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Celebrating 40 years in Nepal, focus shifts to girls

Plan International is celebrating 40 years in Nepal with a shift in focus to girls' rights and gender equality.

Girls and boys attending in an ECD centre in Rautahat, Nepal.
Girls and boys attending in an ECD centre in Rautahat, Nepal.

Plan International is celebrating 40 years of supporting marginalised children, families and communities in Nepal.

Our programmes for education, health, child protection, economic empowerment, water and sanitation have reached hundreds of communities - from Kathmandu to the most remote regions of the country, since 1st May 1978.

Plan International Nepal has also been early on the scene of the country’s emergencies, most recently supporting children and communities after the earthquake of April 2015, including building safe schools in six earthquake-affected districts.

But the 40 year anniversary also marks a change in strategy for Plan International Nepal through support for the girls’ rights movement, with a view to creating lasting, positive change in the lives of 1 million girls. 

40 years of impact for children

The story of Plan International Nepal began in 1978 in Sitapaila village near Kathmandu and quickly expanded. Currently, Plan International Nepal works in 42 districts out of 77.

Country Director, Sven Coppens interacting with children on a field visit
Country Director, Sven Coppens interacting with children on a field visit.

Sven Coppens, Country Director of Plan International Nepal said:

“Our journey with girls, boys and communities in Nepal stretches 4 decades and has been truly inspiring. We appreciate the remarkable contributions made by donors and supporters, governmental and non-government partners and by young people themselves to work together and bring about lasting change for girls and boys in Nepal.
 
“The celebration of our 40th Anniversary will also be a milestone for deepening our child rights approach by focusing specifically on promoting equality for girls. During our anniversary year, we will be facilitating the creation of a new movement for girls’ rights in Nepal to advance this cause further.” 

Rich history of supporting girls and women

Working at community, district and national level, Plan International Nepal has helped provide thousands of girls and boys, including children with disabilities, access to education. We’ve helped free kamalhari (forced labour) girls in western Nepal including facilitating their rescue and helping them reintegrate with their families. 

During our anniversary year, we will be facilitating the creation of a new movement for girls’ rights in Nepal

We’ve supported a women's’ co-operative initiative, established birthing centres for rural women and are still spreading awareness of the harmful effects of child marriage to bring an end to the practice. Currently, 40% of girls in Nepal are married before they turn 18, but recent research shows figures are decreasing. 

One million reasons to support girls' rights

Plan International Nepal’s 40th-anniversary celebrations mark a turning point in its history, as the organisational focus shifts to the need for gender equality. The aim over the next five years is to create positive, lasting change in the lives of 1 million girls and to support them in becoming active and engaged citizens. 

Country Director Sven Coppens said, “We will continue our efforts at all levels – from community, municipality, provincial to national level – and bring actors together to promote girls’ rights. Our aim is to bring about changes that really result in equality for girls through programmes that contribute to the priorities set by the government of Nepal and needs identified by girls and boys themselves within their communities. 

“Nepal is moving towards being a more inclusive society, however, there is still a million reasons for us to continue our journey with girls, boys and communities and to provoke sustainable changes.”

Read more about our work supporting girls and women across the globe