The 2015-2017 Soroptimist International President’s Appeal, Educate to Lead: Nepal, is working in partnership with the Australian Himalayan Foundation (AHF), to fund a Women and Girls Education Project (WGEP) in the remote rural area of the Lower Solukhumbu region of Nepal.
Focussed on providing educational opportunities to women and girls, the project was set up to help women and girls rebuild their lives following the devastating earthquakes in Nepal in 2015.
This empowering project encompasses both a leadership and gender training programme for female teachers across the region, as part of the AHF’s existing Teacher Training & Quality Education (TTQE) programme, together with the funding of 14 vocational skills training scholarships.
A series of 3 three-day workshops on gender sensitisation training were organised by AHF’s in-country partner REED in April and May 2016 and attended by over 100 female teachers in the Sotang and Nele region of the Lower Solukhumbu. The purpose of the training was to enhance the knowledge and skills of those teachers attending, on gender equality issues in schools, with a view to reducing gender discrimination in the classroom. This training was planned in close co-ordination with the local District Education Office (DEO) and is based on the assessed needs of the female teachers attending. The gender training has proved a great success, with active participation by all of the female teachers’ present and a recorded sense of empowerment to take the learnings from the workshops back into the classrooms.
Following a needs assessment conducted by REED earlier this year, 14 young girls were identified to be the recipients of the 3-month vocational training scholarships and the scholarships were inaugurated in August 2016. Of the fourteen scholarships, 10 are currently studying sewing and tailoring, whilst four are studying beautician courses. The girls chosen for these scholarships are, for the most part, those who have dropped out of high school and the most vulnerable in their communities, and the training is providing skills in practical trades that will enable them to find work in their communities to enable them to provide for themselves.