We are pleased to share an update on the progress of our work in support of marginalised Musahar girls in the Terai region of Nepal.
Our team have continued to meet the basic needs of Musahar girls during the COVID-19 pandemic through provision of food assistance and essential hygiene packs to girls and their families.
Activities suspended since March 2020 including literacy and numeracy classes and life skills support circles have now resumed. By adapting our methods of delivery from face-to-face sessions to remote sessions, we have resumed our vital work in strengthening the self-confidence, resilience and employability of girls.
Our team have piloted an innovative intervention that combines delivery methods of audio-assisted sessions, self-learning print packages, and phone sessions to develop foundational arithmetic and reading skills of girls participating in the programme. In addition to maintaining learning gains, the approach incorporates sharing of life-saving information and psychosocial protection to mitigate against negative coping strategies for girls during confinement.
Impact assessment data of our remote learning and protection intervention show that girls have achieved significant learning gains. After 5 weeks of remote learning, the proportion of girls able to read simple paragraphs of text fluently sharply increased from just 22% to 55% of girls. Similarly for numeracy, after 5 weeks the proportion of students unable to recognise 2-digit numbers decreased by more than four-fold from 23% at baseline to just 5% after 5 weeks.
Assessment results also show that girls made significant gains in understanding of critical skills for socio-emotional development and protection. After 5 weeks of remote learning the proportion of girls with demonstrable understanding of health-related issues doubled from 40% to 88% of girls.
These substantive gains in foundational numeracy, literacy and life skills are transformative towards the ability of girls to access vital information and navigate risks encountered on a day-to-day basis, as well as increasing long-term employability prospects.
We thank you for your continued support towards this vital work.