SCHOOL FOR UPALI DISCIPLES

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KEEP LOW CASTE GIRLS IN SCHOOL


We want to build a school for low caste girls in Nepal. Girls education is critical to keeping them from child trafficking, child marriages, and child labor. This school will educate the girls up to a secondary school level and provide them with needed employment skills. When the girls graduate, they will be able to make a living and achieve a level of independence and dignity. The founders of this campaign are experienced in education and have previously been in charge of social development projects in this region.

The solution we are proposing is more effective than a night school or simply a literacy program. You can send a girl to night school or literacy classes, but as soon as her family gets her married off, unfortunately her education and opportunities will stop. We want to advocate for the girls to complete their entire education up to an official school leaving certificate. We want to use the government curriculum and subjects; however the exercises used will be relevant to their lives.

Once they earn the certificate, they can choose their own path. Students can choose to go to a university, and counselors at the School can support them in their educational goals. Alternatively, students can choose to stay at the School and learn vocational skills to earn an income. Once the girls have independence and means of income, the cultural practices which have kept them down will be obsolete. Their parents will see the value in educating their daughters, and they will no longer feel desperate to marry off their girls young or send them into child labor and child trafficking.

Educating the girls in a school building, rather than in peoples' homes, will enable the parents to feel secure in sending their daughters to school in a safe location and provide a long­term solution for keeping them in school until they finish their education.

THE CHILDREN OF NEPAL NEED YOUR HELP NOW:

The April 2015 Nepal earthquake killed more than 9,000 people and injured more than 23,000. Hundreds of thousands of people were made homeless with entire villages flattened across many districts of the country.

Following this we immediately started a volunteer work in the Janakpur area to help people with food, water, tents, transportation, medicine, and contacting family members. In May 2015, a second earthquake hit, causing further devastation and halting relief efforts. During the summer monsoon period, many major landslides have swept away the temporary houses and tents people had set up. The unstable political situation has led to slower recovery and people are now demonstrating the streets with more casualties in return.

The devastating earthquake has made the people of Nepal doubt for the future, and the children are in most need for help. As we know months are passing by with hundreds of thousands of children having few or no schools to return to. Low caste girls are the most vulnerable population right now. Due to poverty and unstable political climate, these girls are being subject to child trafficking, child labor, child marriage, and sexual slavery.

Education and skills training will protect these girls from these illegal and inhumane practices, as well as give them a hope of a better life. We are building a school for 500 children, focusing on low caste girls. With this we are making a commitment to bringing back the smiles on these children’s faces. We are hoping to raise 50,000 dollars for the school, which will be used in giving back these children their hope and dreams for the future. Every day these girls spend in this unsafe environment increases the risk of losing these girls to a child trafficker. We need to act now.

WHERE WE STAND TODAY:

We are an international team committed to social change through education. Dollie Sah is now a nurse in Sweden, but has grown up in Nepal and has personally faced the threats that unfortunately are a part of life for low caste girls in this region. Dollie has been a community activist in her hometown and has helped many girls and women to achieve financial independence and security. Notably, Dollie has promoted the artwork of local women to sell abroad so that they could earn a living.

Additionally, she has personally helped parents from low caste families to send their daughters to school. She has been Project Director of Lady Jaycees, promoting vocational training, health education and social awareness in her hometown. Since the earthquake hit this year, Dollie has traveled back to Nepal with her family to help the affected people. Due to Dollie's personal experiences, she is in an ideal position to understand what strategies will work in the culture and what will not.

Amita Garg is a Director of a Vocational College in Los Angeles, CA, and has a Master's in Education from Oxford University. She brings technical expertise in the components of running a school, including curriculum development, teacher training, and management. Additionally, Amita Garg has spent two years in Nepal on a Fulbright Scholarship and is familiar with the culture. During her Fulbright stay in 2004, Amita got to know Dollie and her family. She was impressed by Dollie's determination, activism, and commitment to social change, and has kept in touch with her ever since.

Laxmi Sah, Dollie's adopted sister, has been a schoolteacher in Nepal for two years until the April 2015 earthquake hit and her school building got destroyed. Since then, she has started providing volunteer classes for the local children in her home. A few of her colleagues also have been volunteering to teach so that children have something to look forward to every day. Laxmi has been able to teach 20­25 children in her home for four hours each day.

Many more children want to continue their daily classes, but do not have the opportunity. The community desperately needs a school, and it is critical that we continue the children’s education regardless of the situation around them. The children are the only hope to build a better future, and we need to take care of them.

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

We have teachers and families with children in need, to help get the school built. We have a contact with an Engineer who is willing to provide help in the building process. But we need your funding and support so that the community may have resources to build a school. By donating to our school building project for ”Nepal Lending Hands” you will not only be improving girls education; you will be making their life better. It's up to you now, the power is in your hands.

Your 50 dollars would help to buy 200 bricks for the school building. Your 100 dollars would help to make five desks and benches. Your 500 dollars would help to install electricity for one whole school building. Your 1000 dollars would help to install water supply for one whole school building.

If we all contribute our part, we can make the school a reality and provide hope for the girls.

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