Two-year ‘every last child’ drive gets under way

- Post Report, Kathmandu
Campaign aims to reach the most deprived girls in the four target districts

Jun 5, 2016-Save the Children, Nepal has launched a campaign to get hundred thousand girls from the excluded community from four districts into schools by 2018.

The campaign entitled ‘every last child’ to ensure that girls between 13-18 in three sectors--education, health and reproductive services and protection both at home and outside was launched in the Capital on Saturday. 

 In the first phase, the campaign will run in four districts--Saptari, Kapilvastu, Achham and Bajura with 80 percent of the programme running in the rural areas. 

“In our work, we noticed that children consistently left behind in Nepal in terms of education, health and protection were consistently girls,” Save the Children Country Director Delailah Borja said. “Dangerous trends such as child marriage, child pregnancy and violence at home and in schools are more likely to affect girls and hamper their well-being. To reduce this we will work closely with the government, civil society organisations and particularly adolescent girls to ensure that everything from our national policies to our work on the ground is designed o keep girls in schools, besides keeping them healthy and safe from harm,” 

There is an alarming school dropout rate from children from Dalit community. Data shows that 51 percent of poorest women in Nepal have never had access to education. It also reveals a huge dropout among Dalits with 88 percent of them attend school at primary level but only 10.6 percent reach secondary level. 

“We believe the child friendly constitution and other recent programmes of the government will also help us reach our target,” said Sudarshan Shrestha, director for Media and Communications at Save the Children. 

The constitution has ensured the right of the children to education, protection from abuse and empowerment of the marginalised community. Similarly, the budget for the fiscal year 2016-2017 has also announced the President Women Promotion Programme to empower women.  

The campaign aims to reach the most deprived girls in the four target districts to help reduce their levels of discrimination and empower them their rights by the end of 2018. The campaign will also advocate for five percent increase in allocation for children the national budget especially for education, adolescent sexual and reproductive health and child protection.   

Children, who have benefited from such programmes, express hope that such a campaign will help a large number of girls to get out from the vicious circle of poverty. 

“There are thousands of children, especially girls, who unless special interventions are made will not be able to go to school and realise their full potential. I am sure this campaign will reach out to those needy girls,” said Saraswoti Manandhar, a former child worker. Manandhar, who was rescued from a brick factory in Bhaktapur six years ago, is  now studying at grade 10 with help from various organisations and hopes to become a nurse.

Published: 05-06-2016 08:03

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