Support for children
and young people
“Individually we can’t do anything.
But together, we can change things.”
Meet the young people creating change in Nepal
Under the verandah of a simple earthen house in Tikapur, far west Nepal, a group of young people are gathered. They’re not in hiding. Far from it – they’re here to plan and prepare for leadership roles that will quietly help change the course of their community – maybe even their nation.
They’re members of a group that began just last year, seeded by our partner the Welfare Association for Children, Tikapur (WACT).
The context in which WACT works is challenging.
Most families here experience food shortages for much of the year. Hunger drives people of working age to leave their homes to find employment in other parts of Nepal or even across the border in India, which means education and family relationships are severely disrupted.
WACT staff are aware of three or four cases of human trafficking each month in the area, even though some of the communities are a two hour trek on foot from the main highway. They’re completely cut off during the wet season, and members of the community have died of snake bite during the monsoon season, unable to reach medical help.
Over the next three years, we'll provide funding for 15 groups that give young people the tools to create their own change.
This project is in the second of its five year project plan.
In 2023, it is supported by donors from International Nepal Fellowship Australia and the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).Support a young leader
What will the project deliver?
- Support more than 2,500 children to stay in school up til Year 10
- Lift the income and health of at least 1,500 poor families
- 15% of Self Help Group members will hold leadership positions on local government, NGO Boards, Councils, school advisory boards
- Provide education support for 50 children with disabilities each year
- Raise awareness of and reduce human trafficking and early marriage
- Protect the rights and safety of all children in the community through child protection committees and child-friendly school programs
Bibhuti Chaudhary (19) wants to raise awareness among her peers about child marriage and help them find a better path.
In Nepal, 41% of women aged 20-24 are married by the age of 18. The country has the third highest prevalence of child marriage in South East Asia.
Change will require much more investment in education, social and economic opportunities for young women; marrying when they are ready will improve their health and chance to take part with dignity in their communities.
Bibhuti is determined to be part of it. As a young woman from a poor and marginalised community, her voice would traditionally be silenced. Not today.
Prapti Shahi (19) wants to put an end to chhaupadi – a practice in which women and girls are excluded from home and social life, denied certain foods and drink, and even sent to stay in isolated locations outside the home when they are menstruating. This is not just socially isolating; it disrupts education, work and the opportunity for young women to feel part of decision making in their communities.
Prapti has never before felt able to speak about the issues that trouble her most, let alone believe she could have the power to be part of change.
But as a member of the group, she can amplify her voice and strengthen her resolve. Her entire village will benefit.