The Organisation for Socio-Economic Development Nepal (OSED) is a long-standing local partner in Nepal of Global Human Rights Defence (GHRD). OSED works within the community at the grassroots level, supporting the empowerment of women, young adults and children in the marginalised areas of southern Lalitpur district. Although located in the proximity of the capital Lalitpur, the district is still miles behind in terms of development and social perception. On October 1st, 2014, OSED initiated the ‘We for Us’ project to improve the conditions of marginalised communities. Unfortunately, this project was temporarily halted due to the earthquakes in Nepal of April and May 2015. Nevertheless, GHRD is happy to see that the ‘We for Us’ project has had incredibly positive outcomes both in raising awareness on the marginalisation of women and youth and creating instances to enable their empowerment. During this project, five daylong events were organised in the context of specific human rights celebrations. These events involved over 500 locals, helped raise awareness about local human rights issues, and helped empower many of the participating women and children. Throughout the project, over 200 female and 175 children participants have received information and support regarding local issues they face on a day-to-day basis. OSED, assisted by GHRD, has also taken the initiative to develop collaborations between four other local organisations.
International Day Celebrations
GHRD encourages local organisations to promote and celebrate international human rights by organising special daylong events. With the goals of raising awareness and empower the community, of reaching a larger audience, and of enabling dialogue between local political leaders and the community. During the project period OSED organised various events to celebrate International Women’s Day, International Day of Peace, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, Universal Children’s Day and International Human Rights Day.
Universal Children’s Day and the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women were jointly celebrated to introduce the hidden talents of children and women through a talent show and exhibit for an audience of over 500 local people. The International Human Rights Day was celebrated through two different seminars, one for youth and children to learn about human rights from their perspectives and one for women to learn further about human rights in general and women’s rights in particular. The third celebration was in the context of International Women’s Day for which four events were organised: three documentary screenings and a women’s rally followed by a quiz contest. These events were conducted as a celebration of women and a presentation of the possibilities for equal rights between men and women. The Women Empowerment Program with 6 women groups of nearly 200 participants was established consequently as a support and self-teaching group for women, with particular attention to issues that women face in their communities, such as illiteracy, lack of knowledge on women’s rights, domestic violence, and generation gaps.
OSED is continuously developing children’s clubs and facilitates activities to strengthen good leadership and positive development. OSED worked with local partners to re-establish children’s clubs in Khokana, Bungmati and Sainbu. Overall, 9 children’s clubs were involved with over 200 participants in the Children’s Clubs Leadership Training Program, the Sharing Program on Life Skills, the Hiking Program for Children’s Club Members and Extracurricular Activities & Competition between May 2014 and March 2015.
Children who participated in the hiking program were taught about the diverse flora and fauna and visited remote areas of Lalitpur. This was a successful program for learning about the environment, comparing similar regions and communities, and through these communal activities, initiating children’s self-empowerment. The extra curricular activities and competitions increased the knowledge about local human rights issues as well increasing confidence, creativity, learning ability and teamwork.
Increasing collaboration between local organisations
During the ‘We for Us’ project, OSED worked together with other like minded international and local NGOs, as well as social supporters to share expertise and resources, to increase awareness at a larger scale, and to reach out to a bigger public. GHRD believes in joining powers for the same goal and is encouraging collaboration between local partners. GHRD is pleased that OSED is pro-active in establishing collaborations with local partners.
The partners are grassroots organisations, including the Youth Arena based in Bungamati, and the Youth Red Cross based in the region of Sainbu. Through their collaboration they have reached a bigger audience but also learned from each other. Additionally, the Khokana Cricket club provided volunteers for all programs in Khokana and the children’s club network committee assisted the programs related to the children’s clubs.
Impact on society
The ‘We for Us’ project is a joined effort between GHRD, OSED and local partner organisations to help marginalized communities facing discrimination, in particular children and women. An increased collaboration has been established between local organisations, enabling a greater positive impact and media coverage in the community.
In order to sustain successful projects such as ‘We for Us’ that support the social-economic empowerment of communities in Lalitpur and the surrounding, GHRD kindly asks for your contribution. If you would like to support the communities in the Lalitpur district, please donate now by clicking the donate button on the home page.