600 women can escape poverty through financial independence. By providing training in microfinancing, crop management and literacy, women are able to develop their own businesses. Dalit children also can access education and mothers are made aware of how crucial education is in overcoming discrimination and poverty. In the challenging landscape of rural Nepal, the combination of livelihood and education focus increases income and changes cultural attitudes, fostering sustainable independence.
Almost half of Nepalese Dalits live below the poverty line, more than 80% are landless. 90% do not have food security and 1/3 children never enrol in school. Commonly uneducated and subject to abuse, caste discrimination adds to the already-existing hardships of extreme poverty. Facing double discrimination as women, less than a quarter of Dalit women are literate and struggle to earn enough money for basic necessities, trapped in a cycle of degrading manual labour with no hope of a way out.
This brings excluded women and children together to raise awareness of the importance of education in preventing child marriage and supporting women to become financially independent, through entrepreneur training. It will increase their family's income, their confidence and they'll no longer need to participate in caste-based labour. Children learn about their rights and are supported to stay in school. An awareness-raising program in the also offered to transform their communities.
Women in the previous cycles of the project have increased their monthly income from 150 to 12,000 Nepalese rupees by creating new enterprises such as growing and harvesting mushrooms. They have realised their own capacity for learning and are now prioritising education for their children. Families have been able to access funds to pay for health needs and no longer struggle with food security. The Dalit communities are accessing livelihoods and education they are entitled to.