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Save the Children's work in Nepal focuses its effort on education, especially early childhood development and primary education, as well as basic health, including maternal child health and HIV and AIDS prevention and care. Special attention is paid to ensure that members of particularly disadvantaged groups such as "dalits" (formerly untouchable castes) and other ethnic minorities are reached by these programs. In addition, Save the Children provided significant support to children and families who were affected by the country's ten-year-long civil war.
Nepal is home to 29 million people, with children younger than 15 years old making up more than 40% of the population. It includes ethnic and caste groups with distinct cultures and languages, giving this small land locked country a cultural and linguistic diversity that is remarkably complex. Nepal boasts eight of the world’s 10 highest mountains, including Mount Everest, yet it also has the flat river plain of the Ganges on its southern border with India.
Entrenched poverty and a decade of violent political instability have taken a toll on the Nepalese people, although a lasting peace is gaining momentum, creating real hope for long-term political reconciliation. Much of the population lives in remote rural areas on the plains and others living in scattered settlements in the hills and mountains. More than one in three people in Nepal live in extreme poverty, subsisting on less tha $1 per day.
Save the Children envisions a country where families and communities are empowered to ensure access to quality health services. In response to the challenge of high child mortality rates, the substandard health status of Nepali women, and the growing prevalence of STDs, we work with local partners and the Ministry of Health on programs in child survival, AIDS prevention education, school health and more.
Save the Children has also been working to prevent and lessen the impact of HIV/AIDS in Nepal through increasing the availability of condoms, enhancing access to services and information, and creating an environment for behavioral change. Special emphasis is placed on reaching commercial sex workers and their clients along the highways in the Far West, as well as male migrants to India and their families. The program has particular success in reducing stigma and discrimination and involving local government and community bodies to create ownership of community-based impact mitigation activities.
The goal of these programs are to expand economic access and opportunity for poor and marginalized women and girls aged 14-18. Income earning prospects are improved through continuous and increased access to micro-finance services and through the promotion of highly productive, non-labor intensive income-generating activities. Save the Children's programs support the formation and development of women’s groups, community-based organizations, and self-help groups with leadership training, management skills, and limited seed money to expand access to credit.
Quality education is not available to most of children in Nepal. Our programs promote educational opportunities for children to learn, develop and participate in their communities. Programs such as Child Clubs, out-of-school classes, and Child-to-Child learning characterize our innovative approach to youth and non-formal education.
Sponsorship is a special kind of giving that creates a relationship between you and the community in which Save the Children is helping to create real and lasting change. It provides more than the satisfaction that comes with aid for improving the health and well-being of children; it delivers a special opportunity to witness young lives lifted over time. Through child sponsorship, two lives are changed forever: yours and the life of your sponsored child.
Nepal Facts and Statistics
Unless otherwise noted, facts and statistics have been sourced from Save the Children’s 2012 State of the World’s Mothers report. You can access detailed data here.
Other sources as follows: Infant Mortality Rate: CIA World Factbook 2012; Life Expectancy at Birth: World Bank's World Development Indicators 2012; National Poverty Rate: World Bank's World Development Indicators 2012; Population: CIA World Factbook 2012; Human Development Index Rank: United Nations Development Program
Last Updated July 2012