Nepal. Part 2.
Why Nepal? That’s a great question.
There are approximately 28 million people living in Nepal.
Half of the population live below the poverty line,
earning less that $1.25 per day.
Employment rates hover around 50%.
Only half of its citizens can read: only 35% of the literate are women.
Most of Nepal lives in the country or mountain regions. They are historically a “village” society, heavily dependent on agriculture, which provides sustenance and perhaps a small income to their families. Most Nepalis live in remote and hard-to-reach regions, where it can take two or three days on foot via mountain paths just to reach public transport. There is very little developed infrastructure outside of Nepal’s few big cities.
Only 17% of the Nepalese population live in urban centers, a statistic which increases yearly due to people seeking opportunities outside their village, particularly the younger generations. This rapid urbanization results in high levels of poverty because cities like Kathmandu cannot economically accommodate for the influx. Unemployment coupled with global inflation continues to widen the gap between “the have” and the “have nots”. The poor strive to put food on their table leaving little or nothing left to acquire “basic” services such as healthcare and education. That’s half of the population of Nepal.
Nepal’s recent civil war and continued political instability unleashed well-documented human rights abuses, including sexual violence against women, forced abortions to decrease the number of female children, female infanticide, and trafficking of women into prostitution. Even now, after the end of the civil war, there are more than 118 legal provisions as well as customs, rituals, and practices that directly discriminate against Nepalese women. Child marriage and child labor are a continuing problem, as is human trafficking. Educational differences also contribute to the low status of women—only 35% of Nepalese women are considered literate compared to 63% of men.
Preemptive solutions including education and vocational opportunities are helping to shift women away from marginalization and abuse. There is however a great need for more opportunity! Because Nepal is a country rich with resources and hard-working people it is an opportune environment to create a business or partner with existing businesses that need projects to sustain and expand their reach in providing gainful employment, particularly to women. Beauty is intrinsic to this country, not only in its proximity to the expansive Himalayas, but in its heritage of woven textiles, pottery and wood-working. While it is heart-breaking to see the fall-out corruption has reaped on this country, it is also in places like Nepal where hope and possibility are far-reaching.
And that is why GIVEGIVE is starting its first project in Nepal.
All statistics from CIA World Factbook