“People often tell me sending your daughter to school won’t do any good, but I believe the wisdom of education will prevail wherever my daughter goes. For where there’s education, there’s hope.” -- Chandrakala Gupta, mother of an eight-year-old schoolgirl in Bithuwa village, Nepal
Radio program in Nepal helps youth cope with problems
Every Saturday, over six million young people across Nepal tune in their radios to listen to their favorite program ‘Saathi Sanga Man Ka Kura (SSMK)’, the Nepali name for ‘Chatting with my best friend’. In this one-hour long radio program, the young presenters of SSMK talk to young people to equip them with the life skills to support them in making sound decisions on matters relating to their lives, empowering them to deal with their everyday problems and tackle with peer-pressure and stigmatization.
Supported by UNICEF, and now growing under the wings of the Equal Access Nepal, SSMK was initiated in 2001 with the aim of providing information to young boys and girls on topics that are on their minds and a platform to discuss issues they are too shy or embarrassed to talk with their parents, teachers, or even peers. By discussing these issues on air, and imparting life skills on issues about safe behaviors, SSMK sought to break the silence surrounding these hitherto taboo topics, thereby contributing towards the reduction of HIV infection, drug abuse and risky behavior, and building up self-confidence among young people.
A new school helps lift hopes for peaceful future in Nepal
Dipa was 11 years old when a mob descended on her village on 20 February 2005. More than 300 houses were set ablaze, leaving the village of Hallanagar without food and shelter. “Except for 12 houses, the entire village was burned down to ashes,” says Dipa.
Education was hard hit. “The mental, physical, as well as psychological trauma on children was far-reaching and affected school attendance,” says a teacher at the local Bal Sikshya Primary School Pitambar Khanal. Thanks to the UNICEF-supported project, the village will soon have a new school building.
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