PA Nepal views education as vital to breaking the cycle of poverty as well as being integral in any effort to reduce crime. In addition, gender discrimination in education can affect the development of female children both mentally and socially, meaning that providing inclusive education addresses both crime and gender disparities.
PA Nepal currently supports the education of 289 children and between 50-60 women through direct schooling or educational bursaries.
All children residing in PA Nepal’s children’s homes are enrolled in full-time schooling and are given extra tuition in the evenings with the assistance of tutors. Children residing at the Firefly Children’s home in Kathmandu attend Oxford Higher Secondary School, while children residing at homes outside of the city attend one of PA Nepal’s Junkiri schools.
PA Nepal not only supports children within the children’s homes but also extends its support to vulnerable children in the surrounding communities. This includesthe children of prisoners who remain with their extended family as well as children living nearby PA Nepal’s Junkiri Schools seeking a better education.
The Junkiri Education Project is PA Nepal’s alternative learning environment for children who have been neglected in the past or who do not reach their full potential in traditional education systems. While Junkiri students do focus on learning government-required subjects such as mathematics, English, and Nepali, they also benefit from tuition in practical life skills such as cooking, handicrafts, and farming and cattle raising techniques. These subjects allow each child to explore their own unique skill set.
Junkiri also provide free meals, stationery and free clothing for students. In addition, each Junkiri school houses a library that is used by students and local community members.
Girls Empowerment through Education Nepal (GEE Nepal) Program
As in many other Asian countries, boys are heavily favored over girls;the ratio of boys to girls in Nepali primary and secondary school is around two to one.Gender discrimination is apparent in all aspects of society, but is painfully evident in the education system.
The GEN program was established to provide non-discriminatory education for girls. The GEN sponsorship covers education-related expenses including school supplies, books, uniforms, shoes, raincoats, sweaters, and tiffin (mid-day snacks) at school. All fees are paid directly to the schools and the girls remain living with their families.
This program supports 34 girls, 20 from Kathmandu and 14 from eastern Nepal.
PA Nepal has established 2 day-care centers, one in Kathmandu women’s central jail and one in Jhapa to provide for children who are too young to be removed from their mother’s care. Each child is provided with nutritional food, early childhood education and care, and a respite from the cramped and unhygienic environment in prison. Educators are brought in from outside the prison to care for the children during the day, after which they return to their parent during the evenings and nights. 16 children are enrolled in the daycare center at the Kathmandu Women’s Central Jail, and several more in a joint center at PA Nepal’s learning environment and library at the Palpa Jail.