News from Nepal: Janice’s recent visit
Kidasha CEO, Janice Miller, recently visited Nepal to meet with our team and a representative from one of the generous funders of our Learning for Life programme. Following Janice’s visit, she has provided an update in her own words about our work.
Having recently returned from my latest trip to Nepal, I thought it an opportune time to share an update on how some of our work is progressing and also some anecdotes about its impact.
For part of my visit, I was accompanied by Kathryn Hodges, Secretary of the Sir Ernest Cassel Educational Trust – the charitable trust that has generously funded our Learning for Life (LfL) programme over the last three years. This programme is designed to give disadvantaged, out-of-school adolescent girls the practical tools and learning support they need to transform their life chances.
Kathryn and I met lots of young girls who have completed the programme, many of whom were married and became mothers when they were as young as 14. The majority have had very little secondary education. All are living in entrenched poverty. Amongst those we spoke to, many had endured unimaginable tragedies in the course of their young lives. These interactions were incredibly powerful – a vivid demonstration of how vital this project has been and continues to be.
Improving confidence and skills through learning
Learning for Life focuses on improving literacy and numeracy, provides education about sexual and reproductive health, domestic violence and exploitation, and works with participants to build up their self-belief and confidence. It has also supported some young girls to start up small businesses, giving them independence that they never thought possible.
We met two young mothers who, having completed the course, felt equipped and empowered to start a small business selling maize. One cried as she recalled how, in lockdown, she had been in total despair as she had had no money to buy food. She went on to describe how taking part in LfL had changed her life, initially helping her get food and then enrolling her into one of the learning groups. Now, she’s earning enough money to feed her family, has bought a second-hand bike to help distribute the maize to a wider area, and is able to send her son to a better school.
Another girl had married when she was just 14 and had a baby soon after, but sadly was ostracised by her husband’s family because she was from a different caste. After completing the course, she has now started a business rearing chickens and is taking precautions to delay having another child.
We heard so many inspiring stories like this. Examples of big changes our learning programme has unlocked. But also small things too. Such as the girls who now had the confidence to open a bank account, or recognise and challenge a shopkeeper when they were over-charged or short-changed.
Kathryn Hodges, Secretary of the Sir Ernest Cassel Educational Trust
Education and inclusion
During our trip, we also visited some of our wider education and inclusion projects. The Headmaster of one of 75 government schools we have been working with to introduce Life Skills Education into the curriculum, described how much he appreciated our efforts and the real differences in student attendance and behaviour he had seen as a result.
Health and well-being
We also met two young girls from our Breaking Boundaries cricket programme (supported by the MCC Foundation) who had never previously played any sport. Having first overcome significant opposition from their families to the idea of them playing cricket, went on to display some incredible natural talent. Both girls were subsequently called up to train with the provincial squad and I have just heard that one of them is now training with the National team – an amazing achievement in such a short time.
Thank you to our team and supporters
As with every trip, I returned inspired and invigorated. Ensuring that we keep these life-changing projects going is essential. The impact our team on the ground continues to make is incredible.
To that end, I wanted to thank you all of our supporters, without it, none of this would be possible. I would also like to encourage anyone who has recently come across Kidasha to reach out to us to discuss how you can support our charity to enable children and young people living in chronic urban poverty to have safer brighter futures.
Donate today to enable children and young people living in chronic urban poverty to have safer brighter futures.