Tag Archives: nepal

Working in the jails

jail-1It was a very good experiences and a nice project we did in 2006-2007 in the Central Jail (Female section) in Kathmandu. We provided sewing machines to more than 40 prisoner women, technical training, management training and legal assistance. We supplied them with all materials useful to produce garments for their family and children. The second step was to tailor boto (the tradition child dress) which we distributed in the Bal Bikas (Early Childhood Dev. Centers) we created in Timal (Kavre) enrolling more than 800 children. All children got a sort of uniform which was a good help for the family.
The last step should be to start production for the local market directed to foreign tourist wih the idea to channel garments to international fair trade market. The Women Tailor Group after one year of working and training were able to produce some nice garments from which we had selling agreements with local shops.
All was stopped by the donor (CCS Italia INGO) with no reasons in 2007. Even the brand we studied was put in a corner as well the works and hopes of the women involved.
This project was a namuna (sample) which could be extended, as our intention, to other jails in Nepal, jail2and we did it in coordination with Jail authorities. The objective were to assure a little income to the prisoners, give them job opportunities out of the jail and a something to do during detention in order to avoid violence and bad attitudes.
To create opportunities and hope (it was the brand for the Inmates Cooperative) is the only way to help prisoners during detention and to help them to be reintroduced in normal life.
A recent survey showed that the situation in Nepali jails is deteriorating form many point of view and few activities are running to help the prisoners which are detained in over crowded structures.
This research shows that 38% of the prisoners it had surveyed had access to drugs even behind the bars in different parts of the country including the Central Jail, Bhadra Bandi Griha, Bhadra Mahila Bandi Griha, Dillibazaar Jail, Nakkhu Prison, Biratnagar Prison, Pokhara Prison and Birgunj Prison
Total of 351 prisoners living in the eight jails were surveyed and 15 per cent of the respondents were women.
jail3Of the people who use drugs in the jails, 20 per cent said they use marijuana, 20 per cent brown sugar, 10 per cent injections and the rest 50 per cent said they use many kinds of drugs.
The survey stated that 50 per cent of the Injecting Drug Users (IDUs) in the jails share same needle. Half of the IDUs in jails had visited treatment and rehabilitation centres and hospitals at least once while the another half had never gone to either a hospital or any drop-in centre.
Legal assistance, income generating activities might be the way to give a reasons of life to these people.

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Increased the number of Community Schools

our school building in Thulo ParselDuring the past years we worked to enforce the role of the community in managing schools and ECDs (Early Childhood Dev. Center). They are managed by a SMC (School Management Commitee) formed by representatives of teachers and families. It is a good way to link quality on education, enrollenmnet and controll on teachers work. The SMCs have to be helped in improving their capacity and so we did by an agreement with lawiers and accountants from Tribhuvan University. We believe to do a good work transferring resources to SMCs (teachers salary, schools building and repairing, library, dicactical materials, etc.) and helping them to have a good accountability. In the VDCs where we worked each year during Baisach (nepali end of year), the SMCs did a community auditing to explane to the communituy how they spent our funds. People partecipated in a great number, it was also a feast where we distributed copybooks, pen, and other materials to children.
Now the process started in 2004 to hand over the management of public schools to community is going on. Over 8,000 public schools across the country has been handed over to local communities. According to the Department of Education (DoE), as many as 8,002 public schools had been handed over to the communities by March 13.
DOE declared that 2,604 schools have been handed over to the communities in the eastern region, 2,284 in the central region, 1747 in western, 627 in mid-western and 740 in far-western development region. Among them, 5,471 are primary schools, 1,695 are lower-secondary schools and 836 are secondary schools.
More schools have been handed over to the communities in Kavre, Morang, Illam, Udayapur, Nawalparasi, Baglung, Nuwakot, Jhapa, Rammechhap and Dolakha districts.
The school handover programme was first launched in 2003/04 in 15 districts and has been expanded to all 75 districts now, according to Nepali. The government has allocated Rs 2,035 million for the community-managed schools in the current fiscal.

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namaste from ccs nepal web site

The blog of CCS Nepal has been closed as their message below. We are a group of people working since many years in Nepal (and Cambodia) both Nepali and foregneirs. Most of us worked with CCS Nepal or are still  consultants. We created a group called Community & Development Nepal to share in this blog our experiences and practices on Cooperation & Development.

Dear Friends

Many people from Nepal, Italy and abroad visited our blog  in these months but now we are going to close it.

A formal and written request has been made by Mrs. Chanda Rai, Country Director of CCS Italy INGO. The new people of Italy HQ and the Kathmandu Office dont like our critics directed to a better implementation of the projects we started in 2003, we apologize for this. In the last days it seems our critics have been able to change some plans of CCS Italia and, fortunately, to work again with community instead put money in official baskets. We cannot say more but only best wishes to all

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Drops of Nepal: images of people, places & projects

We post a documentary on our activities, with  images of people and places of Kathmandu, Kavre, Timal, Chitwan. Projects  on health and education for Tamang and Chepang children. The film has been shooted by Italian volunteers.

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about quality in education

student in timal-kavreThe Ministry of Education has been telling the public that there are 60,000 vacancies for teachers in schools. But there are more than 300,000 people with valid training certificates and teaching licenses waiting for an opportunity to serve as teachers. School education, in Nepal, remains dismal also because of unnecessary government intervention in educational establishments from time to time. Last year, the government decided to recognise ten months’ training after SLC as equivalent to grade 11. Moreover, they have also announced that ten months’ training after grade twelve will be considered equivalent to B.Ed first year. At a time when the undergraduate degrees in most countries across the globe require four years of study, the government seems ready to award B.Ed degree in two years’ time
Worse still, the training contents and methodology at the Education Training Centres (ETCs) are below par as com pared with the academic ones. This will only produce incompetent and unskilled teachers but also have an impact on the quality of students produced. In our own neighbouring countries, a primary school teacher requires a Bachelor’s degree plus a year or two years’ training. In our context, SLC pass-outs fulfil the minimum qualification for teachers of primary schools. The School Sector Reform programme envisages 12 years of schooling as minimum qualifications for the primary school teachers. On the pretext of upgrading the qualifications of teachers, the Ministry of Education (MoE) has made a wrong decision to equate the ten months’ training with academic degree.
As per the government provisions, aspiring teachers are required to sit for exams that certify them to be allowed to work as teachers. However, it is also true that the government has distributed teachers’ licences to all and sundry, without actually assessing the qualifications and performance of the candidates. It should be noted that only such candidates, who have undertaken trainings, are qualified to sit for teacher’s examinations. That means licensing examination is the second layer of quality control. Recently, Education Minister Renu Yadav announced that the Ministry of Education has decided to scrap the teachers’ licensing examinations. If implemented, this will be another erroneous and irresponsible move that will still degrade the educational system.
From an article of Dr. Mana Prasad Wagley

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Trainings, reports and workshops development

balbikasinau-28

In a recent article it has been pointed out the paradox of local level governance in Nepal is that much money and effort have been poured into it over the decades but with no visible improvement.
In 1996 UNDP and DANIDA pushed on the government to introduce the Local Self-Governance Act 1999 which failed to include the vital provisions regarding the user groups which showed good performances in managing the forestry community development which has been fully domestically managed by local community.
With no provisions regarding the formation of local groups, the enormous fund to decentralization has been managed by, as the article points, local bodies were invariably composed of the hand-picked favourites of the village elites.
As a result, the billions of rupees that went through the DDCs (District Dev. Office) and VDCs (Village Dev. Office) in various tied and untied grants over the years made little dent on the problems of poverty and deprivation that continue to remain rampant in Nepal’s villages. The same seems happened for other local authorities as DHO (health) and DEO (education).
The misuse of huge funds and the needs of a serious reforms of local body, most of them not working or bad working due to that lack of elected officials and good mnagement should suggest to international donors to go directly to the primary stakeholders: it means community through local user groups (for specific projects), community schools, etc.
This work should be a priority for INGOs and NGOs which must operate gross route level as their guiding principles should require. Unfortunately this is not happening for some of them. It is the case of Centro Cooperazione Sviluppo INGO (CCS Italia) which during the last two years left good community tied projects in Kavre moving towards funding the local DEO (district education office) and DHO (district health office). This negative attitude seems directed to void the role and capacity of the local NGO working in Kavre since many years. The reasons could be the strong critics  the local NGO moved regarding the ineffective use of Italian fund and donation made by the officers of the INGO and their incapacity to operate directly with the community. Maybe also their laziness and high salaries.
The same misadventure which is running, in a great scale, DANIDA. They decided to support a 10 million rupies project (19 months) project entitled “Promoting Local Governance for Effective Service Delivery” in six selected districts.
It was said to be “supply-side” governance strengthening initiative and comprised workshops for government officials, local politicians, NGO/CBO officials, and “service receivers”. The project developed training manuals, formed coordination committees and “good governance pressure groups”, and held public hearings with government officials including the CDOs in attendance.
It seems the same trend followed by Centro Cooperazione Sviluppo (CCS Italy) in which instead to work in the community, it is easier to work through local bureaucrats. It is the training and workshop development which is the main activity wide spreading among INGOs and institutional donors.
This kind of “projects” doesn’t need many activities, fieldwork, and accountability of service given.
The single most important contribution that the government and donors could make to promote good governance and development in the villages is to empower the stakeholders and assuring effective service delivery and the only way is to go in the villages working with people. 

Guna Dhakal- Social Worker-Kathmandu

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Fighting Aids, but alcoholism…

alcohol abuseThe celebration of World Aids Day at Tundikhel (on 1st december) has been a public and political event reinforcing the role of various organizations and funds engaged on this issue.
From a recent World Bank Report by the middle of 2008, more than 1750 cases of AIDS and over 11,000 cases of HIV infection were officially reported, with two times as many men reported to be infected as women.
In the last days, a Report issued by Patan Hospital revealed that almost half of Nepal’s 25 million population consumes alcohol thus not only straining the country’s health budget but giving rise to social tension. And Increasing number of youths giving to alcoholism which is comparatively more serious a problem than drug abuse affecting the life of the alcohol-addicted’s entire family.
A standard three-month recovery program costs between Rs 3,000- 5,000 a month. Those who can afford to, go abroad for confidentiality
No organizations have never been done a study in Nepal about the social and economic cost of alcohol abuse. Neither is there any reliable statistics regarding alcohol consumption.
The new rule set by the Government regarding limitation of alcohol selling could be a first step if it will be seriously implemented.
Despite the enormous social problem of alcohol in Nepal, nor NGOs or INGOs or other development agencies have specific projects on the matter. Nepal face the worst alcohol problems in South Asia and the social costs of alcohol abuse is far higher than the combined ravages of drugs and Aids. But this issues overshadowed other health problems in funding and in public recognition.
Probably due to the officialdom, liquor lobby and media the voices, especially coming from village women have been denied. But because of its cultural acceptability, experts say, alcoholism has become the single biggest medical and social problem in Nepali society today
As wrote by some scholars, the initiatives against the abuse of tobacco, liquor and such other injuries of capital and market that complicate gender, class and ideological positioning tend to be either deferred or altogether discredited.

Nina Tamang-Kathmandu

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