Self Employment Through Education (SEEP)

In 2017 FONAI partnered with Child Development Society (CDS) to manage funding for it’s Self Employment Education program. (SEEP) This partnership formalised the relationships we have with this hardworking and highly respected NGO since 2014. FONAI has worked informally, primarily through the Rotary movement, to support CDS programs in the past. These have included health camps and day care programs.

CDS shares similar values to FONAI and we were impressed with their strong commitment to the rights of the child and programs to end child labour. Another strength which attracted FONAI to this NGO and it’s programs is CDS’s core value of respecting and promoting local knowledge in the implementation of all it’s programs in the communities where they work.

In 2017 FONAI’s management team developed a strategic plan to make educating women a high priority. Inspired by our visits to local villages with CDS team where we saw the SEEP program, we decided to partner with them to assist in funding of 3 new groups in Kavre region of Nepal. Kavre is one of the most underdeveloped districts of Nepal about 45 km from Kathmandu. Traditionally families from Kavre district migrate to Kathmandu in November to work in brick kilns. The brick kilns operate from November to May. Brick kilns have a high incidence of employing child labour and children from the Kavre region can find themselves working here from as young as the age of 5. CDS envisages a Nepalese society where children can realise their overall rights. The SEEP program attempts to address this goal by helping vulnerable, poor and illiterate women become literate and numerate, The SEEP program empowers them to start micro-businesses and support their families with investment of their saved and CDS seed money. CDS works closely with local government to select participants, implement, manage and monitor this program. The program results are impressive as we met many women’s groups who still meet regularly after 10 years and are managing successful businesses. Some spoke of how their children were now at college!

In July 2018, one year after the FONAI/CDS 3 – year partnership for the establishment of the 3 groups in Kavre district, we were fortunate to visit the day the seed money and new school bags were distributed. We witnessed first hand the joy and pride in these beautiful women, who not only had attended their daily literacy and numeracy classes for 2 hours before they began their field work, but had already begun several small businesses – selling buffalo meat, sewing etc. Not one woman had missed a class in the preceding year. They spoke honestly about their lack of education opportunities as children, as being girls their responsibilities were helping the family. All promised to send their children to school as they could now see the importance education. CDS will continue to monitor and advise this group formally for another year and informally for more many years after.

FONAI is currently pursuing funding opportunities to expand its work with CDS to enable the establishment of more groups like this.

SEEP groups 2018/19. Margaret Congram, founding member of FONAI, her friend Leanne & her granddaughter Amber, attending the Community Orientation Program (COP) for two new SEEP groups established in Nov 2018 with funds disbursed by FONAI.

SEEP program June/July 2018 visit

Update of SEEP program 2017/18

It’s my pleasure to share the good news about the successful completion of the SEEP program in Kavre district, Nepal. The program which began on 15th Oct.2017 concluded on 14th Oct. 2018. 42 women participated in daily classes, learning about linkage, coordination and registration with the Agriculture Development Office and Animal Service Office. They can now write and read simple paragraphs and are conducting group businesses with continued monthly savings. They are informed about the importance of the overall caring and development of their children (health and hygiene, education etc.)

At the conclusion of SEEP review meeting of Senior Management Team (SMT) in the presence of treasurer (Mr. Surendra Dhakal), we decided to postpone the activity Group Assembly for the coming year, so we can conduct a joint meeting with the 2018/19 SEEP groups. The new SEEP groups will start October 2018 with the funding FONAI has secured.

We decided that a joint Group Assembly will be more fruitful because the women who have recently graduated from the SEEP program can share their learning and experiences with each other and with the new participants. At the same time, we can gather all the women group leaders at the Municipal level and they can work together to strengthen the SEEP groups.

Project Manager Pradip Oct 2018.

SEEP FONAI Data Analysis pdf