Funded by the Big Lottery Fund
PHASE Worldwide is delivering a five-year project which started in 2016. The project is based in Gorkha and takes place in Keraunja, Kashigaun, and Manbu.
The overall aims are to improve access to and quality of education, improve public health awareness, and achieve economic empowerment and food security for people living in Gorkha district.
In the extremely remote areas of northern Gorkha, poverty indicators were consistently high, even before the earthquake. Lack of road access, low food security, high levels of alcoholism, under-resourced and often non-operational schools and harmful traditional practices are some of the ongoing challenges in Gorkha. The earthquake cut off most of Gorkha’s villages, destroyed infrastructure, livelihoods and left the population of Gorkha (especially women and girls) extremely vulnerable.
After the earthquakes in 2015, the Big Lottery Fund (BLF) committed £2 million to Nepal to help communities affected by the earthquake and PHASE Worldwide was awarded a project-based grant.
Over five years, the project will include the provision of vocational skills training in agriculture to facilitate improved rearing of chickens and goats, cash-crop farming or fruit tree cultivation. Importantly, embedded in this training is awareness that aims to enhance the knowledge of farmers in the nutritional value of certain crops and vegetables. The project also works with schools to ensure children don’t miss out on education; teachers so far have been trained to develop child-friendly environments and promote gender inclusion. Schools and community groups will be engaged in a comprehensive public health programme to address issues emerging after the earthquake. These issues include an increase in water-borne diseases, health risks to children and older people from cold and exposure, mental health issues and a threat to women from trafficking and social instability.
A young boy called Pemba Gurung is an inspiring example of how skills acquired through training can change a person’s life. The 21-year-old from Kashiguan passed his secondary school exams and his future looked bright. However, when his older brother went to the Gulf to seek employment, he gave up his studies to support his parents with household chores and agriculture work. With no source of income, he planned to follow his brother to the Gulf to earn money. However after talking with friends, he understood that to get a good job in the Gulf countries, they now demanded a certain set of skills.
This is when Pemba came across PHASE Nepal. Under the BLF programme, PHASE provides vocational training to young people so that they can then utilise and develop their skill set to earn a livelihood. Pemba had the option to choose between tailoring or electrician training; he opted for the latter. After making the two-day journey to Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, he undertook 30 days of training organised by PHASE Nepal.
Upon completion, Pemba returned to his village in the hope of using his developed skill set to financially support his family. After the 2015 earthquake, there was an abundance of electrical work needed to restore electrical wiring in damaged buildings. As certain community members became aware of Pemba’s new skill set, he was offered a job to carry out some electrical restoration within Kashiguan. Pemba was overjoyed with the job opportunity and used the money he earned to support his family.
This was only the beginning for Pemba, his career as an electrician has gone from strength to strength since his first job. He had a contract working at a health post in Kashiguan which was under construction. Following this, he worked in the Keraunja, Manbu and Chumi health posts which enabled him to earn over £300.
No longer wanting or needing to go abroad, he is able to support his family from home as a result of the training provided by PHASE Nepal. Pemba acquired the necessary skills which enables him to generate an income and support his family in Kashiguan. In the future, he plans to enhance his skills as an electrician and has requested that PHASE Nepal inform him if they plan to organise advanced electrician training.
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If you would like to support the work of PHASE Worldwide and help us to continue empowering people living in isolated regions of Nepal the best way to do so is through regular giving. Even the smallest amount a month can make a huge difference. As a regular supporter you will receive a welcome pack, exclusive updates and will become part of the PHASE family. You can set up your regular gift easily and securely online.