Child Marriage Survivor gets free from Social Stigma with Improved Income

This case study is based on the in depth interview with and observation of Asha Kumari Raut (changed name) 9, a resident of Sohani, ward no. 14, Janakpurdham Sub-Metropolitan City. She grew up in a lower-middle class family and right now living with parents after the death of her husband in motorbike accident. Her father is working in a factory and mother is a housewife. Due to the traditional culture and believes she gets married early at the age of just 12 years for managing the pride of family and society. Finally, she became a drop out from the school when she was studying at grade 7. After the death of her husband, she became alone with her two sons (four and two years). Her financial condition is also very weak as breadwinner of her family is no one. Her economic status rapidly went downhill (economic crisis). She became in a trouble in raising her children. The project selected Asha and participated in the vocational training in relation to response the child marriage survivor. In addition, project supported sewing machine as a seed money. After the training, she started sewing clothes of her neighbors that contributed in her daily earning and saving. After that, she added a small business of general stores along with a small tailoring shop at her own house as well. However, she faced a pain of social stigma that she would not be offered for stitching the clothes by customers because they had the belief that if they wear then something unexpected might be happen for them as she is a single woman. The project staffs counsel her and the neighbors as well. Now, the situation is improving gradually and people are coming to her for the stitching. In addition, she was encouraged to continue her education. However, she expressed that she is interested but it is not possible for her right now having the responsibly of two children and financial burden. Hence the project is facilitating to her that at least enroll her child at early childhood development center and has planned to support (stationaries and education materials) educating her child. Now she is very happy. She feels relief from the social stigma and financial burden. She expressed that this is a good initiative of LIFE Nepal/GFF which is providing a platform for those girls who became a victim of child marriage (like me) and doesn’t have any skill to generate income for her family. She feels very lucky to be a part of this training. She added that no one should suffer like me. Child marriage is a course especially for girls living in a conservative society and must be eliminated from our society so that every girl can live long and healthy life. She suggested every parents not to marry their daughter before 20 or against their will. Finally, it is learned that a small support (seed money) and minor initiations (skill training, counselling, encouragement and facilitation) could bring the change in the life of the people and make them happy.

Good Initiation of Local Government for Child Protection

LIFE Nepal implemented Child Protection Program (CPP) in 48 Palikas as 1 Metropolitan City, 1 Sub-Metropolitan City, 24 Municipalities and 22 Rural Municipalities of Dhanusha, Mahottari, Rautahat and Parsa) districts of Province – 2, Nepal with the technical and financial assistance from UNICEF. The main aim of the program is to prevent and address the issue of gender based violence and violence against children in the program targeted schools. To contribute to the objective of the CPP, LIFE Nepal organized a district level training for Palika where consequence of gender based violence and its impact on child protection discussed and different cases, related data were shared and video documentary was viewed. As a result, Mr. Hari Narayan Mahato, Mayor of Mithila Municipality was motivated about the establishment of complain box and response mechanism at schools to reduce violence in the schools and increase the regularity of the students in schools contributing to better learning outcomes. He realized that complain box is one of the best tools to reach the student’s voice in school. It helps to create a child friendly environment in schools by addressing the incident of GBV, and other related cases. Finally, he distributed 22 complain box from Municipality fund in October 2018. He mentioned that all of the schools should implement the complaint box and response mechanism.

Mayors Committed to Implement Child Protection Policy

LIFE Nepal organized one-day workshop on child protection policy and code of conduct for Palikas on 3rd, 20th November, 7th & 28th December 2018 in Mahottari, Parsa, Rautahat and Dhanusha districts respectively. Total 219 (Female 80 and Male 139) Palika level key stakeholders participated in the workshop from 63 Palikas. They were Deputy-Mayors, Social Development Unit, Child Club, Women and Children Cell, Media, Lawyer, Human rights and SMC representatives. The workshop was conducted in consultation with Ratauli Youth Club, Social Development Co-ordination Committee and Jansewa Nepal in Mahottari, Parsa and Rautahat districts respectively in close coordination with UNICEF. The main objective of the workshop was to sensitize the Palika key-actors about government’s laws and policy, provisions of child protection and to develop the child protection policy and code of conduct in each Palikas. There were several facilitation techniques used by the facilitators that included question and answer, power-point presentation and discussion, brainstorming, group work and group presentation and modifying and editing. As a consequence, all 219 (Female 80 and Male 139) Mayors and Deputy-Mayors of 4 districts (Dhanusha, Mahottari, Rautahat and Parsa) have announced to implement child protection policy, CoC as well as complain hearing act with their commitment and signature during the workshop. Besides that, they committed to develop a local level development plan incorporating the child protection. In the same way, they have started to develop child protection policy and CoC in their own presence.

Simulation on Flood

LIFE Nepal with the technical and financial assistance of UNICEF organized a simulation on flood in Sahidnagar Municipality of Dhanusha.

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