How the Annapurna Project is Changing the Lives of Girls in Nepal

The Annapurna association, also known as AA is one of the projects that Le Elfes supports. The project focuses on providing education for girls in Nepal. Currently, Les Elfes supports up to 25 less privileged children through the Annapurna project.

The Annapurna project emanated from the need to provide an equal opportunity for both boys and girls to attend school. Les Elfes organizers figured that being educated would give girls the authority to do anything to improve their lives and that of others.

Why Nepal?

Deep in the rustic Himalayan community of Nepal where the Annapurna project is set up, the gender gap is shocking. Often, girls don’t get equal rights to education as is the case with boys. Due to prolonged periods of being out of school, girls become susceptible to early marriage, abuse, violence, trafficking, and insecurity.

What’s even more shocking is that; after getting married off at an early age, these girls often spend the rest of their lives depending on their spouses. This cycle is bound to repeat itself over and over again if something is not done. Action should be taken to save the future of the girl child in Nepal. 

What can be done?

Annapurna is a specially designed program that focuses on ensuring that girls in Nepal get good quality education. To achieve this, the program organizers seek to provide the girls with the necessary support they need. The organizers pay special attention to girls from the remote villages, who are more vulnerable to getting married off early, trafficking, and abuse.

The Annapurna project organizers are certain that education can break poverty cycles and change lives. When a girl is educated, they will understand the need to provide decent education to both their sons and daughters. This will play a major role in promoting gender equality, and education will be embraced throughout the generations. What’s the long term impact of these steps, you may ask?

Nepal is a developing country. If everybody commits themselves to educate girls, they will instill in them a sense of responsibility. The girl will then feel the need to educate her siblings and other girls within the region. This will create change, and help the girls to become self-dependent. Empowering girls with a good quality education is a great investment, which will trigger them to create significance in their community. 

Charitable Organizations in Nepal

Numerous charitable groups strive to assist the poor in Nepal. However, Annapurna is a unique project specially designed to create a difference. The Annapurna project strives to provide girls with an education. With the current hard economic times, many people are unable to meet the needs of their kids. Still, parents do everything they can to create better opportunities for them, albeit with little success.

The organizers of Annapurna have in the past had difficulties in identifying vulnerable children who need assistance. Children who are currently under the organization were identified via local contacts. The organizers are committed to providing a conducive family atmosphere, improved lifestyle for the children, and a great education system. 

Where is the Annapurna Home?

Both the school and the house are located in the Pokhara Valley. Brilliant lakes surround the region and it’s overlooked by the mountains of Dhaulagiri ranges and Annapurna. The region is the ultimate definition of a wonderful environment. Children and their minders have easy access to schools and hospitals. 

How does Les Elfes help?

  • Les Elfes is committed to providing financial support by donating a certain percentage from their camp bookings.
  • For every volunteer, Les Elfes caters for their flights
  • In Les Elfes, some of the staff are tasked with visiting Nepal once in a while to engage in volunteering work. The staff is excited to interact with the girls as seen in the following testimonial from one of the volunteers. 

My Annapurna Association Nepal Experience

The AAN home is located in the northwest suburbs of Pokhara, in a much quieter and calmer part of the city, surrounded by crop fields with a mountainous backdrop. The girls have only moved into the new building this year for which they are so grateful for, as it is a much more pleasant environment for them to stay.

Their new home has plenty of space and storage for all the girls, a large kitchen, a study room, and even outdoor space to grow their vegetables. The girls are looked after by home mum Niru along with a handful of volunteers who help with everything from housework, maintenance, and homework. The volunteers visit the home every day and you can see how much they mean to the girls, and how they have created a family atmosphere in the home.

At the time of my visit, 19 girls were living in the home and they were studying hard for their upcoming exams. The girls all recognize how lucky they are to have the opportunity to a good education and study hard every day. Typically, they study for an hour before school in the morning and for a few hours after, until they have completed their homework.

Once their homework and chores are done the girls turn the study room into a playroom and dancefloor! Uno is usually a game of choice along with a mixture of traditional and modern dances. During my stay I would visit the home twice a day, both before and after school, primarily to help the girls with their school work, along with help in the garden and cleaning around the home.

I would help the girls study for their upcoming exams, particularly the younger girls with their English and Mathematics. The education system in Nepal demands a lot of hard work from pupils and it was a joy to help the girls and to see the progress every day. As the younger girls would complete their homework we would play games and dance with them to give the older girls some time to study without distractions.

The older girls had some very important exams in September as they prepare for their future. I had the chance to speak to Santoshi who told me how she is studying hotel management and hospitality, as she hopes to join Pokhara’s growing tourism industry, with the area becoming more and more popular for trekking. She told me that she has been with the home for over 10 years along with two other girls.

They have grown up together at the home and now have the chance to finish their qualifications and start a fruitful and successful career thanks to the support provided by AAN and the education they have received. Seeing the girls’ progression from children without much education, to young women who have all the qualifications for a successful career was amazing.

To see first-hand what opportunities AAN can provide these girls was incredible. Every donation and every bit of help AAN gets goes straight to these young Nepali girls, and it gives them a chance in life, that they might not have previously had.

Thank you so much for the opportunity!

Sam

Finally

Education is a critical part of human life and parents need to take their children to school regardless of their situation. However, some children come from overly underprivileged families, which makes going to school an arduous task. This is where the Annapurna project comes in not only to help these children go to school. The project helps them develop a concrete future for themselves and future generations.

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