This month UNICEF ESCP, the ESCP student society working across the London and Paris Campuses, celebrates one year of successful fundraising campaigns in support of UNICEF UK.

On 20th November 2021, World Children’s Day, UNICEF ESCP committed to raising funds and awareness of the tragic situation of children from one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world, Nepal. The society is partnering with Volunteers Initiative Nepal (VIN) for a five-month, on-the-ground project that will commence in January 2022 to support the most vulnerable children and help with their education.

It will be delivered through VIN’s Children’s Development Programme:

  • Teaching at Early Childhood Education centres, focusing on basic-level English Language and Mathematics.
  • Encouraging creative exploration through art activities, boosting cognitive development in children.
  • Planning and delivering entertaining and informative sessions on health, hygiene and sanitation.
  • Helping children learn, practise and develop positive social and emotional skills, and
  • Providing childcare support if and when necessary.

In the words of Anna Lelorieux, the Chairwoman of the UNICEF ESCP Society, “Big problems need big solutions from big players. The UNICEF ESCP societies have taken the opportunity to speak up and 'not ignore' since their launch in 2020. After having raised funds and awareness, our team will support on the ground for five months.”

UNICEF ESCP will partner with VIN to make an impact and help every child to know their rights. The Children’s Development Programme is a major part of VIN’s approach to holistic and integrated community empowerment. This holistic approach follows the guiding principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, focusing on education, nutrition, health, safety and equality.

Project No. 1 – January and February 2022

Teacher Development: Central to improving educational opportunities for all children is quality teaching and learning. Many teachers in Nepal lack basic training and ongoing development, but those who have been trained and continue to develop their skills will deliver effective and child-friendly teaching. Working alongside volunteers and other agencies and charities, VIN trains hundreds of teachers every year in child-friendly methodologies, as well as encouraging ongoing development and sharing of good practice between teachers.

Project No. 2 – March 2022

Early Childhood Education: VIN facilitates over 55 Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres in Okhaldhunga, Kathmandu and Nuwakot. The facilitation involves building classrooms; providing furniture and resources; recruiting and training local volunteers and teachers; developing curricula, textbooks and teaching resources; supporting parents with their children’s and their own education; and following up and monitoring the impact of VIN’s work.

Child Protection: Working with local schools, VIN organises sessions developing awareness and understanding of issues relating to child protection in order to promote the right of all children to learn and develop in a safe and secure environment, at home and at school.

Project No. 3 – April and May 2022

Working for street children: Volunteers are deployed at drop-in centres to work with children rescued from the streets of Kathmandu. Through VIN’s work, awareness of the issues facing street children has risen and the number of children on the streets has declined. This is a context that has been heavily impacted by the Indian wave of Covid-19 and the Delta variant, where staff members from different charities in Nepal have died and other people, such as volunteers, have left the country to safely return home. Considering this disastrous situation, donations can play a crucial role in keeping children safe.

How you can help:

You can sponsor the entire primary education of a child in need in Nepal for just 230 EUR. That would cover around ten years of education and all necessities including school fees, uniform, bags, school supplies, food, stationery and medical support. A partial sponsorship to pay for some of these items is also possible.

You can donate to the Friends of VIN UK via PayPal. All your donations will be dedicated to the VIN Children’s Development Programme in Nepal in 2022.

Because children’s rights matter, because they must be protected, because children are the future of humanity, and because the children of the world are asking us to stand with UNICEF.

More about the children’s situation in Nepal:

Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world, with approximately 25% of its population living below the poverty line and the basic rights of many community children often not being met. Access to quality education is very limited, and although more privileged children do go to school, the majority drop out.

Only 46.2% of children complete their high-school education. Instead they help at home with chores and babysitting while their parents work on farms. 37.4% of children aged 5–17 are involved in employment labour, with a significant proportion working on their own family’s farm. 26.3% aged 10–18 are married or in union with their partner. The schools themselves lack proper facilities and the majority of teachers are either not trained, under-trained or not motivated to develop themselves professionally. Some schools still practise corporal punishment, and in worst-case scenarios children end up on the street and abused.