Sita, a 37-year old woman, has always dreamed of going to school. However, being a girl, her father did not approve. It wasn't until after she got married at age 15 and had raised her kids that she was allowed attend any kind of schooling. Amit is a sixth grade boy and one of the 35 kids in the Children's Centre, our orphanage in Sarlahi, who wants to become an engineer. He was neglected by his mother after his father was killed in the civil war.
Hundreds of women and girls like Sita are learning to read and write Nepali. Sita has been attending our women's literacy classes and she already feels different from her previous illiterate life. She has also received a goat as a scholarship. She milks the goat daily to provide protein for her family. She can now enjoy reading books from our library. At our orphanage, children like Amit, who will otherwise be street kids, will grow up with opportunities to fulfill their dreams.
Our community based project in Sarlahi is a model that can be replicated throughout Nepal. The literacy program based on the libraries has grown to involve 460 women who now teach others to read. To date, SFP Nepal has established 15 mini libraries, two large libraries and also organizes mobile libraries on bicycles. This is a project that directly mitigates the low literacy rate for women and girls and the high incidence of malnutrition in the area. We also plan to expand our orphanage.