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Key

Stats

90% of girls

married by age 12

18% of girls and women

literate


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Status: Active

Summary

Soon after the April 2015 earthquake, RMF began working with Global Karuna, a Nepali organization that focuses on educating underprivileged children in Lumbini, Rupandehi district, Nepal. Lumbini is the birthplace of the Buddha and has been recognized as a World Heritage Site. Despite the area’s global appeal, Lumbini is characterized by widespread poverty, limited road access, and a lack of health services and education. Lumbini has also been identified by UNICEF as one of the most critical areas for child marriage and discrimination against women.

After initially working with Global Karuna in emergency relief efforts, RMF began supporting the organization’s Karuna Girls’ School in Lumbini. The all-girls school is sorely needed in a region where many parents forbid their daughters to attend co-ed schools past the 5th grade, which means that their education usually stops there. Karuna Girls’ School provides a safe place for girls and women to learn, with a curriculum that emphasizes reading, writing, computer literacy, health, hygiene, nutrition, and family planning. 11th and 12th grade classes are taught in English. The school also provides vocational training for underprivileged girls and women and for disabled women. Karuna Girls’ School is the only inclusive all-girls school in the region, where young girls of any religion and caste can meet and learn, working together to break the cycle of poverty.

Action Plan

Increase School Capacity

RMF’s plan is underway to construct an additional school building for Karuna Girls’ School. The building will be used for:

  • Additional classrooms,
  • The library,
  • School administration, and
  • Additional toilets.

This will enable Karuna Girls’ School to accommodate its growing number of students:

  • February 2016: 150 students
  • June 2016: 186 students
  • Long-term goal: 500+ students

In June 2016, RMF sent a team of engineers to survey the proposed site, and they have created plans for the new building. The plans have been reviewed by Karuna Girls’ School administration, and RMF is working to obtain government approval for construction.

Develop a Nursing and Midwifery School

RMF plans to work in partnership with Karuna Girls’ School to create a nursing and midwifery school the Lumbini region.

Challenges

  • Discrimination against women
  • Early marriage (girls are married as early as age 10)
  • Lack of parental support for girls’ education
  • Limited infrastructure

Ongoing Presence

RMF plans a long-term partnership with Karuna Girls’ School. By providing support and capacity building for the only inclusive girls’ school in Lumbini and working with the school to develop a nursing and midwifery training program, we will help make education, liberation, and better health possible for girls and women in the region, who will in turn contribute to the education, liberation, and improved health of their families and communities.



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