Reducing hunger and improving nutrition amongst children with disabilities and other marginalised children in remote mountain villages of Nepal.
The Karnali region of Mid-West Nepal is one of the most neglected regions in Nepal and has the worst poverty indicators. The project district of Humla (in northern Karnali, bordering Tibet) is mountainous, arid and remote. It has no roads and hence no vehicles. Within this region, disabilities are treated as being shameful, hence children with disabilities tend to be hidden and neglected. On a practical level, children with disabilities are treated as being unable to help with farming in this barren and rocky land, hence they are at the bottom of the priorities for family food, which is a scarce commodity for most families for much of the year.
Mission East is collaborating with a small but highly committed local NGO called HEAD, which specializes in helping blind children in remote villages in Humla district. HEAD already operates a mobile school for the blind which visits remote villages on a weekly basis and teaches blind children life skills and braille. During their work, HEAD has managed to register most children with disability in those villages, hence the target group for this project has already been partially identified. However, other ‘hidden’ children will come forward during implementation and they will be incorporated into the project.
To contribute toward Government of Nepal's Zero Hunger Challenge Initiative (ZHC) for marginalized children in the remote mountainous districts of Nepal
1. Enhance sustainable production and use of diversified crops for improved nutrition amongst children with disabilities and other marginalized children in remote mountain villages.
2. HEAD Nepal improves its organisational, financial and programmatic capacities to enable sustained growth
In this action, ME and HEAD will utilize the networking and logistics of the mobile blind school and will reach out to all families who have children with disabilities, plus representatives of mothers' groups from other poor families in the target villages. The project will provide the families with training, extension services and inputs for domestic food production. There will be classes on nutrition needs and food preparation and distribution. Also, advocacy on the rights of children with disabilities to food, and against the cultural practice of excluding disabled children from family and community life.
Apart from the direct interventions, this project will also conduct research on issues of disability and hunger amongst children in remote mountain communities, and produce advocacy material on this most neglected section of society.