NEPAL - Solukhumbu: The Girls Dorm

Gender equality in education and the empowerment of women

$8,610 raised

In March, 2010, Taksindu Social Welfare and HFTN-Canada entered into a partnership to address Millennium Development Goal #3, “Gender equality in education and the empowerment of women,” in the Solukhumbu district of Nepal. The objective is to bring positive change in the educational sector, responding to local educational needs in the Kaku region.

The people of the region are very co-operative, creative, honest, hard working and keen to be helped. While some are also seasonal trekking porters or load carriers on the tourist trail from Jiri to Namche, most are primarily dependant on agriculture. Earnings are not sufficient to meet even half of the family’s yearly needs. Every woman is engaged in domestic work which is greatly under valued. The women do not have:
• income generating skills;
• decision-making activities or social networking opportunities;
• access to quality education, transportation, communication, safe drinking water or health facilities.

The programs developed through this partnership will bring gender equality in education, build awareness of gender issues, and support women through skills training while building their capacity in society.

The objective: to enroll at least one woman from each Ward in skills training to better understand their own potential to meet their needs. Through this training, we will initially focus on the following aspects:

• increasing the school enrollment of girl students from primary level to secondary and higher secondary levels;
• manufacturing school uniforms by trained women and exploring opportunities for self-employment;
• meeting the need of school uniforms locally.

Education is widely recognized as the gateway to economic security and opportunity, particularly for girls and women. The primary factor limiting girls’ education is poverty and lack of awareness.

It is evident that educating girls is one of the best investments a society can make. An educated woman has the skill, the self-confidence and the information she needs to become a better parent, worker and citizen.

Project Updates

  • HOPE’s involvement in the Solu Khumbu region of the Himalaya Mountains (in partnership with TSW), began a new phase in September, 2013 with the second group of forty excited young women arriving at the Hostel in Salleri.

    Each is looking forward to the opportunity to complete her secondary education and expand her world view while living in the safe and lively environment of the Hostel.

    HOPE welcomed these young women by providing warm coats, with the HOPE logo embroidered on each, shoes and a set of study tables and benches for the common study room.


  • Recently, Patti Hoy and Louise Arkle spent almost two weeks, in late April – early May, visiting our Hope for the Nations partners in Nepal. Both returned home with a very optimistic and positive response to the activities HFTN participates in there.

    Despite the common weather related travel delays, three days were spent in the Himalaya Mountains with our TSW (The Small World) partner, Karma Sherpa, to visit the Solukhumbu Young Women’s Higher Education Project. Two years ago, HFTN partnered with TSW in the construction and maintenance of a hostel where forty (40) young women from surrounding villages have come to reside while they complete their ‘ten plus two’ (grade 12 equivalent). The difference that has been made in the lives of these young women, due in part to HFTN’s involvement, is impressive! Coming from diverse ethnic groups and disadvantaged backgrounds, the Hostel has enabled these young women to become part of the small minority of educated women in Nepal. Now, they are able to make plans and realize dreams for their futures. Patti and Louise, along with Karma, were able to share a celebratory evening at the hostel. Each of the young women received a pen with the HFTN logo and the message; “Congratulations on your success” as a memento of their significant achievement.

    Below, are ‘testimonials’ of some of the young women at the Hostel.

    “Since I moved in this hostel I have lived my life very happily, I got opportunity to learn and see those things that I have never expected in my life. Today I am able to speak up what I feel and I have basic computer skill. I feel very confident that I can be a(n) independent woman who will fight for my own right and teach other women to speak and be happy. Thank you for being there for us.” Devika Thulung

    “I was born in the most remote village of Solu. I was not able to speak our native language Nepali. But now education helped me know the languages, meet different people and learn and explore so it really means everything for me.” Sadhika Kulung

    “I would like to work for the development of my village … to work for the development of the country. … I have never thought that I can be so fortunate to receive this opportunity but from my true heart I would like to say thank you for providing this facility.” Dil Kumari Rai

    “Thank you for helping us. Your help change(d) my life and I will promise to change many more lives in positive way as I can.” Yasuka Rai

    “Education is very important to me because I want to do something for women of my village so my education is not only for me and my family but it is for entire community.” Doma Rai

    “… There is a big gap between girls (and) boys in our society that always kept girls in a line below. Now we have to work to … feel ourself (sic) as equal to men so education is the first step of this solution.” Bimila Karki

    After completing my education I will go back to my community and make some income generating activities using local resources where women can work and earn and support their own family. … I used to work as a porter, I carried rice and salt from Jiri to Salleri and paid for my school but now it is very comfortable here ….” Shaishama Khadka

    “Girls and women in my community face extreme discrimination and are rarely involved in social activities where decisions are made. Today I feel confident to put my opinions in front of people and I am very happy for what I achieved staying in this hostel.” Prekshaya Rai

    “I want to be a teacher and help educate more children of Nepal.” Pema Rinji Sherpa

    As is characteristic, Karma and Sonam Sherpa of TSW are forward thinking and proactive. Upcoming projects that they are contemplating include the construction of a second young women’s hostel, on the same property, to enable those who have completed their ‘ten plus two’, to pursue post-secondary education. Further, TSW is undertaking to provide education to young women in the Solukhumbu region to empower them against the huge, and growing threat of ‘girl trafficking’. Whereas rescuing trafficked young women is very necessary, Karma and Sonam are pursuing a path to avoid, and ultimately eliminate, this crime in the Solukhumbu region.

    HFTN is considering its involvement with TSW in these new endeavours. If you’d like more information about these new, or any of the existing projects, please don’t hesitate to contact HFTN!

  • Nepal: Solukhumbu:  The 103th International Women’s Day was celebrated in Solukhumbu district of Everest region by the 40 Girls who are residing at Solukhumbu Girls Hostel for higher education with a talk program titled “Women & Education” focusing on importance of education and women role to lifts herself and her family out of poverty for sustainable community development. Nepal Government also organized different programs to mark Women’s Day but it is still a big question " are the talks and issues raised by political leaders (usually men) in this day making any impact in the status of women in grass root level? "

    Nepali women have received voting right 60 years ago which is a great achievement in the history of Nepali women movement but various organization stated still Nepali women have not got social and economic right as equal to men. While the world is marking the 103 women's day it is sad that violence against women and girls are increasing in Nepal, still gender discrimination is highly existent in education and in society.
    Small World has been working for women through the key of education and empowerment in Solukhumbu from many years. In the program girls residing in the hostel were encouraged to participate and express their opinion. One of the participants Pemarinji Sherpa proudly said that she believes educated woman can lead family and society which promotes gender equity. She further added that educated woman has opportunity to undertake government jobs and contribute to society.
    Another interesting remark was made by Mina Magar during the talk program. In her opinion, an educated woman is capable of acting as a catalyst to changing society as she has a vision and proper plan of her life. She believes that the educated woman is aware of marriageable age and rights which guides her to make correct decisions.
    We always believed in action oriented programs which has been delivering an impactful image of society to girls. All the girls in the hostel in the program reflected a common belief that educated women don’t precincts to home. An educated woman is capable of balancing family and social life equally as men does which allows a woman to participate in developmental activities through her innovative ideas. During the program girls also made play card written Girls + Education = ----- and decorated in their own rooms with great proud & program was sucessfully concluded with a statement that if a mother is educated in the family then whole family will be educated.

  • Hope for the Nations, in partnership with The Small World (TSW), a Nepali NGO, are very pleased to have ‘taken a bite’ out of  the risk factor in the Solukhumbu region of Nepal.   Among children identified as being ‘at risk’ are those who do not have access to education.

    While the Solukhumbu region is best known for being home to Mt. Everest and the famed Everest Trekking route, the development that has spun-off from tourism in the northern part of the district has not been experienced in the south.

    Illiteracy is endemic in Nepal. Only 38% of the population over the age of five is literate. Female literacy is less than the half that of males (Female - 24%, Male - 52%), and enrollment rates for secondary school are only 9% for girls. Sixty percent of young women in Nepal do not have any access to secondary education. It is estimated that 70% of young women drop out of school in the Solukhumbu region because completing their education away from home is out of reach economically. Also, they are at risk of abuse in an alien environment. Parents choose to keep their daughters at home to help in the household and on the land, robbing them of the opportunity to reach their potential academically and make their contribution to the development of Nepali society.

    The government schools in the area provide education only to a grade 10 equivalent. The completion of secondary school requires students to move to either the capital city, Kathmandu or the district headquarters, Salleri VDC (Village Development Committee). Without safe housing, adolescent girls from outside Salleri VDC are excluded from completing their education and realizing their potential. To address this, TSW and HFTN partnered together to establish safe, hostel accommodation in Salleri VDC for young women who, otherwise, have no opportunity to complete their education.

    The hostel was completed in the summer of 2011, and provides a safe place, conducive to academic pursuits, for up to forty young women while they complete their education in the secondary school in Salleri.

    Nick and Louise Arkle, along with three Canadian friends, visited the hostel in November, 2011. It was very encouraging to interact with this first group of residents, the motivated young women and TSW staff, and witness, first hand, the difference this hostel is making in their lives. During our trek, we passed a house that stood out as one of the poorer ones in an already economically disadvantaged area. The next day, after talking with one of the TSW staff workers, we discovered that this was home to one of the Saleri students. It confirmed to us that this initiative was reaching those in the most need. However, while there, we recognized that changes for the better could still be made.
    The girls prepare their own meals on a daily basis. As is traditional in this region, cooking is done over an open flame from an earthen stove fueled by wood. The stove has no chimney and no closure where the wood enters. This results in an inefficient use of the fuel and poor air quality, something defined as ‘energy poverty’. The result is an increase in respiratory problems. (Worldwide, “more people die each year from cooking than from malaria” (Zerriffi, Hisham; Lui Institute for Global Issues).
    To address this problem, we began to raise funds to supply the girls' hostel with manufactured stoves that have a chimney. These stoves are similar to the traditional ones, so the food preparation methods will not change, but the chimneys and doors will eliminate the unhealthy environment created by the smoke dispersion throughout the room.
    We’re absolutely thrilled to report that our fundraising goal has been reached, and the process to supply each room in the hostel with a more efficient, cleaner stove for meal preparation has begun! A huge thank you to those who participated!

  • Solukhumbu Girls hostel ! Girls Education!! Hope for The Nations!!!

    The initiation of Solukhumbu Girls hostel project for safe & hope Girls home to send girls back in collage is now proved as a successful milestone toward bringing a measurable change in the educational status of the entire population of Everest region.
    Generally in this region the importance of girl’s education is always underestimated by society, challenged by the complex geography and poor economy. Now the 40 girls living in this home are ready to take the move toward social change through education with safe home, full scholarship for their higher education & parental care.
    In additional they are provided interactions with professional female role models, leadership training and the inspiration to work together in teams to solve persistent societal problems in their communities through regular workshops aimed to boosting self confidence & capacity building.
    This Girls home/hostel is only a single and first of its kind in the entire Everest region, which is providing an opportunity to those vulnerable girls who otherwise have to give up their dream of achieving higher education and will be getting married in a year or two then have many kids since they are not allowed to use their right of deciding the number of baby they want to have, follow the same path as their mother and grandmother did and continue the cycle once again. But now situation will be change for them, they will get marry when they are physically, mentally & economically ready.

    We envision a community where girls with confidence in their own voice, choice & rights to take rightful role model place in their own community becoming active leaders:- successful business women, teachers, doctors, nurses, agriculture experts etc. developing life-skills, and improving the ability to identify paths and resources within their communities that can ultimately help to break the cycle, and start a new generation because we believe that the investment made in girls education is the most wise investment since the girls will use their education back into their family and community in developing nations.
    Karma Sherpa of TSW in Nepal

  • HFTN started a partnership during 2010 with TSW focusing on gender equality issues through the development of adult literacy classes in remote villages within the Solukhumbu (Everest region) area of Nepal.

    More recently HFTN has agreed to partner on a building project to allow girls from remote regions to attend higher education. The girls hostel will allow 40 students per year to advance their education in a safe, studious environment. This will be the first project of its kind in the whole region.

    See photographs showing the construction of this facility.

  • We are pleased to report that the new initiative with Taksindu Social Welfare in the Kaku region of Nepal is off to a very encouraging start!

    The orientation programme has been completed and the formation of women’s groups to pursue training has taken place in all nine wards. The number of participants was much greater than expected and the interest shown by village women at the orientation session and the excitement they have about the programme exceeded our expectations!

    We hope the photographs demonstrate this!  CLICK ON IMAGES IN OUR PAGE MEDIA GALLERY to see all these brand new photos documenting this exciting start!

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$8,610 raised


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