Project #7797

Literacy and Livelihoods for 445 Women in Nepal

by Language Development Centre - Nepal
Adult Literacy class in Limbu Language
Adult Literacy class in Limbu Language

The Limbu Language Development Association (LiLDA) is supporting local schools and the Limbu communities in Pachathar to promote Multilingual Education (MLE). It supports the use of Limbu language and culture in basic education. Mother tongue based MLE program seeks to improve the learning process in a natural way and create a classroom environment that is enjoyable to the students

LiLDA is also supporting activities that preserve and use indigenous skills to improve Limbu speaker's economic situation. LiLDA is coordinating with different government and non-government agencies. Language Development Centre - Nepal (LDC-Nepal) regularly providing its assistant to LiLDA to implement Limbu Project effectively.

 Activity 1: Limbu Material Development Workshop (8-10 July 2014)

This workshop was conducted in Panchakanya Lower Secondary School, Aangarang-2 and Subjani Primary School, Yasok-4. Participants were teachers, students, School Management Committee members, parents and local Indigenous Knowledge (IK) holders. The objective was to prepare contextual reference reading materials in Limbu language for grades one to three.


  • Promote and expand MLE activities in local primary schools
  • Promote preserve and use Limbu language and culture
  • Produce contextual reference reading materials for grade one to three
  • Train teachers and local IK holders to collect and edit the oral literature
  • Create positive thinking and environment among the local stakeholders to implement MLE in basic education

Themes of materials: Social science, biography, Limbu culture and customs, Poems, Stories, Songs, Festivals and Foods.


  • Thirteen different texts are collected and edited in Limbu language.
  • Twenty-five participants are trained to collect and edit oral literature
  • Participants are motivated to make continue advocacy of MLE in their respective community and schools
  • Help to produce numbers of local literature in Limbu language


  • School Sector Reform Plan 2009-2015 must be implemented to promote MLE program in basic education
  • Local school and government agencies must be honest to follow Multilingual Education Implementation Guideline (2010)
  • Develop strong network among the stakeholders to promote and implement Multilingual Education
  • Schoolteachers need more support and training to produce contextual materials and its use in classroom  

Activity 2: Limbu Indigenous Skill (Khes) development Training (Nov-Dec 2014)

The Training was conducted in Gadhi, Phidim for five young women.

Objectives: To preserve Limbu indigenous skills and promote this skills as business.

  • To train five young women how to weaving Khes and start their own business using this training skills


  • Five young women participated the training and one of them is selected as a trainer for other workshops


  • Indigenous science and skill must be preserved and promoted to improve their economic status and help them to providing financial support at the beginning of their business
  • Manage more financial resources to train more participants from different communities

Activity 3: Limbu Literacy classes and School Support Program to implement Multilingual Education (Jul -Dec 2014)

The project is running regularly and local people are committed to continue the activities. The project is empowering the Limbu community to learn read and write in Limbu language and increasing their awareness for their linguistic rights. It is helping to promote MLE programs in two schools; Panchakanya Lower Secondary School, Aangarang-2 and Subjani Primary School, Yasok-4. Eighty-four students (Boys: 36 & Girls: 48) are getting benefits from this project.

Objectives: To promote MLE programs in Yasok and Aangsarang Village Development Committees, Panchthar.

  • Train teachers and school management committee members from both schools
  • Raise awareness for the linguistics, educational and cultural issues among the communities through education


  • Teachers, School Management Committee Members and other local stakeholders are regularly getting coaching and support to continue MLE activities.
  • One literacy classes with 20 participants (Male: 7 and Female: 13) is running with minor support (reference reading materials, technical support to facilitator) from the project

Suggestions: Advanced literacy class need to run to literate participants in Nepali and English languages, which help them to support their children education. MLE awareness activities must be continued. 

We are grateful for your support. Thank you.

MLE planning meeting in Limbu community
MLE planning meeting in Limbu community
Progress in Khes (Limbu cloth) weaving training
Progress in Khes (Limbu cloth) weaving training
Monthly Group Meeting
Monthly Group Meeting


The Language Development Centre Nepal (LDC-Nepal) and Help Society Nepal (HS-Nepal) is supporting the Tharu communities to implement literacy and livelihood activities in partnership with women lead cooperative groups in Dang district.


The project is empowering these communities to aware of the importance of using mother tongues in basic education (formal and non-formal). The project also supports family-based income generation activities contribute to the family income. These activities are encouraging for us because a little support from the project has a great impact in the community. Outsiders are also visiting our project office and working areas to develop their organization's strategies.


In detail

Pashupati Cooperative Group

We are supporting women led cooperative group - Pashupati Cooperative Group to enhance their capacity through regular meetings, trainings, exposure visits and one-to-one coach to group members to motivate and develop their capacity to improve socioeconomic situation. This group has 25 women members. Group members are also members of the Dipan Cooperative (Registered saving credit cooperative). This cooperative has 422 women members. Mrs. Mira Chaudhary is chairperson of the Pashupati Cooperative Group said, "We are developing our capacity and demonstrating good activities in the communities, which is encouraging local women to be involve in our group and cooperative activities. We collect and deposit NPR 100 (Approximately US$ 1.00) per month from each member and make investment through cooperative."


Community attitudes towards women’s groups is positive. This is great change and is helpful to develop an understanding of women's roles and rights with the male members in the community.


Family-based Income Generation Activities

The Pashupati Cooperative Group is collecting, depositing and investing their money through the Dipan Cooperative. Each member of this group has goats rearing activities. The project is providing technical support to select goats, provide vaccinations and identify markets for to sell the goats in coordination with the government Animal Health Service office. This year each member of the group earned NPR 40,500 (US$ 413) through selling goats. 

Looking Ahead

  • LDC-Nepal is seeking long-term grants to expand our program in neighboring communities.
  • Women are asking us to have functional literacy classes to improve their capacity to advance their daily life and support their child's education.


We are grateful for your support.  Thank you. 

Goat Vaccination program
Goat Vaccination program
Getting weight of goat to sale
Getting weight of goat to sale
Writing experience story
Writing experience story


The Language Development Centre Nepal (LDC-Nepal) is implementing a Limbu Mother Tongue based multilingual education project in partnership with Limbu Language Development Association (LiLDA).

The project empowers Limbu people to learn to read and write in Limbu language and increases their awareness of linguistic rights for their communities. Our Mother tongue based multilingual education program seeks to improve the learning process for Limbu children in an easy way so school becomes enjoyable as apposed to bewildering. Our project also implements indigenous skill based income generation training programs for adults. We are encouraged because the local Limbu communities are very happy with the project activities with very small amount of support from us.

In detail

Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education

Two primary schools are able to start to use Limbu language as a media of instruction in the beginning grades. All together 84 children (Boys: 36 and Girls: 48) are getting benefits from the project. Thirteen teachers were trained to use mother tongue in the classroom activities. They were also trained to develop and collect Limbu literatures from Indigenous Knowledge (IK) holders as a reference reading materials in classroom.

Language attitudes are changing among the local stakeholders towards the importance of using their mother tongue at home and in local primary schools basic. Parents are interested to support school activities and they are giving more attention to their child's education.

Limbu Literacy class

Two trained facilitators conducted the two literacy classes with 39 participants. Literacy class participants are able to recognize, read and write the Limbu language with its Sirijonga script. New literacy skills are used daily to read an sign documents , read signboards and newspapers etc.

Livelihoods Activities

This project built five Khes (Limbu traditional skill to weaving cloth) weaving sets and conducted a one month Khes weaving training to five Limbu women. These five women have now started a family based Khes weaving business.

Looking Ahead

  • LDC-Nepal is seeking long-term grants to demonstrate effective and sustainable MLE programs in coordination with local schools, NGOs and government agencies.
  • Parents are asking us to continue to run literacy program in Limbu and additional language to advance their daily life and support their child's education.
  • LDC-Nepal will continue encourage being use Limbu traditional knowledge, science and skills for their better life.

We are grateful for your support. Thank you.

Group picture with Women Group after meeting
Group picture with Women Group after meeting


Our local staff makes regular visits to the project areas in Dang.   A team from the Language Development Centre also visited the Tharu project in April to meet with local women groups and help them to continue sustainable livelihoods activities in coordination with local stakeholders.

We visited seven women groups and three women saving and credit groups, which are formally registered in government office. It was so good to see progression in goat rearing, vegetable farming and fodder plantations to provide fodder for their goats as apposed to denuding the local forests for fodder. We met with over 150 women during this visit who are involving in project activities. This visit was encouraging because the local women groups are able to continue and initiate new group and project activities with very little financial support from us.

In detail

Goat Rearing

Each family has 9-10 goats, one member able to earn approximately $350.00 selling goats last year. More Goat sheds are under construction and families are planting fodder trees and bushes plus fodder plants for their goats.

Saving and Credit

Each group is running a saving and credit service. Project records show that each group is able to collect and invest approximately $1,335.00. By maintaining good financial records increased trust is developed among group members and communities, which contributes to initiating new activities. Each member deposits $1.04 (NPR 100) per month in her account with the group. The group then decides who receives loans, the level of interest and the repayment schedule.

Positive changes through group activities;

  • Goat rearing practices are improving through proper goat sheds, nutrition and treatment
  • Self confidence and unity among the women is increasing as they become economically and socially empowered
  • Positive behavioral changes by men towards women including active support to the women groups


Comments from some of the participants

Punam (46), Chairperson, Women Cooperative: “I am able to lead the organization because I am learning from my experiences and committed to learn from other's experiences.”

Dhana (34), Manager, and Women Cooperative: “All the children in our village are enrolled in school. Not one child who can go to school is left behind when our school is open.” We are impressed by the change we see in the parents who are now more aware about the importance of school and have the financial resources to pay for the education expenses of their children.

Maya (42) Chairperson, Women Group: “I am happy to lead group activities and work with local communities to continue the project activities. I am anticipating more support to run our Community Learning Center, which help us to sustain our literacy skills and improve our livelihood activities. Now, I realized that literate person more aware for proper use of the financial resources. I am thankful those people who are supporting us.”

Like Maya we are also grateful for your support. Thank you.

Goat Rearing in progress
Goat Rearing in progress
Women in her fodder field
Women in her fodder field
Women are happy with their progress
Women are happy with their progress
Limbu Literacy Class, Yashok, Panchthar
Limbu Literacy Class, Yashok, Panchthar


Last week we visited the Limbu project to help out with making reading materials in Limbu and train local teachers to use them in the classroom. This is all part of our multilingual education project we run in partnership with the local education office and our partner Limbu organization in the east of Nepal.

We had time to visit one of the adult literacy classes and have a look at the small business run by Limbu women that are part of our sustainable livelihoods program as well as arrange a public meeting to mark the International Mother Language Day on 20 February.

In detail

Multilingual Education

Two primary schools in Yashok and Aangsarang villages

This is going well, helped that the teachers are Limbu (not always the case in many schools) and the children are all Limbu speakers.  The goal is to enable the children to their education in Limbu and then switch to Nepali. 


Material Development Workshop and Teacher Training

Four teachers, two literacy class facilitators, a member of staff, one local artist, 13 local indigenous knowledge holders and some of the children’s parents were trained to collect local stories and write them down so they are not forgotten.  Our aim is to use them in the classrooms with the Limbu children. The local artist has already started the illustrations.

Adult literacy classes  

We visited a Limbu women literacy class in Yashok run by Deshu. She explained how she began with pre-reading and writing activities that gave the participant’s basic reading and writing skills in Limbu. The remaining time for this class will be to make sure these skills stick.

Comments from some of the participants

Kamala (60) I am able to speak Limbu fluently but now I am learning to read and write it as well. This is a great fortune for me because now I am able to recognize, read and write the Limbu alphabet.

Indra Maya (55) I have fear of loosing my language. Now I am feeling happy because this program helps me and my friends us to use our language in reading and writing.

Sangita (24) I am literate in Nepali but not in Limbu. Now I am slowly learning how to read and write in Limbu. I am proud and happy to learn my own language.

Malati (50) I was illiterate in Limbu and Nepali but able to speak both of them. Now I am able to copy Limbu alphabets but cannot read it easily because of the confusion with half letters in Limbu. So we need more simple reading materials in Limbu.

Deshu, the facilitator shared that all the participants were highly motivated but heavy responsibilities at home that make it impossible for them to attend all the classes. This means   the classes will has to run longer then planned to make sure they all finish well.

Sustainable Livelihoods (Khesh weaving training)

We are providing training to five women to develop skills to weave Khesh (a special kind of  cloth used for shawls)  Everyone realizes that it all too easy for their community to lose these skills so Harka Maya is facilitating the training. Her mother taught her how to weave Khesh and she is proud for this opportunity to pass on her skills to the younger women.

International Mother Language Day: 20 February 2014

This was an opportunity to present our programs to wider audience, Our Limbu partner organization invited government officers and members of other organization in Phidim to discus the role of local languages in the community.  One strong point was the commitment to support more local primary schools to use Limbu in the classroom.  

Community Feedback

Listening and reflection is always a feature of any visit. We learnt:

  • We need to continue to support local advocacy and networking among the stakeholders to promote and support the use of Limbu in primary schools. This includes continuing to collect and publish local stories and provide additional training to teachers to use them in their classrooms.
  • There is a request from Limbu speakers who are literate in Nepali for us hold classes to teach them read and write Limbu.
  • Expand the number of basic literacy classes.
  • Promote indigenous skills as a basis for income generation to provide sustainable livelihoods 

Without your donations none of this would be possible. Thank you.

Limbu Material Development Workshop
Limbu Material Development Workshop
Discussion: Language issue and student
Discussion: Language issue and student's interest
Livelihood: Khesh weaving training to Limbu women
Livelihood: Khesh weaving training to Limbu women
Limbu Literacy Class Participants
Limbu Literacy Class Participants

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Organization Information

Language Development Centre - Nepal

Location: Kathmandu - Nepal
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Pushker Kadel
Kathmandu, Nepal
$9,892 raised of $35,652 goal
263 donations
$25,760 to go
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