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Nayo Bato Naya Paila (New Path New Steps)

Stories from the Field
Report Cover for the List of Goods Produced by Child Labor and Forced Labor

Joining the project's Learning Center helped Sabita realize her dreams of a better life through education.
Read her story...

Country: Nepal

Duration: September 30, 2009 - April 30, 2013

Funding Level: FY 2009 & 2012: USD 4,674,000; Matching funds: USD 405,132

Grantee: World Education in association with Terres des Hommes

Objectives

To reduce the worst forms of child labor in Nepal. The project helps children withdrawn from or at risk of the worst forms of child labor by:

  • Reducing barriers to their success in formal and alternative school systems
  • Refining and implementing policies and laws to increase access to education and other child protection services in formal and alternative school systems
  • Increasing access to case management systems
  • Increasing stakeholder commitment to address these children's needs in formal and alternative school systems

The project also seeks to increase the knowledge base on child labor related issues

Activities

  • Developed community mobilization strategies to support schools, reduce child labor, and build commitment of education policymakers for increased parent and community participation in decentralized management of education
  • Conducted action research and rapid assessments to determine local strategies and educational interventions to combat child labor
  • Expanded and strengthened parent-teacher associations and trained school management committees to improve education quality
  • Provided greater access to gender sensitive non-formal education programs for girls as well as options that enable working youth to continue learning, and facilitated transition for program graduates into other training opportunities
  • Trained government officials, child protections committees, and implementing partners to conduct case management activities in support of a uniform case management system
  • Engaged parents in governance of non-formal education classes, mobilized local stakeholders to support vocational education, and improved the quality of educational programs through Village Awareness and Orientation Programs
  • Built the educational capacity of NGOs involved in rescue and rehabilitation of child laborers, and provided school support to children reintegrated in home communities
  • Improved the legal protection for child laborers through strengthening of the juvenile justice system
  • Disseminated best practices on the role of education in the rehabilitation of child workers
  • Integrated basic vocational skills into formal and transitional education programs
  • Provided temporary shelter, health, and psychosocial care, in additional to education services to girls working in commercial sexual exploitation

Results

The project withdrew 10,202 children and prevented 9,831 children from work in six hazardous sectors:

  • restaurant-entertainment workers (engaged in commercial sexual exploitation)
  • domestics
  • porters
  • brick factory workers
  • mine/quarry workers
  • zari (embroidered textiles) industry workers

The project targeted a total of 15 districts.

Background

The Government of Nepal’s Master Plan for the Elimination of Child Labor targets 16 worst forms of child labor to be eliminated in a seven-year period. Child labor is deeply embedded in the cultural, social, and economic scenarios and history of Nepal. While the root of child labor lies in poverty, other factors such as ethnicity, geography, and civil conflict have contributed to the problem.

Stories from the Field

Sabita was born in Syangja district as the youngest in a very poor family of six. Her older sister suffers from weak eyesight and Sabita always had to take care of her. Her parents tried to keep their daughters in school but this put too great a financial burden on the family.

The Learning Center in Pokhara, part of the New Path New Steps program, has given girls like Sabita access to education and a chance at a new life.

Photo credits: Sajana Shrestha
Sabita was forced to work in an adult entertainment establishment to support her poor family.

One of their neighbors, who witnessed this situation for years, approached Sabita one day, offering her a job in a fancy shop in Pokhara. What Sabita didn't know was that the man had arranged for her to join a Dohori Sanjh (an adult entertainment establishment) as a waitress.

Once she'd arrived, she had no other options and no money to go back home. Sabita suffered from the customers’ abusive behavior but could not look for another job.

Yet, she never gave up on a chance for an education. While working at the restaurant, Sabita also went to school and in her spare time studied for the secondary school exams.

During that time, Sabita met with a representative from Child and Women Empowerment Society (CWES), Naya Bato Naya Paila’s NGO partner in Pokhara. She learned about the program and decided to join the Learning Center offered in her neighborhood.

Sabita attended the Learning Center in conjunction with school. This supplementary learning has helped Sabita not only to gain computer skills and earn her secondary school degree but also to share her experiences with girls struggling out of similar situations.

When CWES was hiring a Community Mobilizer for their activities in Pokhara, Sabita was quick to apply. After a few tests and interviews she was given the job. “I am happy and feel proud of myself that I could overcome all the obstacles and have a respectable and meaningful job,” says Sabita and smiles.