thanks to this program since NYF began.

My name is Sushmita--Now I Am Not Hopeless.  I am now twelve years old. I have my father, mother and three brothers in my family and I am the only daughter. I am studying in grade 5. I feel so lucky because of the support I have been receiving from NYF. If I hadn't got support, going to school would have been a dream to me because my family is so poor.

Our condition is very miserable. The roof of our house is made of straw. During the rainy season the rain water leaks through the roof and the house is also vulnerable to the wind. My father has no job and we have a very small plot of land. The cultivation from that land is insufficient for us even to feed ourselves. We don't even have enough blankets to protect ourselves from the winter. My only clothes are the school uniform provided by NYF.

My aim in life is to become a nurse and take care of the poor. That is why I have been studying so hard. But my father scolds me when he gets drunk. He even beats my mother. Last time she had to be taken to hospital because of my father's physical torture. Despite these adversities, I am not hopeless.

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Sabina is using her education to help her family
Sabina is using her education to help her family

The Nepal Youth Foundation’s scholarship programs are benefitting hundreds of students throughout Nepal, including rural and remote areas where education is often overlooked by families. If parents in these areas send their children to school at all, it is often only for a few years so they can read, write, and do basic math.

 

In the last year, 24 students supported by NYF graduated from college, many the first members of their families to do so. 105 new students were enrolled in NYF’s scholarship programs. Many of the students supported by NYF are blind, deaf, or physically disabled.

 

Sabina’s story

 

Sabina passed her final school exams this year with very good grades and has enrolled in a technical education program to become a Lab Assistant. She decided to pursue technical career over the academic so that she would get immediate employment so she can support her mother and her little brothers and sisters.

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Olga & two girls of K House, NYF
Olga & two girls of K House, NYF's home for girls

Dear Friends:

First, I would like to thank you for your generous contributions to our program to Send Deserving Children to School in Rural Nepal (www.nepalyouthfoundation.org/programs/education/day.html). This project’s accomplishments, including giving the life-changing opportunity of education to hundreds of impoverished children in rural Nepal, would not be possible without the support of people like you.

Additionally, I want to tell you that I am retiring as the President of the Nepal Youth Foundation and that the Board has appointed Som Paneru, our former Executive Director in Nepal, as my successor.

This is bittersweet – on the one hand, I am leaving a position to which I had devoted the last 25 years of my life. On the other, I’m taking a step toward fulfilling my most ardent wish – that the Nepal Youth Foundation (NYF) continue to provide life-changing help to the neediest children of Nepal. The appointment of Som as the new President will bring to NYF the skills, the passion, the smarts, the creativity, and the experience to assure its future long after I am gone. NYF has a bright future.

Let me tell you a bit about Som. He is a product of NYF’s scholarship program and the son of a poor farmer from the Ghorka District of Nepal. In the 1990s, after we granted him a scholarship to Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu to study science and math, he brought several of his young siblings to Kathmandu from his village to assure that they, too, would receive an education. He enrolled them in school in the city, and provided all the care they needed, and full support. Several of his siblings now have advanced degrees.

After Som graduated, he wanted to teach, but not in a private school for rich kids, but in a poor village where the instruction in science and math was pitifully inadequate. He explained that he had "a lot to pay back" to those who had helped him to get an education.

NYF was growing quickly, and in 1995 we offered Som a job. It became apparent very quickly that he had an uncanny knack for creating and administering programs. Our very popular Indentured Daughters Program was his idea, and he was instrumental in creating the ingenious "piglet for a girl" method to liberate these young girls from slavery (www.nepalyouthfoundation.org/programs/freedom). And it was his idea and his excellent relations with the Ministry of Health that led to the government agreeing to take over and fund all the 14 Nutritional Rehabilitation Homes we have built after we operate them for five years (http://nepalyouthfoundation.org/programs/health/nrhindex.html).  

I will continue to be involved with NYF, of course. I hold the post of Honorary President, and will continue as a member of the Board of Directors. It is hard to exaggerate the pleasure your support and encouragement have given me over these many years. It has enabled NYF to grow from a tiny organization to what we are today – a well-run foundation providing transformative help to thousands of Nepali children every year.

Warm regards,
Olga Murray
Founder and Honorary Board President
Nepal Youth Foundation

P.S. Please learn more about the Nepal Youth Foundation’s diverse programs for children in need at www.NepalYouthFoundation.org.

Olga with Som Paneru at her 87th birthday party
Olga with Som Paneru at her 87th birthday party

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Funded

Thanks to 223 donors like you, a total of $20,105 was raised for this project on GlobalGiving. Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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Organization

Project Leader

Jackie Frost

Sausalito, CA United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Send Deserving Children to school in Rural Nepal