Education  Nepal Project #10765

Support Girls' Education in Rural Nepal

by Edge of Seven Site Visit Verified
Support Girls' Education in Rural Nepal
1 of 3 womens
1 of 3 womens' marches on the drive to KTM

Snapshots of Hope

Traveling to Nepal (or any developing country for that matter) can often be seen in a series of pictures or images that we can look back on and learn from. The pictures can be symbols of need, progress or hope. On my recent return trip to Nepal to review work done by Edge of Seven I also had a series of images that were import in telling a story of the importance of girls’ education in fighting poverty.

IMG_9864The first picture is from Salleri, Nepal in the Everest region of Nepal (the Solukhumbu). The White Hills School has about 600 students who attend. Unlike many schools in the area, these students are all attending most days. Whereas many other schools may have 300, 500 or 600 students (total) but a far fewer number attend each day, especially on the days when the visitors AREN’T arriving. This day this month at the White Hills School had the students lined up for their morning assembly of calisthenics, song, and marching off to class.

What I find encouraging at the school is the number of girls. This school serves K-12 students, which is rare in Nepal since mandatory education only goes through 10th grade. Here though, 11th and 12th grade (so called “plus2”) are also served and there are a good number of girls who stay at the school all the way through this critical educational milestone. Encouraging. And the school is doing several encouraging things to help girls stay in school. More on this in additional posts.

IMG_9992Another snapshot of hope from my time in Nepal was on a winding, narrow road commuting 10 hours to Kathmandu. We passed three different women’s marches — it was International Day of Women — and while each one was small, they were symbolically important. Over the span of a couple hours those three groups that we saw were making a statement loud and clear. Equal opportunity and equal treatment are important to raising families and villages out of poverty.

As we sped down the sometimes paved (sometimes not) road at speeds from 80KMH down to 10KMH for the rocks, potholes and washouts, I realized that all over the country small groups of women were marching just like this. And no one was there to see them, hear them, or take pictures. But it amounted to a huge number of women all across Nepal and if you extend this out to Asia and her larger neighbors, it was a groundswell of voices for an issue that is deeply rooted in Education.

IMG_9976At the end of our journey we met with the leaders of a small hostel who help girls get an advanced education. The concept is simple. Create a free place for the girls to call home while they get their “plus2” education. Because the distance to the school from their homes is so large (1-3 days hike) the girls HAVE to live somewhere. And this place is free. Girls can then attend school for 11th and 12th grade. Edge of Seven worked with The Small World (a Nepali NGO) to build the school which is now self-sustaining and run by the community.

But this snapshot of the girls who run the hostel for 30 girls getting an education that will help them defeat rural poverty is actually a meeting to do a bit more. The girls in the dorm are interested in starting a coop with Edge of Seven support. The training and entrepreneurial skills to launch, run and succeed at this effort are in works for the planning and funding. The coop would include all the girls in a business venture which would continue with each new class that arrives at the hostel each year. Girls would be able to earn money with which they could save, reinvest in their coop, or invest in helping them break down barriers to their education. For example, the girls each take turns walking home (that same 1-3 days) to get food from their families, bringing it back to school so that they have food for the following weeks. Instead of the long hikes, the coop might allow them to purchase food and spend that hiking time on their studies.

In each of the snapshots — girls in school, women’s marches, and meetings to build business skills — the hope that we can and will succeed grows. The dedication of organizations such as Edge of Seven, The Small World are yielding results. But more importantly, girls attending school, women marching and launching new teen projects for economic independence is creating higher community ownership and the foundation for large scale change.

See you down the trail –

PM

New classroom in Deepli built with your support
New classroom in Deepli built with your support

We are so excited to continue our work on projects in Nepal. We are right now working on building our 2018 plan (can't believe it's almost 2018!) and are excited about work that is getting ready to commence in the Solukhumbu. Planning with The Small World (our on-the-ground partner) is happening now to build another set of classrooms at the Ramailo Jyoti School near Salleri, Nepal.

This site was one of the most damaged after the 2015 earthquakes and we've worked here before, building classrooms. It is the same site where the headmaster told me that six months after the earthquakes he had 100 fewer students than he did pre-earthquakes -- he wasn't sure where they were or what school (if any) they were attending. It was devasting to hear and now that we've been working in the school the student numbers are creeping back up as we continue to build and support this area.

Now is the time to continue rebuilding in Nepal -- as other efforts, other organizations, and international donors look to other parts of the world. Now is the time for us to continue building, to continue to stay dedicated to this part of Nepal, and to ensure that children can keep coming back to a safe place to get an education.

We know that the longer kids are out of school the worse off they are. So please help us as we rebuild Nepal for today, tomorrow and the coming years. There are still kids in this area, the greater Everest Region and Nepal overall who need a room and a classroom so that they can finish their schooling and help to raise their families and villages out of poverty. Thank you so much to everyone who has donated in the past and if you have the time and ability we would appreciate a final (or first) donation of the year to help us launch 2018 with new success in the region -- Yours in peace and service,

-- Pete -- Happy Holidays

Watching your child take their first steps is a gratifying experience to say the least. It is an inspiring, hopeful, proud moment for many parents. Or imagine the school play, a home run, a touchdown, or a promotion at work. The milestones in our lives such as these are important and range from immense to miniscule — regardless, celebrating them is important to confidence and hope for the future.

The parallel in the NGO world is seeing a program start to take shape.

For Edge of Seven, the work done in developing curriculum for business training is one of those critical and fundamental milestones where we can bring value from our East Africa program and (when appropriate) transfer it to Nepal.

Through the generous efforts of the Posner Center and the Western Union Foundation, work is being done now to build and refine curriculum for women's entrepreneurial training to install in Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya. Working with critical partners in the Posner Center in Denver, and connecting to local staff and volunteers and communities on the ground the group (Africa Development Promise, Edge of Seven and Into Your Hands Africa) are building a curricular framework and execution plan for how to implement these trainings in a sustainable way in various parts of Africa.

And then, next in Nepal.

While the "behind-the-scenes" process of writing and refining curriculum, and developing execution strategies isn't very exciting, it is like those first steps a child makes that signal bigger things to come in the future.

Rigorous testing with women's groups on the ground, and refinements, along with expert curriculum designers based in Africa who are cognizant of all the social, cultural, and economic realities that face women and women's groups is critical to our success. We are learning how important the local voice is to the ultimate success of these teaching tools. And you can be assured that we’ll bring this understanding, awareness and process for development to any curriculum we bring to girls and women in Nepal.

In Nepal we hope to pair this training and schooling with the infrastructure we’ve built (classrooms, dormitories, water systems) and are going to build in the future. Imagine the impact that we can have in Nepal by supporting the girls’ dormitory model by teaching them to run a coop or business either while in school or when they are done. That transformational power of economic development when coupled with strong infrastructure resources has the potential to truly impact future generations.

This work happens because of what you are doing to support Edge of Seven. We are successful because of how you help, support, coach and mentor our work. Thank you.

Edge of Seven is currently also approaching a variety of organizations to implement this work and make these dreams become realities -- your project donations on GlobalGiving go towards the fund that will help to implement this program and help it grow. And that's when we will be learning to jog, run and sprint. Attached below please see the link to the curriculum. We look forward to your ongoing support and encouragement. 2017 Curriculum - WETP-122216-D3.1

If you’re in Denver on September 29th you can learn more at our Annual Event scheduled to begin at 6pm: http://edgeofseven.org/7at7/

Links:

School Community Committee, after the earthquake
School Community Committee, after the earthquake

Two years ago, a significant earthquake hit Nepal. In the Solukhumbu region homes, schools, outbuildings, and more were damaged or destroyed. And when the second quake hit in May even more damaged buildings became unusable. Even more significant, the human tragedy reverberates today. While we can't bring back the over 9000 people who were lost, we can support rebuilding in the area.

Today we have a special opportunity to create more support through GlobalGiving — Today only donations are matched 50%. Please help us continue the rebuilding efforts in Nepal.
 
In the last two years Edge of Seven has accomplished so much. After initial responses and aid, Edge of Seven set out with our partner on the ground with dedication, perserverence, and focus on on our mission — girls' education. Together with your support we built seven temporary buildings and last year alone, three more school buildings. We are building more schools, developing programs for girls to learn about business, and fundraising for communities to replace more classrooms, more toilets, water supplies, and infrastructure that supports poverty alleviation and earthquake resistant buildings.

None of this would have been possible without the support of people like you. Edge of Seven continues to rely on donations to help fund our sustainable building projects, education programs, and earthquake recovery efforts. Thank you so much.

If you would like to help us to continue supporting people to rebuild their lives in the most isolated regions of Nepal the best way to do it is through a monthly gift. At the time of the earthquake regular gifts allowed us to react immediately and begin our planning for the future. If you are in a position to give on a monthly, yearly or weekly basis please click HERE - it really is the most effective way to support Edge of Seven.
 
Thank you for your ongoing generosity and friendship — you have helped girls and women in Nepal so much in the last two years.
 
Best,

Pete

Links:

Girls in Nepal waiting for their new school
Girls in Nepal waiting for their new school

Each year we take time to celebrate the work of the past year, and plan for the year ahead. In 2016 we had some great successes especially in Nepal (but also in Kenya and Rwanda). We completed three new buildings (6 classrooms) and were able to also install a computer classroom in the girls' dorm in Salleri, Nepal. These projects typify what we're trying to do if you look beyond the actual "output" — the output may be a classroom or a computer lab, but that's not all there is there.

In building classrooms, we're working hard to BUILD CAPACITY of the community to take on their own development work. Each community has a mentor to build a "School Building Committee" which is the leadership council that learns how to take on projects, manage them, report on them, complete them, and celebrate them.

Likewise with a computer lab, it's far less about the computers themselves than BUILDING CAPACITY for the girls who learn about computers and can take that skill into future jobs.

So as we reflect back on 2016 and our work at building capacity along with creating projects that break down barriers for girls' education, we can celebrate and begin to look forward.

2017

In 2017 for our work at Supporting Girl's Education we are looking to build capacity for our organization so that we can do even more work moving ahead. We are looking to cross-pollinate our work in East Africa with the Women's Entrepreneurial Training Program (WETP) into Nepal. The program works with women to help develop their business skills to start, run, manage and succeed at their businesses. These kinds of trainings have shown to increase household/family income and have positive effects on health, education, sanitation, and access to water.

Creating transfer of these programs from East Africa to Nepal isn't a singular or simple process. We're looking ahead already to implementations in Kenya so that we are ready to transfer the programs to Nepal for the teen students in the dormitories and others who are interested in creating new pathways out of poverty. Business Training for women and girls in rural areas can be a high outcome endeavor — it's education, it's empowerment, it's poverty reduction.

In the coming months we'll be celebrating GlobalGiving Girl Fund campaign on International Women's Day on March 8, and World Water Day on March 22. All these days are milestones in our year that reinforce our support of women and girls in the developing world. Each day helps us raise awareness because more people pay attention.

But at the end of the day, this work delivering PROGRAMS in addition to PROJECTS is what Edge of Seven is moving toward EVERY SINGLE DAY of the year. We're moving forward and ahead in creating capacity for women and communities to raise themselves out of poverty. Step one is continuing to build schools and buildings that support these communities. Step two, is to build programs that fit alongside the infrastructure that mutually benefits each other and create collective impact.

Either way, the girls', women and communities where we work are being built up — as are we. We thank you for your continued support, donations and words of encouragement. We know that building capacity for all the constituents in our world is important, especially in the challenges of today's world.

Please stay tuned as we change the world ....

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Edge of Seven

Location: Denver, CO - USA
Website:
Edge of Seven
Peter Mason
Project Leader:
Peter Mason
Denver, COLORADO United States

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