Poverty is so often the stumbling block in children realising their potential in life. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
An education programme run by our partner network in Nepal is giving new hope to children who are bright, able and willing to learn, but for whom life is hard.
Twelve-year-old Maya lives in a slum community in Punarbas, Kanchanpur in the far west of Nepal. Her family don’t own any land, so struggle to make a living through farming other people’s fields where they are paid a basic daily wage.
Her parents don’t have enough money to buy school materials or uniform for Maya, so although she works hard, she regularly misses school to help her family.
This means she gets average results, but she’s capable of much better. She came 66th in her class at the end of Grade 6.
Then, Maya’s father heard about a Child Development Centre (CDC) being held at a church near where they live.
CDCs are after-school programmes for children who have dropped out of school, run by Viva’s partner network CarNetNepal in partnership with local churches.
The network helps with training for volunteers and puts in place an effective structure, whilst the local church provides volunteers to care for the children, help with homework and run activities, quizzes, debates, singing, dancing and music.
Children are provided with everything they need for study as well as their dinner every evening.
Each month they hold parent-teacher meetings and visits to check that the children are making progress.
In Kanchanpur, 30 children are attending the CDC. Maya joined a class and started going along regularly. Slowly, things began to change.
One year on, Maya’s report from the CDC said that, “She is well disciplined and obedient. She studies hard and does all homework on time. She is also engaged in extracurricular activities.”
CarNetNepal is investing in children’s education. They have now awarded Maya a scholarship, meaning that she can now afford to go to school regularly, as well as the CDC.
This year, she was first in her class!
The school’s headteacher is very grateful the work of the CDC for getting Samir back into school. Her father is also very happy with her achievement.
He says, “It was so difficult to send my daughter to school before. I needed CarNetNepal’s help and I am so happy now that she has the chance of a better future.”
WHAT YOU CAN DO
We want to see people all over the world pledging to focus on children.You could show your support by posting a photo of yourself on social media with the hashtag #ChildrenInTheCentre and pledging to do one small action to help keep children central in your life.
Here are some suggested pledges that you could make, but feel free to think of your own!
• I pledge to tell my child I love them every day.
• I pledge to listen and spend time with the child I care for.
• I pledge to value my child and recognise their individual qualities.
• I pledge to encourage learning and model the values I want my child to develop.
• I pledge to teach children responsibility and help them to resolve conflict.
You can find out the inspiration behind these pledges by reading this blog.