Location and general information
With an estimated population of 50,000, the Chepang are one of the most disadvantaged ethnic minorities in Nepal: 20% of them live in Dhading district (epicentre of the first earthquake in 2015) and 90% live below the poverty line. In this very patriarchal community, women are victims of discrimination and violence, and only 1% of them can read and write. Since there are no schools near where they live, girls therefore find themselves in a particularly difficult situation and leave school at a very early age.
The Chepang association currently runs a residential home for girls who attend school.in the municipality of Gajuri. This home provides them with their only opportunity to continue their education. Planète Enfants & Développement (PE&D) and its local partner, Prayash Nepal, have been supporting this home since 2015, offering both educational assistance and equipment. However, the building is dilapidated, if not unsafe, and is only being used on a temporary basis, since it does not belong to the Chepang community. There is therefore an urgent need to improve the living conditions of these girls and to offer them more support.
The project is designed to help Chepang girls between the ages of 11 and 18 to complete their education in conditions conducive to their development. With this in mind, the UEFA Foundation for Children would like to support the efforts of PE&D and Prayash Nepal to build and start using a new accommodation centre.
The main objectives of this project are:
- to build and equip a new accommodation centre for girls;
- to construct a sports pitch and purchase sports equipment;
- to provide educational support for girls.
The following activities are planned for the coming months in the municipality of Gajuri:
- The construction and fitting out of a new model accommodation centre for girls from the Chepang minority in Dhading district. This home will provide its residents with safe, clean and comfortable living conditions that will make their everyday lives more dignified and peaceful.
- The construction of a sports pitch and purchase of sports equipment: Chepang girls are rarely encouraged to participate in sport, even though it is vital for their development. With this equipment and the assistance of a sports coach once a week, they can discover the joy of playing individual and team sports that are popular in Nepal. The sports pitch will also be made available to the Chepang association for football, volleyball, badminton and cricket activities, including tournaments for children in the community.
- Educational support for girls: two teachers specialising in literary and scientific subjects will help the girls on a weekly basis to assimilate their learning, develop confidence in their own ability and prepare for exams.
This project will last two years, with the building work due to last one year. The new accommodation centre will comprise several sustainable, earthquake-resistant buildings constructed using eco-friendly methods. It will contain dormitories for 30 to 35 girls, bathrooms with showers and toilets, a kitchen, a dining room, accommodation for the caretaker and his family, and two common rooms.
During these two years – in the old building to begin with, then in the new one – the focus will be on educational support, individual coaching and sport. Since sport is an instrument for the empowerment of women and girls, it will be used to strengthen their self-esteem and self-confidence. The ultimate objective is for these girls to become role models in their community, escape poverty and encourage other girls to continue their education. This support is essential if girls are not to become discouraged, leave school and harm their chances of a better future.