Social Justice and Community Development
Social justice is the main vision of Caritas Nepal achieved through animation process. Every year, Caritas provides animation training to animate new staff and partner NGOs who in return animate and empower local communities to work for creating just society.
In the past, Caritas has supported internally displaced people to reintegrate them to their society. Caritas actively worked on social harmony to build peace in grassroot level in various parts of the country.
Work of Caritas for justice starts with small development initiative programs where communities are mobilized through reflect methods.
The effort has indeed been successful in empowering the poorest of the poor through the following programs:
After Maoist insurgency, Caritas experienced successful resettlement of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) through National Peace Program (NPP).
One of the component of the NPP was formation and mobilisation of youth clubs and school based child clubs in conflict affected, least developed districts of west Nepal like Dailekh, Surkhet, Dang and Jajarkot.
The conflict affected people remained extremely vulnerable, in a climate of continuing political instability and violence, with limited access to health, education and employment services which were disrupted during the conflict. They were at risk from a range of social evils, including unsafe migration, trafficking, and other forms of exploitation.
Cartias' assessment survey in these districts indicates that 50% of children in the area are child labour. One child in five is subject to abuse, with girls particularly at higher risk; underage marriage is common; and 20% of children don’t go to school, with a similar number becoming involved in drugs and gambling.
Once children leave school, situation isn’t better: as many as 30% of young people of four districts are unemployed, and about half of all the school dropouts seek work abroad, where lack of skills and experience lead to further exploitation.
In 2015, Caritas began a children and youth empowerment program (CYEP) with the aim of empowering youth and children, protecting their rights and assisting them to resume their school and creating self employment opportunity in their own communities.
The project capacitated teachers and school dropout students with training, funding and related facilities.
Awareness and advocacy programmes are also organized to build communities' understanding of children's rights, and providing vocational training, career counselling and support young people to set up small businesses.
Major highlights of the year 2016/17
• 181 drop out students have resumed their schools out of which 124 received educational materials
• 3 empowered youth have been elected in local level election
• 161 youth have been engaged in small scale business through mobilization of revolving; fund is now worth 1.8 million rupees
Malnutrition is a national health problem in Nepal, especially in rural areas where an estimated 83% are suffering from malnutrition. Many households don't have knowledge or means of access to fresh vegetables and protein-rich food, and live mainly on carbohydrates consumption like rice and chapattis.
In Nepal, women and children suffer from malnutrition; 48% of children in rural areas are malnourished, leading to health problems like kwashiorkor (stunted growth), anemia and marasmus (extreme thinness).
Considering this, Caritas launched Child Development and Nutrition Enhancement Project (CDNEP) to build capacity of rural households to improve safe drinking water access, family nutrition condition and support in holistic child growth with the formation and mobilization of child clubs, women groups and by providing supports to existing early child care centres (pre-school education).
Training programs, education material support and different events are organized to capacitate target groups-Students, Children and Women groups. Child clubs are active towards implementing various activities in schools and communities. Childhood development centres are continuously operating and supporting educational materials and daily meal to children enrolled in the center.
Outcome of 2016/17 project:
• 6 locations have benefitted from water treatment; water borne diseases like typhoid, cholera and jaundice minimized
• One day meal increased nutritional level in the students in 3 early child development centers
• 145 people developed healthy (WASH) habit and started using M-ICS leading to smoke free healthy life
Youth in their early age could easily fall into dreadful habits of alcoholism, substance abuse and depression naming few, therefore, Caritas has been supporting school going children and building capacity of youth to motivate them for positive social change under these projects.
Caritas has been providing poor children with daily meals in schools. The children from urban poor families do not have sufficient nutritious food at home, therefore, Caritas provides them with varieties of nutritious food. Day meal system has also encouraged children to regularly attend schools, so that their parents could carry on with their daily work or business.
• Rehabilitation: To provide drug users living with HIV/AIDS with shelter, and help them to help themselves through psycho-spiritual counselling and practical support. The rehabilitation centre provides comprehensive physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual recovery programmes. In the year 2016/17, 14 substance users rehabilitated.
• Raising awareness & reintegration: To assist recovering drug users and people living with HIV/AIDS to reintegrate into their families and society through community awareness programmes and dialogue
• Capacity building & empowerment: To strengthen the capacity of recovering substance users living with HIV/AIDS, through training and livelihood support, which will equip them to make a living and play a fuller part in society.
Caritas believes in People Led Development (PLD) approach through the Process of Animation in its development initiations. These approaches and processes are initially applied in Small Development Initiative (SDI) projects. SDI is a small-grant-integrated project, focused on marginalised women and children, self determinedly contribute towards social and economic development of their own communities.
Through the current phase of the SDI; Strengthening Capacities of Rural Women for Social and Economic Empowerment (SCRWSEE) that began in 2016, Caritas is mobilising
Child clubs, women groups and cooperatives in rural areas are supported under the project. Active participation of local women group and child clubs are applied through PLD approach.
The project includes:
• Days celebration: Children's day, Women's day, Cooperative day
• Awareness on different social and cultural issue
• Door to door campaign for school enrolment
• Capacity building trainings
Major project outcome of the year 2016/17
• 10 women elected in local level election
• 20 women represented community groups; such as School management committee, Forest user group, Citizen awareness centre, Construction committee etc
• 11 women successfully received citizenship-card with their own initiation
• 3 drop out children were enrolled in literacy class and in school
• 5 people reported to have quit smoking and drinking
• 11 women groups, 4 cooperatives and a child club reported to have tapped 3, 56,000 rupees from government authorities and other sources for development initiative purpose
• 12.55% increment in number of cooperative