In Nepal, primary education is provided by either public schools or private schools. Private education in Nepal is criticised for being too expensive and for commodifying the education system with little public accountability1; government-funded public schools suffer from a significant lack of resources, and low levels of teacher support.
The Asha Vidhyashram School provides a free high-quality education for around 100 children of poor migrant workers from nursery age up to year 5. Most of the parents of the students travel to Kathmandu from remote villages in search of work, but the daily wage work that is available in the city does not provide them with a stable income, and these parents cannot afford to send their children to private schools.
The free education that the school provides includes books and learning materials, a nutritious meal each day, and access to a large playground where they can enjoy physical activities. In addition to running the Asha Vidhyashram School, HOPE worldwide Nepal also train underprivileged youth in English and computing at a vocational training centre next to the school.
HOPE worldwide Nepal also run a social enterprise programme in Chhaimale Village. It includes a pear candy factory employing local villagers, a microfinance programme and a skills development programme in English and computing. The profits from the pear candy business are reinvested into the skills development programme and community centre.
1 Koirala, A. (2015) ‘Debate on Public and Private Schools in Nepal’, International Journal of Social Sciences and Management, 2(1), pp. 3-8.