Nepal, a small landlocked country about the size of Iowa, is home to Mount Everest and over 100 ethnic groups speaking 90 languages. However, Nepal, like many developing countries, is also one of the poorest in the world. Many citizens live on about $2,700 a year, and the majority of the population lives in poverty. Fortunately, many organizations are fighting poverty in Nepal. Here are five local groups fighting poverty in Nepal, their home country.
5 Local Groups Fighting Poverty in Nepal
- Aasaman Nepal (ASN): A nongovernmental organization, ASN is a strong advocate for social integration, eradicating child labor, and women’s health in over 60 municipalities in Nepal. ASN achieves some of these goals through increasing community awareness and stressing the importance of schools through social mobilization. It has already helped more than 80,000 children with their education. ASN has also been able to secure national and international partnerships with U.N. Women, U.K. Aid and Street Child. Securing these partnership allows ASN to provide quality education and protection to children and marginalized groups like women and the disabled.
- Nepal Fertility Care Center (NFCC): This organization first started as an NGO to decrease Nepal’s total fertility rate from six to just over two. NFCC is now an internationally credited organization focused on providing available, accessible and affordable reproductive healthcare across Nepal. It engages with girls in remote areas in efforts to end child marriage, establishes family planning centers and provides free HPV screenings. Given that these are just a few programs undertaken by this organization, NFCC is central to fighting poverty in Nepal.
- Community Development Forum (CODEF): CODEF is a leading NGO in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector of Nepal. It has completed over 30 projects in organizing infrastructure for WASH programs critical to the health and safety of the people and the environment. In these projects, CODEF has addressed research, development, implementation and local government accountability across 50 different Village Development Committees (VDCs), districts and surrounding urban areas. This makes it one of many key local organizations fighting poverty in Nepal.
- Global Action Nepal (GAN): A social organization, GAN provides comprehensive primary education and health services for all children in Nepal. It has also established over 10 different programs. GAN accomplishes these goals through cooperation with local school districts in establishing management, support and up-skilling strategies. In total, GAN has helped well over 10,000 children and women, thus decreasing poverty in Nepal. GAN also supports other important empowerment initiatives. For example, it provides microcredit for women in agriculture-based programs to support gender equality and financial independence.
- X-Pose Nepal: This organization works to end all sexual abuse and exploitation of young girls and women. Currently, gender inequality only furthers poverty in Nepal. To combat this, X-Pose Nepal has organized awareness programs in over 40 schools to educate young women and men about sexual abuse and exploitation. It has also hosted several other training programs, like making reusable sanitary pads for women in remote villages. Its established Charity Shop helps raise money for the cause through painting exhibitions and musical programs done by and for women.
These five local groups are only a fraction of organizations working hard to foster progress in Nepal. Nonetheless, setbacks like the 2015 earthquake and internal political strife have hindered growth in recent years. Many critics of foreign aid deem it useless due to corrupt government, insufficient infrastructure and a supposed lack of initiative. However, this criticism fails to account for the impact of deep-seated cultural conflicts, geography and natural disasters on poverty in Nepal. Critics also fail to recognize local organizations making significant changes in smaller communities throughout Nepal. Despite the country’s internal conflicts and fragile geographical location, these five local groups are valiantly fighting poverty in Nepal.
– Mizla Shrestha