Nepal - earthquake update
On 25 April 2015 a devastating earthquake struck Nepal - all VSO staff and volunteers are safe, including International Citizen Service volunteers. Our thoughts remain with all those affected.
Nepal earthquake emergency - update
VSO has worked in Nepal for over 50 years, in that time more than 800 VSO volunteers have shared their skills and experience to improve the lives of countless individuals across communities in some of the most remote areas of Nepal. We have volunteers working in Nepal to improve access to healthcare, support education initiatives and help build livelihoods for some of the world’s poorest people. Our volunteers are safe and keen to continue their long term work.
Following disasters such as this earthquake it is vital that essential services are back up and running as soon as possible and this is where VSO can help. Our volunteers already work with the Government of Nepal and in partnership with various organisations in technical areas including agriculture, forestry, business enterprise, education, health and advocacy. We are offering our expertise to our partners, and will continue to support them in anyway we can.
We know our volunteers in Nepal, and other countries where disaster strikes, are valued resources when it comes to rebuilding communities. You can make sure our volunteers can keep making the difference by donating today. Thank you
Our work in Nepal
VSO Nepal's work focuses on addressing the root causes of multi-dimensional poverty. We implement comprehensive and holistic strategies either through our own, or joint, programming with other development partners. Our strategies work across a range of basic needs in order to create sustainable change. For example, our strategies address areas of health, education and livelihoods simultaneously, while applying gender perspectives and ensuring social inclusion.
Our education work focuses on marginalised children (especially girls) getting and retaining them in schools and providing support for attaining quality education through inclusive and child-centred learning and community mobilisation. VSO supports the Government in implementing the School Sector Reform Plan (SSRP) which incorporates the "Education for All" goals. VSO works with the Government at different levels, including the Ministry of Education (MoE) and different Departments under MoE at the central level, District Education Offices (DEOs), schools, and School Management Committees (SMCs)/Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs). VSO provides support to link policies and practice. We also work with local non-governmental organisations to help align their work with government strategies. Our education programme currently focuses its interventions in 11 districts in Nepal.
VSO’s health strategy targets skills, knowledge and behaviours, networks, systems, and planning, in order to drive a sustainable change in the quality and access of health services. Focusing where our unique model has particular scope to contribute, it targets three integrated focus areas which, in synergy with other health initiatives in Nepal, aim to drive sustained, comprehensive change in the health status of disadvantaged populations:
- Community health participation and advocacy
The priority areas for this strategy are: maternal and child health (MCH) and sexual reproductive health (SRH).
Our livelihoods work focuses on ensuring economic empowerment for poor and marginalised groups through climate resilient livelihood options with a focus on market-based sustainable agricultural production and community-based forestry. With support from highly skilled technical volunteers, we will use the market chain approach to increase economic benefits for poor farmers. We also seek to improve the quality of and access to rural extension and support services by partnering with government and non-government service providers.
Gender equality and social inclusion
Women and girls face sexual discrimination from all sections of society in Nepal. Our programmes have a gender specific focus to ensure women and girls benefit from our work. The overall objective of our work on gender is to see self-confident women and girls empowered through the support of their own families and communities. VSO Nepal has a particular focus on Violence Against Women (VAW) and women’s political participation.
VSO Nepal also emphasises inclusive approaches in our programmes to engage the ‘whole system’. This is to create sustainable communal and societal change needed to bring the excluded into the mainstream and move the poor out of poverty. This approach links to our work on gender, and also recognises that social hierarchy and exclusion runs through Nepali society. Our work aims to the change attitudes and the power structures controlled by elites to one that includes the community in identifying and addressing development goals.
Mainstreaming climate change
Nepal is one of the 20 most disaster-prone countries in the world and highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Disadvantaged people are the least resilient to weather-related disasters and other climate impacts, further increasing their food insecurity and contributing to disease in people, crops and livestock. We are integrating climate change considerations into all our programmes, with a particular focus on community-based adaptation work and advocacy.
Find out about volunteering
By volunteering abroad with VSO you get to put your skills, energy and personal qualities to work helping people break out of poverty. Interested in volunteering abroad?