The Community Outreach program has been able to reach 10 working communities in remote villages with the purpose of providing literacy skills to men women and children through general education, life skill trainings, health and hygiene awareness and income generation opportunities. This program includes SASANE’S handmade beaded bracelet’s program, which is a small budget skill generation program where groups are trained to make bracelets. The products are then marketed to the travellers in the Sisterhood of survivors program (SOS). All of the proceeds from these bracelets contribute to the Mountain Village Education program.
“Empowered is if we learn our legal rights and gain marketable skills” – Ms. Indira
Gurung, founding member.
The average number of children per family in the community is five, some families have six or seven children, and this considerably increases the basic expenses for an average family. With increased awareness and basic literacy skills, education is being given priority, despite the high incidence of poverty.
Although the tuition fee is free, the accompanying cost of education is high in these communities. Inaccessibility also increased expenses, as goods have to be carried through long and difficult ways. Frequent blockades of roads due to bad weather, flood and landslides forces even those products that could usually be brought by road and porter to be carried by air, increasing the price substantially.
On average in these communities, the major portion of income is required for food (75%), almost all for rice (90% of the food total), followed by equal amounts on education (8.33%), health (8.33%), and clothes (8.33%). Poverty and cash deficits mean that many are not able to spend as much as required. To make ends meet, they compromise on their food intake and withdraw a few of their children from school, usually the daughters first. These daughters are later forced to leave their home and family to work and earn for her family members working in unsafe places in city areas.