Supporting the construction of the Center for Health and Education
Project location: NEPAL, Kathmandu
Project start date: December 2009 - Project end date: December 2010
Project number: 2009-66
Beneficiary: AMICS DU NEPAL
Amics del Nepal, is an NGO that works for the development of International Cooperation projects focusing mainly on children and women, two of the most disadvantaged sectors of the population.
The projects are developed in both rural and urban areas, to improve economic and educational conditions of the target population.
Amics del Nepal cooperation projects with Nepal date back to 1995, the year of its creation. The projects have focused primarily on the construction and improvement of schools and centers for the assistance of children.
In 2004, Amics del Nepal began an educational project in the neighborhood of Maijubahal, Kathmandu, for school children from families of low socio-economic status. After seeing great deficiencies and problems the educational program was expanded to include a literacy program for mothers while also opening it to other women of the neighborhood.
This program allowed Amics del Nepal a certain level of visibility in the area and created links within the community who showed a growing interest in our work and a desire to participate. After a year, responding to suggestions made by the local counterpart from the community and assessing the implication of the Spanish Society of Family Medicine and Community (SEMFyC), Amics de Nepal began a project aimed at health impoverished communities of the industrial area of Kathmandu known as Maijubahal. The origin of the project was the result of observation in the homes of parents and children of the educational program and Women's Literacy Program: high levels of disease, inadequate diet and hygiene problems.
The proposed expansion and construction of a new Center for Health and Education in the Maijubahal district of Kathmandu, is an improvement and expansion of the Health Center that Amics del Nepal (Friends of Nepal) started in 2007 with the support of the Spanish Society of Family Physicians and Community (SEMFyC).
For the past two years Amics del Nepal has run a community center in a marginal area of Kathmandu with the expertise of local professionals. The center includes three coordinated projects of education, literacy training and health while using an integrated community approach. This center is a facility of primary health care where free medical services are provide to people of lower socioeconomic status, like those beneficiaries of the Women's Literacy Program and the children's educational program.
It is important to note that since 2007, Amics del Nepal's Women Literacy Program has had significant positive results with the creation of 20 women's groups, with nearly 500 women beneficiaries of different educational levels each year.
In addition, since 2004 the supplementary educational and nutritional program for children of the neighborhood has resulted in over a hundred children benefitting from the program through scholarships from Amics del Nepal.
Activities conducted so far in Nepal:
- Organizations and Children Homes support: Maiti Nepal Organization, Nepal Girls Care Centre and Nepal Children Organization (Bal Mandir and Siphal) in Kathmandu, Children's Home in Patan, Bhimphedi Children's Home, Amor Children's Home in Mahendranagar, Destitute Children's Home in Pokhara and Purwanchal Anathasram Children's Home in Biratnagar.
- Scholarships and Grants Program.
- Health Center in Maijubahal, Kathmandu.
- Health Camps in various locations of Kathmandu Valley.
- Women's Literacy Program in various locations of Kathmandu Valley.
- Tuition program: scholarships (KEBS Boarding School) and extracurricular educational and nutritional support program, in Maijubahal, Kathmandu.
- Rural Development Program in Bhimphedi.
The area where the program is located in the Ward 7 Maiju Bahal, that is a district in a periurban area of the capital and has an estimated population of 45,000 (the last official census of 2001 it has a total population of 39,530 inhabitants) the majority of low or very low socioeconomic level. In this area of the city in recent years it has established a part of the population displaced from other parts of the country because the situation of civil war in Nepal between 1996 and 2006, and it caused more than 200,000 internally displaced throughout the country.
Nepal has an estimated population of 27.5 million (UN data) of people and it is considered by the United Nations (HDI 2010) as a poorly developed country, occupying the position 138 in the world ranking of countries according to the Human Development Report 2010. The 30.9% of the population lives below the poverty line and 55.1% live on $ 1.25 per day (UDP-2009). The country has a population made up of hundreds of ethnic groups, dozens of castes and about eighty different languages. (UNFPA in Nepal).
Nepal suffers from many limitations in the systems of education, health, transport and communications, all exacerbated by political instability that caused over 13,000 deaths and over 200,000 internally displaced persons in ten years.
Also the needs of the population, especially in terms of health and education, continue to be uncovered since the policies have not been favorable for the poor, leaving vast segments of the population outside the development opportunities.
In education, the literacy rate, defined as the ability to read and write a simple statement on everyday life and make simple mathematical calculations, between 15 and 24 years young is 70%, and the number of children and girls enrolled in primary school who belong to the age group that officially corresponds to primary education, in relation to the percentage of the same group, is 79.2%. In tertiary education, total students enrolled, the rate equivalent to the corresponding age for first year is 5.6%.
As regards to the empowerment of women, the percentage of professional and technical positions held by women, according to the UNDP-2009 is 20%, of high civil servants and management is 14%, the percentage of jobs of decision of the government at ministerial level is 20%, and the percentage of parliamentary women is 33%, all according to the UNDP-2009.
The actions proposed in the project aims to influence the education and protection of the children, the youth and the female population of urban districts with very high levels of poverty and illiteracy, higher than the average of the country. The project aims to influence a greater empowerment of women from access to education, and release the circle of illiteracy, poverty and gender exploitation that a high number woman is subjected in Nepal.
In the year 2009 AN launched the construction of community facilities to cover social needs of the district Maijubahal in Kathmandu. The center occupies an area of municipal property and aims to integrate in the same building the three main programs of Amics del Nepal (AN): the education of children, the literacy and empowerment of women and the health program and social services, with which AN wants to achieve an integrated community approach.
These projects are being carried out with the participation and collaboration of the municipality and community neighborhood. The first floor of the building in which it has moved the AN Health Center of primary care entered in service in early November 2010. This was possible thanks to the co-financing of the project by Nando Peretti Foundation and other donors.
The construction of the second and third floors has a planned duration of 15 months and to do the works and to monitor the technical construction AN will be hiring a local engineering technical team of architects, Global STA, that has made the project from an initial project of Engineers without Borders, to track and monitor all works.
The General Coordinator of the counterpart MKN will track daily on site of the project and will make weekly reports to AN, which will evaluate the implementation of the activity and the degree of achieving the intended target in this activity. In the same way, the counterpart will issue monthly reports monitoring financial control of budget and possible deviations of the same, this is especially important for price fluctuations in this country.
At all times Amics del Nepal will count with the involvement of the local community neighborhood since there is an agreement between AN and MKN and the community and municipality of the district for the management of the facility.
Once accomplished, there will be an important awareness campaign throughout the neighborhood on the educational and health center.
The transfer of the management of the community center to the municipality of the district will take place gradually, over a period of not less than three years, assuring them during this time to organize new training activities to benefit the whole population of the district where the equipment is located. Similarly, the AN educational program made in favor of children and extracurricular activities, are expected to have a long continuity through periodic contributions performed by members of the organization, so its permanence is assured.
The experience of these past years demonstrates very satisfactory results in Community at a social level, democratizing access to knowledge and reducing the illiteracy rate among children and women beneficiaries and the existing poverty.
Impacts to the community: improvement in the levels of discussion and participation, creation of new channels of socialization, recovery of self esteem and building of motivational agents of initiatives to generate jobs.
Impacts on Children and youth: these groups have a great level of use of the new facilities through the tuitions (Student Educational Program), where a total of 150 students aged 5 to 14 years, are benefactors of the program grant study of AN. For these children and youth from lower caste or under socioeconomic level, AN is offering a complementary education program outside the school timetable, an important alternative for investing their time once the school finishes. Furthermore the youngsters of the district will benefit because the center will function as training facilities for youth in the district in which they can find work advice and training for professional integration.
Impacts toward trainers: they have new employment opportunities, recognition of their professional values, and contacts with the social community.
Impacts on women: with access to literacy they gain greater training, certification of citizenship, they improve their independence, their self-esteem, they can solve simple everyday tasks (read information, count money, take the bus, have the driving license, etc.), also they increase the appreciation towards the importance of education and this has a positive impact on their children. The expected impact of the action has direct and positive impact on even cross each goal of the Master Plan of Operations, as with the launch of the Project of Literacy integrates the gender perspective in action and formulate specific actions to empower women.
A multiplier effect on the impact on women is that by alphabetizing them Amics del Nepal is increasing the opportunities in the education of their children, this mothers will be even more aware on how important it is for them, for their children and families to be literate and fight against functional illiteracy, social exclusion and lack of self-esteem for a better future.
The construction completion of the Educational and Socio cultural second and third floors of the Community Building and the running of the different foreseen programs will tackle the risk of exclusion, manipulation and exploitation of children and women, as well as it will help to fight against poverty and the imprisonment in the environment of the neighborhood, and furthermore will help to gain knowledge of their rights and duties.
Just as it contributes to the consolidation and to the respect of the human rights, since it helps in strengthening the social fabric, it generates critical citizenship and cultural diversity is considered in the programs.