Nepal has one of the world’s highest rates of child marriages. Although the legal age for marriage in Nepal is 20, girls as young as 14 are married in remote Nepal locations. These child brides don’t get to finish school, and they become mothers while they are still children themselves. Their bodies are not ready to bear children, and takes a huge toll on their health. They don’t have a voice and are usually unable to make any decisions for themselves.
After the economic fallout from the COVID pandemic, families who were already struggling to provide the most basics of daily living, including 3 meals a day, have become even more impoverished and desperate. Marrying their young daughter means one less mouth to feed. Sending their child out to work in the fields instead of sending them to school means they might have an extra meal that day. And the most heartbreaking decision to sell their daughter means they can provide for the rest of their family for a bit longer. It’s almost impossible to understand this level of poverty and desperation unless someone has been in this situation. It’s truly heartbreaking.
In some villages we are finding 30-50 girls who have dropped out of school or attending school only occassionally. This is concerning, and their safety and future is at risk of trafficking, child marriage, or child labour. In our opinion, these girls have targets on their backs and need urgent intervention.
The Captivating Village Program literally transforms the circumstances for not just 15 – 30 out of school girls in this village, but so much more. Here’s our plan:
- Out of school girls will be offered a scholarship, and mentored back into the school system;
- All scholarship girls will receive regular training on life skills, keeping safe, their rights, personal hygiene, and increased confidence;
- A staff member will be specifically assigned as liason and official overseer of ALL girls in this village to ensure regular school enrollment, look out for child marriage issues and human trafficking risks;
- Village parents and leaders attend awareness sessions on the value of girls, laws regarding child marriage, how to address their poverty;
- Improvements will be made to the local school improving the quality of education resources, and addressing facility upgrades if needed;
- Where possible, selected women/girls leaving school will join the Captivating MY BUSINESS – MY FREEDOM Microfinance program to address their poverty, OR families of those struggling to provide for their children, will be assessed to join the MBMF program to build their small business, changing the trajectory of their financial future.
Our Field Partners
Kamala is 16 years old and is one of the lucky ones to have been able to finish grade 11. Her family is impoverished and unable to continue her education any further. Their income relies on general daily labour of wherever they can find work plus farming on their small plot of land. This is not sufficient income for their household of seven.
Her dream is to become a teacher and help other girls gain an education that will bring opportunities for them to be all they can be and change their world. She is so close, yet without finishing school, this dream is not possible.
Kamala is now part of the Captivating Village Program and is back in school. Her dream of becoming a teacher has been reignited and she is determined to work hard and learn as much as she can so she can be all that she can.
Get engaged in 2023
Go to stoptrafficking5k.org for more info
- DONATE $5,000 and your gift will be matched by a Foundation, resulting in you/your family/your company being personally responsible for transforming an entire village. We’ll update you throughout the year on what you’ve made possible;
- DONATE ANY AMOUNT and it will be matched by a Foundation. We will pool your donation with others to reach $5,000, then update you collectively on your village.