In Nepal, society has traditionally favoured educating men over women, though attitudes are slowly changing. Providing girls with an education is crucial, because otherwise those from poor backgrounds remain extremely vulnerable to exploitation and trafficking.
Working from home
Sujata (far right with her family in the photo above) enrolled for a six-month secretarial course at the SOS Vocational Training Centre in Pokhara. The daughter of poor farmers, she lives in a remote hilltop village, a three-hour walk away. However, with her disabilities, travelling such a distance would have proved impossible.
To enable Sujata to attend her course, we provided her with accommodation in one of our SOS youth homes in the town. After completing her course, Sujata secured employment at a middle school in her village, where the head praises her as “hard-working” and “courageous”. The eldest and only educated child among her five siblings, Sujata is now able to support her whole family thanks to the skills she learned through her SOS course.
Our community programme in Pokhara also offers training opportunities. Geeta Dhungana’s husband had tragically died in an accident. This left Geeta struggling to support herself and her two young children. While we enrolled her children into day care, Geeta was able to undertake a sewing course. However, she wasn’t satisfied with the level of skill she managed to attain. Instead, she proposed an alternative living; Geeta wanted to be a security guard.
Seeing her determination and enthusiasm for this unusual line of work, SOS Children supported her through the training. Once completed, Geeta was given a security job at the Margadarshan Academy. She is extremely happy with her work and now has enough money to support her children and give them the kind of education they will need to find their own jobs in the future.
Home of the Ghurkas
SOS Children has been working in Nepal since 1973 and currently operates in nine locations. Pokhara lies in the north-western central Gandaki zone, around five hours by bus from the capital Kathmandu.
This Himalayan valley region is home to many Tibetan refugees and also different Nepalese groups, including the Gurung people, who are renowned for being excellent fighters when they join the famous Gurkhas. (The name ‘Gurkha’ comes from the hill town of Gorkha from which the Nepalese kingdom originally expanded).
SOS Children aims to improve the life chances of vulnerable girls and young women in this region and across Nepal by offering them education at all levels – nursery, primary, secondary and vocational. In this way, we can ensure they have the necessary qualifications and skills for finding employment which secures their safety and wellbeing.
Find out more about our work in Nepal...