Two young girls and a young boy sit and read from their textbooks in a busy classroom

Nepal

We've worked in Nepal since 1964, building healthy communities and strengthening inclusive education systems.

600,000+

Our work has impacted over 600,000 people over the past five years.

9,800

We're working to support 9,800 adolescent girls to stay in school and take control of their futures.

5,600

We're empowering 5,600 students to advocate against gender-based violence and harmful social norms.

Healthy communities

Women sit and stand in a semi-circle to watch two young women perform an interactive play about child marriage in Dobini, Nepal.
VSO/Omar Havana

Community theatre performances help spark conversations on gender-based issues.

Interactive theatre for justice

We’ve trained young female community activists to lead interactive theatre groups, whose plays are tackling the issue of child marriage head-on. Drama workshops and performances give young people the space and confidence to share their stories and speak out against harmful customs, while asking power holders – including mayors, police chiefs and council members – what they can do to help prevent child marriage. Communities across Dhading, Lamjung, Parsa and Surkhet districts are now engaging with the issues and have reported increased awareness of the dangers of early marriage.

Using drama to challenge harmful social norms

Strengthening Access to Holistic, Gender Responsive and Accountable Justice (SAHAJ)

Our SAHAJ project is working to address gender-based violence (GBV) by challenging harmful traditional practices, improving access to services, and building the capacity of relevant institutions to support survivors. Over two years, we will work directly with 1,120 marginalised adults and 5,600 students, with an indirect reach spreading across 46 palikas.

Within households, we’re supporting young women to pursue their own income-generating activities, so liberating them from the control of male relatives and empowering them to become financially independent. In schools, we’re running workshops and debate sessions on gender issues, training drama groups to stage performances about GBV, and developing a network of youth clubs who will lead advocacy against harmful social norms. At the community level, we’re engaging religious and community leaders through targeted events, and promoting intergenerational discussions between elders and young people.

We’re also working to improve the capacity and accountability of the security and justice systems – including the police force – by training service providers in gender issues and positive social norms, delivering workshops on survivor-centred approaches, and developing links between different agencies to ensure a more joined-up response.

Inclusive education

A girl stands up to speak in the classroom, surrounded by her classmates sitting at their desks.
VSO/Suraj Shakya

Our Sisters for Sisters project empowers girls like 13-year-old Pramila to speak up in the classroom.

Our inclusive education programming in Nepal supports the most disadvantaged children to benefit from equitable and inclusive access to quality learning and skills development. Through a comprehensive ‘whole-system’ approach, we seek to contribute to a culture where parents, learners, teachers, and education managers are all actively engaged in their role in the education system – and where marginalised young people, especially girls, are empowered to participate fully both in the classroom, and in life after school.

Sisters for Sisters' Education

Now in its second phase, our Sisters for Sisters’ Education project is working to support 9,800 adolescent girls to transition successfully from primary to secondary education, whilst equipping them with the self-confidence and life skills they need to take control of their future after finishing school. Over three years, the first phase of Sisters for Sisters encouraged at-risk girls to stay in school by surrounding them with a holistic ‘web of support’ provided by volunteers at multiple levels – including individual peer mentoring from older ‘Big Sisters’, community engagement by adult champions, and specialist-led training for teachers.

We’re now building on the project’s successes so far, continuing to support the original cohort of girls through adolescence. Through a comprehensive suite of interventions including mentoring, teacher training, school capacity building and community-focused behaviour change, we’re empowering girls to make independent, positive choices regarding their health, employment and life post-school.
 

Equality in education for girls

ENGAGE

In the Terai region, we’re supporting 2,656 marginalised and out-of-school girls – especially those living with a disability – to benefit from a quality education, develop the skills they need to earn a decent living, and become empowered to control their own sexual and reproductive health. Our ENGAGE project is addressing socio-cultural norms which don’t prioritise girls’ education, raising awareness of the support available for girls with disabilities, and building the skills and capacity of 100 practising teachers and 90 student teachers through training and ongoing mentoring.

We’re adapting the pioneering peer mentoring approach of our Sisters for Sisters project, so encouraging younger girls’ participation and developing their self-confidence, whilst supporting them to rejoin formal education via nine-month ‘bridge’ classes.

Our research

Mother tongue multilingual education report

As part of an ongoing partnership between the Language Commission of Nepal and VSO International, a recent study on mother tongue based multilingual education takes a magnifying glass to selected schools in the Nepali municipalities of Temal and Phidim.

Mother tongue multilingual education report

Contact us

We work with a number of partners including DFID, the British Council, Mercy Corps, PwC, Global Action Nepal, DEC-Nepal, International Alert and Emory University.

If you are interested in supporting our work, or if you have another query, get in touch:

Address: VSO Nepal, PO Box 207, Kathmandu, Nepal

Tel: (+977) 1 554 1469 (main number), (+977) 1 552 1616, (+977) 1 554 0269/4
Fax: (+977) 1 552 4743
Email: vsonepal@vsoint.org
Facebook: facebook.com/VSONepal

Volunteer with us

We are always looking for more skilled specialists.

Find out more about volunteering with us in Nepal


Find out more about our work in:

A student at Umutara School for the Deaf

Inclusive sexual and reproductive health and rights

Supporting the most vulnerable people to realise their sexual and reproductive health and rights.

16-year-old Nirmala smiles with her friend, who is carrying a pile of schoolbooks.

Education system strengthening

Developing inclusive education systems that leave no child behind.

Stories from Nepal

Anne Goldie in Nepal in 1983

36 years after Anne is in Nepal again

Anne Goldie reflects on revisiting Nepal 36 years after she first volunteered there.

VSO community volunteer Laxmi in Nepal
©VSO/Suraj Shakya

Laxmi vs education inequality

Laxmi is a community volunteer 'Big Sister' helping girls in Surkhet, Nepal go back to school and finish their education.