Nepal is a poverty stricken country with very deep patriarchal roots. In Nepali societies, girls are still treated like a commodity and unfortunately seen to be less valuable than boys. Girls also tend to get married off at an early age, often leading to parents not wanting to invest in their growth and well-being. Because of this perception, girls are robbed of their basic right to attend school and attain a meaningful education. Instead, they spend their days doing household chores and reading a book is often a distant dream.
WE AIM TO CHANGE THAT.
"SEND YOUR DAUGHTER TO SCHOOL" CAMPAIGN
Get Paper has created a series of initiatives to build awareness on the importance of educating girls and making sure families have the means to educate their daughters. “Send your Daughter to School” campaign is an example of our most effective endeavors. Along with creating awareness, Get Paper also provides scholarships to families who have grave financial burdens. Till date, scholarships have reached more than 100 girls in various different communities. For our campaign to be successful, we also partner with local schools that have joined our efforts in convincing parents to see the benefits of educating a girl. The greatest hope of this campaign is that parents will see the power that their daughter’s have and give them the same opportunities as their sons.
As part of its awareness campaign, Get Paper distributes school bags to children in local community schools that have the message “Send Your Daughter to School” printed at the back in bright letters. Bags such as these are often seen to be a luxurious item, as families often have no means of purchasing their new school bags and children are expected to hand carry their books. Seeing a child walk around with this school bag not only helps to disseminate the powerful message to the communities and parents, but it also brings smile and great happiness to both children and parents for they are able to own an item that is of great value to them.
EDUCATION & OUTREACH
To support children's education, we have both supported and built our own schools. Anita Milan School was built proudly by Get Paper’s fund in the year 2000 in the vicinity of its production facilities in Hattigounda, Kathmandu. This was done so that the children of our artisans, as well as the ones from the local community, could attend school. Currently more than 100 children attend the Anita Milan school.
Pancha Kanya (Girl’s school) is one of the first schools that Get Paper started supporting in 1993. In the beginning, the school only had 3 classrooms, which had enough space for only about 30 children. With our support and the girls’ education program, the school’s infrastructure expanded to provide education for more people. Now the school has 14 class rooms which educates more than 300 children.
BREAKING THE TRADITION
The Stonebreaker community is one of the most marginalized communities in Nepal. This community got their name from their livelihood, as they reside near river side, collect stones and break it manually using small hammer. They then take their hard earned rubble and supply their products to the construction industry. Most of the workers who provide manual labor are women and this line of work is high intensity with very limited income. Due to the extreme level of poverty that this community faces, even their children are not spared from this manual labor and are engaged in breaking stones to get supplementary income. Instead of going to school, the children of the stonebreaker community stay with their mothers and provide them assistance and miss out on getting an education. Seeing this devastating reality and hoping to bring about change, Get Paper decided to work with the Stonebreaker community and their children as part of the community support program.