Kathmandu, November 3, 2016: Three Nepali social organizations Her Turn, Shakti Samuha and Women LEAD Nepal have been awarded with the prestigious ‘With and For Girls Award’, recognizing their exceptional work to improve the lives of girls.
The organizations were among the total of 20 local organizations awarded this year, chosen out of a long list of 161 organizations nominated by 61 referral partners, and 44 shortlisted organizations from across 34 countries.
Her Turn, one of the organizations awarded from Nepal, runs a four-week workshop for girls in rural government schools which is also attended by the girls who have dropped out of school. As part of the workshop, girls meet with local female trainers to discuss issues including health and safety, sexual violence and trafficking, confidence-building, public speaking and leadership. The girls work on a community project of their choosing and a Girls’ Support Committee is formed in each school. Families and community members are invited to attend talks and performances that bring the girls’ issues to light, helping raise awareness in the wider community about the risks of underage marriage and trafficking. So far, Her Turn has worked with 2,570 girls in 37 schools in 21 Village Development Committees in Sindhupalchok and Gorkha districts, which are considered among the least developed in Nepal and were severely affected by the earthquake last year.
Similarly, Shakti Samuha provides safe houses and an emergency support programme to rehabilitate the victims of trafficking and domestic slavery and their children, and offer them income-generating skills to ensure a sustainable livelihood. The organization holds monthly meetings to educate girls on trafficking and exploitation as well as training sessions on leadership skills and problem solving. Shakti Samuha also conducts workshops on a regular basis to provide education, healing, and empowerment, as part of which girls are also taught about child sex abuse prevention and child rights. In addition, they are offered training in beauty treatments, dance and entrepreneurship. To date, the organization has had an impact on 2,485 beneficiaries directly and educated more than 17,000 people on the dangers of trafficking.
Meanwhile, Women LEAD Nepal aims to get women involved in the country’s decision-making process, which it sees as crucial for a peaceful and inclusive society. The organization provides young women, aged 15 to 24, with the skills and knowledge to become leaders in diverse career fields, such as engineering, business, politics, arts, and more. Its intensive, year-long LEAD (Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Advocacy, and Development) course provides young women with leadership training, skills-building opportunities, mentoring and a peer-support network and university preparation. Participants, known as LEADers, are paired up with a mentor, a LEAD course alumni herself, who provides individual guidance throughout the year. LEADers then conduct their own after-school workshops helping younger boys and girls across Kathmandu acquire the skills they were taught.
Representatives from the winning organizations were handed over with the awards amidst a special ceremony in London on November 2, 2016.
The winners have received between US$15,000 and US$50,000 in flexible funding and capacity building support.
Photos Courtesy: Uma Bista/Her Turn
NayanTara Gurung Kakshapati/Shakti Samuha
NayanTara Gurung Kakshapati/Women Lead