RMF Nepal Program and M&E Coordinator inspecting the roof before concrete is poured
Bettering the lives of Women
Lumbini is 205 km west of the capital city, Kathmandu, and has the lowest female literacy rate in Nepal, at just 18%. Issues such as the marriage of girls before age 12, parents’ reluctance to have their girls in school with boys after puberty, the dowry system, and restriction of women’s decision-making all play a role in suppressing the rights and potential of women in the region. On a larger scale, discrimination and lack of education for women contribute to Lumbini’s struggle with severe malnutrition, lack of medical care, and high infant and maternal mortality rates.
Karuna Girls’ School is working to change these statistics by providing education for girls from grades 6–12, as well as vocational training for underprivileged girls and women in Lumbini. During the course of 2016, the school grew from serving 150 students to 186 students. The curriculum emphasizes reading, writing, computer literacy, health, hygiene, nutrition, and family planning, while vocational training includes courses in computer literacy and tailoring.
RMF Nepal Program and M&E Coordinator Pragya Gautam arrives to inspect the construction site
Supporting Classroom Construction
Through our emergency relief work with Venerable Metteyya Sakyaputta, founder of the Nepali organization Global Karuna, we also learned of Karuna Girls’ School in Lumbini, Nepal. RMF’s current support to the school is in constructing a 4-classroom building and handing it over to Karuna Girls’ School. This is a step in helping the school to meet its long-term goal of accommodating 500 students.
Workers carrying concrete to the roof
The chosen local contractor, Lumbini Sanskritik Associated Pvt. Ltd., has continued construction of the 2,349.9-square-foot school building at Karuna Girls’ School in Lumbini, and phase four of the construction is now in its final stage. On January 9, 2018, RMF released the third installment to the contractor. Similarly, the fourth installment was released on March 15, 2018. This was released after RMF Nepal Program and M&E Coordinator Pragya Gautam’s February visit to the construction site and upon receiving signed documents from the engineer outlining the cost of construction to date and the amount of work completed.
- Completing the roof
- Completing wall plastering
- Applying the first coat of paint
The contractor is now working to install the building’s doors and windows. Other major tasks being undertaken are painting, installation of floors, and electric wiring.
RMF Nepal Program and M&E Coordinator inspecting the construction process
Inspecting Construction and Materials
On February 13, 2018, RMF Nepal Program and M&E Coordinator Pragya Gautam visited Lumbini to monitor the construction. During her visit, she inspected the quality of materials used, verified the progress of the construction, and organized a meeting with the administrators of Karuna Girls’ School. She found that the principal and school administrators are very pleased with the quality and progress of the construction work, and the materials used are in line with the standards agreed upon during the signing of the contract.
- To build capacity at Karuna Girls’ School
- To develop a nursing and midwifery school
- To improve the education, health, and wellbeing of girls and women in Lumbini
Karuna Girls’ School was founded in 2013 by Global Karuna, a branch of the Nepali organization Lumbini Social Service Foundation (LSSF). The school is Lumbini’s only inclusive all-girls school, where girls can study regardless of religion or caste.
RMF began working with Global Karuna shortly after the April 2015 earthquake, and we are pursuing plans to construct an additional building for Karuna Girls’ School and, in partnership with the school, develop a nursing and midwifery program.