Through major donor support, ChoraChori and the Mithila Wildlife Trust are building a new children’s learning centre in Dhanusha District, south Nepal,

It may look like a battleground rather than anything else, but these images received yesterday show the start of something really positive for girls from terribly poor and marginalised communities in south Nepal. The solid foundations are being laid for a new children’s learning centre to replace the tiny overcrowded one that we saw when we visited Dhanusha District in February.

As context, one of our partner organisations, The Mithila Wildlife Trust, has been collaborating with the Kathmandu-based Women Development Advocacy Centre in an exciting programme for the advancement of women and girls. Through its Madhesh Education Initiative, the NGOs have been operating a programme that provides seed loans to women to allow them to engage in income generation and microbusiness initiatives. But there are five conditions attached so that girls cease to be seen as economic units that exist to bring an income to the family prior to child marriage:

  • They must enrol their daughters at the local school
  • They daughters have to have a minimum 60-70% attendance rate
  • They must also attend the children’s learning centre for two hours each day (this may be before or after school) to gain support with homework and extra tuition
  • A basic standard of health and hygiene has to be maintained in the home environment
  • The mothers have to participate in any meetings that involve discussion of social upliftment within the community, so that their voices are heard

The new centre, which will be built from local materials, will cost £9,500 and should be completed within a couple of months. We would like to thank Gemma and Chris McGough for their generous financial support.