In 2017, Friends of Nepal is Focusing on Letting Girls Learn
In 2016 Let Girls Learn, an initiative championed by the Obamas, was launched from the White House to increase public awareness about the the issue of girls’ equality and addressing barriers to their education. President Obama has named Nepal as one of the target countries.
In honor and support of the Let Girls Learn Initiative, FoN’s 2017 grants program will be focused on helping Nepali girls to succeed. As our friends, neighbors, and former colleagues continue to build and rebuild their country in the aftermath of the war and the devastating earthquake of 2015, we will do our best to amplify female voices that may not be easily heard. All donations to Friends of Nepal will be used to support programs that promote equality of opportunity for all children. We believe that girls everywhere should dream big and be given opportunity to accomplish grand things. Formal education is a crucial component, but not the only one. For some girls, opportunities for entrepreneurship, sports or leadership will be the key to their dreams.
In 2016 we funded nearly $28,000 in development projects, all focused on helping communities recover from the earthquake. We helped rebuild electricity grids and schools in hard-hit areas and even contributed to memorials to honor the scores of deceased. All these projects were community-driven and sponsored by a returned Peace Corps Volunteer.
In 2017 we plan to grant at least $20,000 to support additional grassroots development efforts. Early in the year, we will send out a call for proposals. Our members, most of whom have lived in Nepal, will help us identify effective local organizations in the villages and districts that are often overlooked. We will continue to require that projects either involve groups with which we have successfully worked in the past or be sponsored by a returned Peace Corps Volunteer or Friends of Nepal member, because we have found that to be the best way to identify less prominent – but effective – organizations. This year, we will also require that every project incorporate the interests of underserved girls in a substantial way. More details regarding the application process and review criteria will be available soon.