On June 22nd, our Nepalese team and its local partner Child Nepal met in Kathmandu for the closing meeting of the project “A better future for mothers and children”. This was an opportunity for the 15 participants to review the strengths, obstacles encountered and lessons to be learned before continuing the Early Childhood Development programme.
“A Better Future for Mothers and Children” what is it?
From March 2017 to June 2020, the project supported women working in the leisure sector in Kathmandu (dance bars, massage parlours, cabarets, restaurants…) and their young children through the setting up of a nursery school of hope. In 3 years, 92 children between 2 and 6 years of age were welcomed there. A chance for them to escape the violent world of their mothers’ workplace and to be educated in good conditions.
What are the strong points of this project?
Beyond the children’s schooling, the project also helped the mothers to take care of their children (hygiene, nutrition…).
Women victims of violence have benefited from psycho-social follow-up. We supported several of them in their professional reconversion, to develop new income-generating activities and thus escape from exploitation and violence.
Finally, we have made municipalities aware of the importance of early childhood care and the need to provide a specific budget for its development.
What were the obstacles encountered?
The lack of identity documents and birth certificates for some beneficiaries, the lack of means to offer sufficient financial support to the most vulnerable, the lack of participation of men in the education of their children, and finally the staggered working hours of women (night work) and their difficulties in bringing their children to school in the morning are the main difficulties encountered.
What lessons can be learned for the future?
For the continuation of the programme, which will start next August, several recommendations emerge from the team:
Provide legal support to better accompany women victims of violence in their efforts.
Make sure that the nursery school is not too far from the working place of the mothers (bars, restaurants…) to guarantee the children’s regular attendance and provide more flexible hours and, if possible, an opening 6 days a week.
Lastly, make more home visits to women victims of violence, as they help to strengthen bonds of trust, and set up an emergency fund for the most vulnerable women and girls.
The project has come to an end but we are continuing to accompany young children in Nepal through the nursery school of hope in Kathmandu and to extend the activities to other schools in the capital and the district of Dhading.
Over the next three years, and with the help of our local partners Child Nepal and Prayash Nepal, we will work with schools and teachers in 62 pre-school classes, catering for 2,500 children from 3 to 6 years old. Our goal: to improve the quality of teaching, pedagogical tools and through active pedagogy, reduce absenteeism and give more chances of success at school to children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
This project also aims to make parents aware of the importance of stimulation and bonding with their young children at home and more generally to raise public awareness among the development of 0-6 year olds.
We’ll tell you more very soon!
Our project form “Nursery school of hope” in Nepal
July 16th, 2020