Award set to reach five million in Nepal
Published: 13 Aug 2013
The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is laying the foundations for a national programme in Nepal, thanks to a network of facilitators including the British Ambassador, the British Council and the Department of Education.
Five million to benefit
The aim is to make the Award available to the 5.25 million young Nepalis who fall within the Award’s age range. According to the UN, 40% of Nepalese people live in poverty, making Nepal one of the poorest countries in the world.
This causes particular issues for young people. Many have to work in order to increase the family income, while young women are often married before they are 18. As a result, less than half of young people attend secondary school (read UN report in full).
These young people can benefit from the non-formal learning opportunities which the Award creates. The Award’s self-directed learning process can help to reduce the deficit in skills and confidence which can be caused by a lack of formal education.
Tina Stacey Ghale, chair of CHANCE, one of the NGOs involved says, “I was always of the mind that the Award would be a fabulous scheme to deliver in Nepal. The idea of self managed development, child participation and child led activities, engagement in skills, service and sports are all the elements that the youth sector here is missing. It stands for all we need and all we haven’t got.”
Furthermore, the NGOs and others involved in the Award in Nepal hope that increasing the confidence of the country’s young people will enable them to become change makers who can build opportunities and optimism within their communities.
Bec Ordish of NGO Mitrataa says, “When Nimu and I recently attended our Award Leader training in Kathmandu... [our trainer] opened the training with his reason for believing in the Award as a tool for empowering young people – because it has all the ingredients required to develop resilience.
“I almost jumped out of my seat with a shout of ‘Yes!’ That’s exactly why we are so excited about the Award as a tool for working with the amazing young women we support.”
Licensing agreement signed
The Award is already delivered in Nepal at The British School, Shuvatara School, Rato Bangala, Kathmandu University High School and the Esther Benjamins Trust. However, this is the first time that a national delivery network has been formed.
A governing board including the Scouts, NGOs and the education sector began the process by training 85 new Award Leaders. Sessions led by the International Award Foundation’s Regional Manager, Rob Oliphant, took place in Kathmandu, Chitwan and Pokhara in April.
The governing board has now signed a license agreement with the Foundation, recognising their status as a national Award body.