Rights awareness and education support
Women and vulnerable children (such as orphans or those from female-headed households, single-parent households, or poor families) are the main participants in our Rights Awareness and Education Support program. This intervention area is divided into 4 sections: Non-formal education, Awareness about barriers to equality, Life Skills and literacy, Children home and Education Sponsorships.
We have developed our own Non-formal education (NFE) curriculum in partnership with technical experts in the sector and the Department of Education in Kathmandu.
The NFE curriculum is innovative both in content and methodology, and it is used to inform, raise awareness, and train beneficiaries and their families on a wide array of subjects. It is preceded by daily literacy classes and facilitated by Apeiron trained field staff.
Literacy classes are based on the Nepali government’s curriculum for adult literacy programs. At the end of the course, participants can obtain a formal certificate that states they are literate.
To create public awareness of barriers to equality, we conduct street theaters in the community where thousands of people can actively observe. In these spaces, women and men of all ages watch and understand that gender discrimination can be practices that are deeply entrenched in everyday culture.
Media’s role in gender construction is indisputable, and its role in creating public awareness is equally powerful. So we work with various radio stations to communicate the legal provisions related to issues of gender inequity such as child marriage, rape, and witchcraft.
We also work with adolescent girls and boys to equip them with skills and knowledge that allow them to create safe and healthy futures. With the youth, we mainly focus on subjects such as hygiene, menstruation, nutrition, human trafficking, and child marriage.
On these matters, teachers are the primary change makers, especially in the close-knit societies of Nepali villages. In order to make schools gender equal, gender-sensitive teachers are needed. We provide teachers with training to build this capacity.
WHO defines life skills as “the abilities for adaptive and positive behavior that enable individuals to deal effectively with demands and challenges of everyday life“. We have adapted 10 modules of life skills to be passed onto beneficiaries in different projects, and similar sessions are regularly provided to the survivors in our safe houses. The modules are also in our NFE curriculum. These sessions help participants understand the behavioral changes that need to take place to mitigate violence directed at them.
As our Theory of Change posits, among the barriers to gender equality are the lower literacy skills of women compared to men. We are determined to address this inequity in all of our program components.
The children of GBV survivor are the indirect witnesses and victims of violence, and they need special attention. Their mothers, facing their own challenges in recovering, are often unable to provide their little ones with the care they need. It is also difficult for these mothers to fully focus on finding work and settling in a new place while also tending to their children.
The need to set up protection programs for children is quite apparent when we look closely at the economic and socio-cultural profile of the areas where Apeiron works – poverty and violence are prevalent.
For years, Apeiron has referred boys and girls to children’s homes in its network, however we persistently encounter problems such as limited funding and space availability for these kids.
The lack of options for alternative care becomes a burden for survivors, not to mention the children. This struggle deters the ability of mother and child to get out of the cycle of poverty and violence.
In order to overcome this problem, Apeiron started running its own children’s home beginning in September 2017.
Vulnerable and underprivileged children are the participants of this intervention area. We support the continued education of children, particularly those who are orphans or from female-headed households, single-parent households, or poor families. Although girls are a focus, boys are also given equal opportunities in this program.