Education For All Initiative: Youth Scholarships so every child can learn
Too many children are denied an education because they were born a girl, a low caste or into poverty. Countless are kept from school by homelessness, disability and tragedy. When selecting children for scholarships, we look for the most urgent and desperate cases, with an eye on supporting girls who are too often left behind to care for siblings, prepare food, collect firewood and work in the fields.
The average literacy rate is currently 54%, but while 69% of men are literate, only 42% of women are. Female school attendance in rural areas is appallingly low even as studies prove that investment in girls education is one of the best methods of fighting poverty. Educated girls and women are able to improve their families’ quality of life by providing better nutrition, health care, and hygiene. Families in which women are educated experience reduced infant mortality and higher incomes.
Families want to send their children to school. But poverty often forces parents to choose one child to send, if they can send any. All they need is a little help. We go door to door to make sure no child is left behind.
In the villages in which Hope operates, school enrollment has risen to an astonishing 100%.
We provide local schools and our scholarship children with teaching materials and school supplies to ensure that all children have what they need to focus on learning.
In Nepal, there is no social safety net. When tragedy strikes and children lose their parents to violence or poverty, they are left homeless and alone. That was the plight of our Hope House children, youth living alone or on the streets, in one case since the age of 3.
We opened Hope House in 2006 located in Kathmandu. Each of our children receive all the benefits of a loving family: shelter, acceptance, medical care, education, life skills training and most importantly, the transforming power of hope. We work hard to ensure each child receives a high quality primary and secondary education, and help them transition into adulthood with the tools they need to succeed.
Our children went from the streets to the top of their class. They are all consistently ranked in the top of their class, and have bright futures ahead. We strive to provide an enriching environment that encourages creativity and self-discovery. We teach respect for diversity and for their own heritage.
Making handicrafts is an opportunity for many in poor communities to sell goods in the global marketplace. But without an understanding of our lifestyle and taste, their products have limited appeal. Traditions and an artistic heritage passed down from generation to generation is dying out. Skilled craftsman have few opportunities to sell their goods and without sales, little incentive to pass down their legacy to their children.
producing fair trade products
Our founder Ann-Marie Conrado has a background in product design, and in 2001, she began collaborating with the Association for Craft Producers to design and develop handicraft products for the global marketplace. She has designed products that have been sold in the US, Europe, Japan and Australia and has significantly increased sales in artisan communities throughout Nepal.
examples of hand-crafted, fair trade products
Since 2006, the University of Notre Dame has collaborated with Hope Initiative and the Association for Craft Producers to bring art and design students to Nepal to work directly with artisans to share their knowledge about what people want to buy. Building grassroots capacity, we work to improve their knowledge about the market, so they can earn a livelihood that lifts them out of poverty.
design student volunteers creating fair trade product concepts
Rural Technology Initiative: Improving livelihoods and expanding minds through computer literacy and the Internet
Few rural communities have access to the kinds of educational tools that they need to succeed in school and pass the national exams. Rural areas offer few opportunities for employment, and poor Nepalese who lack job skills or education, must leave the country to find jobs. Men, in particular are often forced to leave their wives and children alone for years or decades.
After years of preparation, we opened our first education center in 2004 in Arba village in Midwestern Nepal, assembling our own computers and laying phones lines across rice paddies to connect people to technology and the world.
Since inception, we have trained over 1400 students from 8-56 years of age in a two month computer literacy course, provided villagers with free internet access, helped students move into meaningful employment, and aided in revitalizing communities by reducing youth migration and keeping families together.
Our innovative peer to peer program hires former students to train and move into the teaching roles. We find that they teach best because they understand the struggles of their students, because they have struggled themselves, and succeeded. Our curriculum is designed to teach students to teach themselves, guiding them in a process of exploration. Our curriculum gives students the confidence they need to go out and create change.
When people from the neighboring village began to walk two hours across hilly terrain for a chance to learn to use a computer, Hope began plans for a second center which with your help we can continue with our plans for growth.