The Nepal School Project provides a free education to Nepalese children in order to promote education as an alternative to child labor.
In Sankhu, a village located about one hour by bus from the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu, more than 50% of the village's 10,000 residents are unemployed. Because public schools in Nepal require tuition, many parents cannot afford to send their children to school. As a result of the high rate of unemployment and the lack of free education in their village, an estimated 20% of children between age nine and fourteen leave Sankhu and their families to enter into child labor in Kathmandu.
Run jointly by The Advocates for Human Rights and its Nepali partner, Educate the Children, the Sankhu-Palubari Community School opened in September 1999. The school is open to all disadvantaged children in the area, including girls. (In Nepal, girls are normally expected to give up school in favor of domestic work.) In addition to lessons in reading, writing, and arithmetic, the teachers have been trained in human rights awareness and incorporate human rights into the curriculum. The school also currently provides immunizations for all of its students.
The school began with 50 students its first year and has added additional students each year. Now in its thirteenth year of operation in 2012, the school has over 300 students. This school year, after years of work by school staff in reaching out to parents in the community, more than 50% of the students are girls.
One example of the school's positive impact on the community is the increase in literacy among the village's children. A Sankhu police inspector reported to The Advocates that many of the community members, who are illiterate, used to request his help in reading their letters. Now, however, they no longer need his assistance because their children can read to them. The children can read because they are enrolled in the school.
An important aspect of The Nepal School Project is the partnership with the Sankhu Village Development Committee, a group of local leaders who help ensure continued community support for the school. Because local community leaders are involved in the school's progress, the project has increased the degree of collaboration and support among community members.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
The Advocates for Human Rights works to raise funds to support the school. Click here to donate money to the Sankhu-Palubari Community School (direct your payment to "Nepal School Project").
Schools, businesses, and community organizations can collaborate with The Advocates for Human Rights to raise awareness about the plight of child laborers in other ways as well. To become involved, or for more information, please contact Jennifer Prestholdt.
The Advocates for Human Rights completely funds the education of nearly 300 children in Nepal. To help us support the Sankhu-Palubari Community School, please send your donation here (direct your payment to "Nepal School Project"). For more information, please contact Jennifer Prestholdt.
My father encouraged me to join the school. I like my school very much. I have many friends at school. We study and play together. My father is a farmer and my mother died when I was very small. My sisters go to work in others' fields to earn money. I want to study and be a doctor. -- a 10-year-old girl student at Sankhu-Palubari Community School.
As parents we now have realized that we should send our children to school, we now feel the importance of education. Being illiterate we are now facing hardship and hurdles, we could not even earn to provide the basic needs. So now we will educate our children for their better future.
My mother and father are farmers. I like to come to school because I learn many new things at school. If I hadn’t joined this school I would be working in the fields because my father cannot afford to send me to other private schools. Because of this school I got an opportunity to read and write. – a 15-year-old boy student at Sankhu-Palubari Community School.
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