In Nepal, where most people live below the poverty line, children’s education takes back seat. Poverty, underdevelopment, mass illiteracy, ignorance, rural backwardness and conservatism cause a majority of children in Nepali to be deprived of their basic rights to education. Nepal has a tremendous magnitude of child labour with 2.6 Million engaged in the labour force in the organized sector for their own and family subsistence being unable to pursue education. Various other social problems such as child marriage, girl trafficking, bonded labour system, discrimination against girl child, etc. leads towards the undermining of children’s right to education. A decade long armed conflict too has contributed in further deprivation of children from the education. Similarly ineffective educational policy, lack of strategic planning and investment in child education sector, absence of proper applicable and alternative education system and high rate of unemployment among people all contribute towards the low rate of school enrollment and retention in education. Children of migrant families, migrated child labours, street children, children from slum and squatter settlements, orphaned, abandoned and destitute children, who are an integral part of Nepal, are amongst the most deprived group towards an access to education.
In this scenario, CWIN has been trying to ensure the education rights of the most deprived children from the risk areas like street children, child workers, conflict affected children and other underprivileged children. Under the CWIN Education Support Program, CWIN has been providing education support to around 5 thousand children annually. Education Support is both immediate and long-term approach for the socialization and rehabilitation of children at risk.
The general objective of this program is to be committed to the cause of establishing the right to education for child workers and children living and working at difficult circumstances, and ensures them the opportunity to enjoy their childhood through education and awareness opportunities.
The followings are the target groups of the Education Support Program of CWIN:
One of the major approaches of CWIN Education Support Program is to aware the parents of the children regarding the importance of education in the human life and their role to provide quality education to the children. Through this approach CWIN encourages for the role and contribution of guardians/parents for the children’s education. In this way, CWIN and guardians jointly make effort to ensure the education rights of the children.
Local Resource Mobilization
Local resource mobilization is another approach of the CWIN Education Support Program. Under this approach, CWIN creates awareness on the social responsibility of the people and institutions to provide support to the underprivileged children especially for their right to education. There are number of cases that children have been studying with the support of schools being realized with the background and situation of the children. Further more, CWIN has established a Basket Fund Initiative to collect the contributions from the well off families/ people so that the resources may reach to the needy ones through the CWIN’s program. .
Though all the children from the above mentioned focus groups are eligible to get educational support from CWIN, the number depends solely on the availability of resources. For the selection of children, CWIN has set a selection criteria and process so that most needy children may get the priority and opportunity. Accordingly in the constituent communities, the already established selection committee comprised of community based organizations, child clubs and youth clubs make recommendations of the children. CWIN’s front line programs like Helplines, Transit Centers, Contact Center, and Community Conscientization Program also recommend the name of the children. In addition, the guardians of the children and children themselves directly contact CWIN for the support. Collecting all the names of the children, the program team finalizes the name list after verifying and studying of the cases. The verification and prioritization of the names of the children is carried out with the help of the field workers of the respective programs.
Fund for the education support comes from various fundraising initiatives from ‘Friends of CWIN’ groups and donations from groups and individuals.
The Programme is run with a steering committee of CWIN team which consist of Executive Coordinator, Programme Coordinator, Programme Officer and Finance Officer.
Programme Coordinator and Programme Officer are responsible for carrying out advocacy and awareness activities on educational rights of underprivileged children and children at risk situations. They coordinate and collaborate with various stakeholders including the national networks and Ministry of Education.
Field work is carried out for enrollment of children in schools, for follow-up of students in various schools and for family contacts of the children. Regular meetings are carried out with school authorities, school teachers and parents to ensure retention and provide needed support to children. CWIN field workers stationed in various 10 districts also assist in this process.
Children’s meetings are organized to keep track of their development and progress and listen to their issues and problems. A children’s forum is also created by children receiving educational support from CWIN- where they share their feelings, empower their peers and also participate in raising awareness about importance of education among underprivileged children and their families.
YOU CAN BE A PART OF IT
For further details:
Phone : 977-01-4282255, 4278064,4274503
P.O.Box No. 4373 Kathmandu