Creating an inclusive community in Nepal
In a patriarchal society like Nepal where women’s destiny is to find the groom of her life, Sudha Silwal, 46 of Panchkal Munipality, Kavre had decided to remain unmarried to take care of the intellectually challenged children.
She started the journey of compassion seventeen years ago who was then the sole person out of 16 principals to accept and initiate schooling for children with special needs in Kavre district.
The schooling program, funded by the education ministry, was only for 5 years. Thinking that 5 years are not enough for an impactful progress, she founded her own organization, Susta Manasthiti Purnasthapana Kendra in 2006 where children can be transferred after their study at Bhagawati Secondary School. Currently there are 21 students under her care.
With tears in her eyes she narrates that the Nepal Jesuit Social Institute is the first organization who supported them in every aspect.
The intervention started with building the fence around the hostel compound to protect the children from unwanted intruders and wild animals. Since then, the NJSI has been providing regular nutrition, medical checkups with required therapies, training teachers and caretakers to better understand the children’s behavior and help them to improve.
NJSI is constructing two storey learning center at Bhagawati Secondary School for them. Ms. Sudha is appreciative of the efforts taken by NJSI and hopeful to initiate the school that was disrupted after the old building collapsed due to the earthquake of 2015.
Protection of Vulnerable is a major sector and an area of concern for NJSI.
NJSI has already constructed 6 well facilitated hostels in Nuwakot, Sindhupalchowk and Kavre districts. Construction of yet another hostel is going on in Banepa. NJSI visions to develop Bhagawati Learning Center as a well facilitated model school for differently abled children.
Jesuit Missions has been supporting the NJSI since the Nepal earthquake in 2015. After the initial emergency response, Jesuit Missions continued to support NJSI with long term rehabilitation and reconstruction works. Their support of NJSI extends to projects such as Susta Manasthiti Purnasthapana Kendra and Bhagawati Secondary School. You can support the work of Jesuit Missions through their donation webpage .
This article was first published on the Nepal Jesuit Social Institute's news bulletin.