| This project was funded in part with matching contributions from Johnson & Johnson. |
– Thank you!
Throughout this past year, we’ve been increasing the confidence and participation of female students and teachers in Nepal.
Thanks in large part to Catapult and your donations, Nepal Teacher Training Innovations (NTTI) was able to train more than 200 teachers. We are also providing increased opportunities for talented female teachers to assume leadership positions at schools and in their communities. Our partner, Her Turn, announced that 16 participants were hired as workshop facilitators, an additional Her Turn participant was hired to train Her Turn trainers, and 18 female teachers began working as Nepal Teacher Training Innovations’ Mentor Teachers this year. These women will provide on-going support to teachers at their schools, including their male peers, who are often more educated than themselves and who often come from “higher” castes. Nepal Teacher Training Innovations and Her Turn reached 400 girls through their girls' empowerment workshops.
Estimated girls & women affected
Because each teacher works with roughly 60 students during a school year, the 200 NTTI teachers trained this year will have an impact on more than 12,000 students, 60% of whom are girls, for generations to come. Because NTTI-trained teachers participate in girls’ sensitivity trainings, they are aware of the unique needs of girls in the classroom and are able to encourage higher rates of participation and attendance among female students.
Estimated community members affected
Nepal Teacher Training Innovations is transforming classrooms into hubs of inquiry and discovery where girls are respected as the intellectual equals of boys. We successfully carried out our activities to train teachers and undertake girls' empowerment workshops. We are thrilled to report that the attendance rates during the workshops exceeded 96%, far above girls average school attendance rates.
Her Turn started working in four schools in Sindhupalchok district, a well-known hub for human trafficking. Many girls and women trafficked to India and China come from this region. Two other schools border Tibet and are on traffickers' routes to China. Her Turn started working in Manbu, a town with especially high rates of child marriage. The majority of these marriages are not forced so it was crucial to raise awareness of girls about the consequences of early marriage like dropping out of school.
One 14 year-old married participant told us she didn't know what child marriage was before participating in the workshop, and if she could go back she would choose to wait until she was older to marry. As a direct consequence of participating in the Her Turn Workshops, girls, school staff, and communities report an increase in girls' confidence levels, leadership skills, and initiative. A principal told us that after the girls from his school participated in a Her Turn workshop, they became more vocal in class and changed prevailing perceptions at the school of girls not having their own opinions.
Munni has been a teacher for five years. She is passionate about her work, but admitted that her confidence was low. After participating in Nepal Teacher Training Innovations training Munni has been able to win the respect of her male colleagues. “Because the NTTI trainers encouraged participation of the women, I came to believe that my ideas are worthwhile and the training environment gave me the confidence to speak up and share them with my peers even though I was very nervous.”
Risks and challenges
Finding talented female trainers to be trained as Nepal TeacherTraining Innovations’ Master Trainers and Her Turn Field Coordinators is difficult. Many talented female teachers don't like that the job requires a lot of travel, sometimes in the company of a male trainer. Convincing principals to hire additional female teachers is also difficult. The majority of students in government schools are female and about 90%, of teachers are male. Principals require incentives to implement reforms requested by girls, like putting locks on bathrooms and prohibiting physical punishment and public humiliation. We struggle to find reliable ways to measure the impact of our teacher training and girls’ empowerment activities on the academic achievement of girls.
What we’ve learnt
Because Nepal Teacher Training Innovations and Her Turn were established initiatives by the time we applied for funding on Catapult, we already had a clear vision for what we needed to do to effectively grow our projects. This was NTTI’s first experience with an on-line crowd-funding platform and we underestimated the generosity of strangers.
NTTI and our partner Her Turn used the $15,000 we raised on our Catapult Campaign in the following ways:
Amount spent so far
Salaries for NTTI Master Trainer, Her Turn Girl’s Empowerment Project Coordinator, and Her Turn Field Coordinator
Critical thinking and girls’ sensitivity trainings and follow-up support for 200 village teachers
Girls’ Empowerment Workshops for 400 village girls
Many involved reported increases in girls’ confidence and participation after workshops as well as changes in attitudes about girls inferiority. Staff at Devi Secondary School were impressed by girls' ability to find solutions. Fear of getting their period at school was keeping some girls home, so they collected funds to buy pads to keep at school. The male principal expressed his admiration for the girls’ efforts and his regret for not putting more effort into providing a safe environment for girls.
To date, NTTI has trained more than 1,300 teachers who are now providing gender sensitive instruction to more then 78,000 children. 60% (46,800) of these children are girls. Our Catapult campaign sponsored by Global Fund for Women played an essential role in our success this past year. A detailed 2013 annual report of Her turn operations is available HERE.
This project was fully funded on Jan. 21, and Catapult delivered your donations for this project to the Global Fund for Women on Feb. 6. The Global Fund for Women is currently in the process of transferring the funding for this project to Nepal Teacher Training Innovations (NTTI). Your donations are scheduled to arrive in Nepal by April 26, so the project can begin on that date.
As a result, a report on the first 90 days of project activity will be provided by the Global Fund for Women and NTTI on July 26. Check back soon and, in the meanwhile, please read about what NTTI has been up to so far this year:
Empowering Women and Girls, Inspiring Teachers, Teaching Change
By Ashley Hager, Project Director
- In January, we piloted our first Girls’ Sensitivity training to make teachers (especially male teachers who are the majority in government-run schools in Nepal) more aware of the unique needs of female students. The Girls’ Sensitivity Training curriculum is the result of what hundreds of village girls told us about the kind of support they need to stay in school.
- In January, we also piloted our Her Turn - Girls' Education and Empowerment Program in Timbu village in Sindhupalchok district. Forty female students from a rural government school learned about locally specific health and safety issues, enhanced their confidence and leadership skills, and implemented a small community project in their school.
- In March, NTTI launched its Cultural Immersion Program to give teachers from the United States a chance to discover what education is like in Nepal, especially for girls. Cultural Immersion Program participants visited a range of schools (urban, rural, government-run and private) and had a chance to observe classes, participate in an NTTI training, talk to students, and even teach.
- Other exciting news relates to Sumati Shakya, who has been promoted to Education Program Officer from her position as NTTI’s first Master Trainer. In her new role, Sumati will supervise other trainers from different castes and will travel to very remote parts of the country with a team of trainers. These can be challenging responsibilities for a Nepali women and NTTI is extremely proud of Sumati’s rapid professional growth, courage and commitment.
Transforming classrooms and empowering village girls
Nepal Teacher Training Innovations (NTTI - www.nepaltti.org) and our partner Her-Turn (www.her-turn.org) are happy to announce that we have already trained 150 village teachers and conducted Girls Empowerment Workshops for more than 400 girls. Teacher trainings were conducted in Sindupolchowk and North Gorkha, remote rural communities with low female literacy rates and high rates of attrition among girls.
Teachers loved our trainings and students told us they enjoyed their classes more after their teachers attended our training. Her Turn Girls Empowerment Workshop participants learned about heath and safety, developed leadership skills, and implemented small community projects. We are thrilled to report that workshop attendance rates exceeded 99 per cent! The girls, school staff and communities report increased confidence levels, leadership skills, and initiative on the part of the girls. A principal told us that Her-Turn workshop participants successfully “shifted the culture” of their school and community.
Risks and challenges
Our major challenge across the past few months has been political instability in Nepal. The November elections were preceded by country-wide strikes which paralyzed public transportation and other services, making it difficult for us to travel to villages to conduct our trainings and girls empowerment workshops.
"Before the Her Turn workshop, I used to feel scared to do the things I love, like poetry. I now participate fearlessly in school activities. I just did a poetry workshop and read my poems in front of everyone. " Her Turn participant, 12 " Before our teachers took the training, there was a lot of cramming for the exam and teachers only taught us from the book. Now they ask us questions to make sure we understand and they ask us what we think." Dolma Lama, Nawayug School
Because demand for our programs is so high, we are continuing to conduct teacher trainings and girls empowerment workshops for additional communities in North Gorkha.
|Line items||Original budget||Amount spent so far|
Training and follow up support to 200 village teachers
Workshops for 400 village girls
Trainer and staff salariesTotal
Training 230 women as teacher trainers and school mentors in Nepal's poorest villagers.
Why we care: In some of the poorest villages in Nepal there is not a single woman who can read or write. Girls between the ages of 10 and 14 are extremely susceptible to being sold into forced marriages or sex trafficking.
How we're solving this: Bringing “Her Turn –The Girls Education and Empowerment Program” to the remotest villages in Nepal.
“Students are thinking for themselves, rather than memorizing what they have been told; they are learning to solve problems and to take a proactive approach to their own lives and to the issues facing their country.” –NTTI staff member
Founded in 2010, Nepal Teacher Training Innovations (NTTI) works to reduce attrition rates in Nepal, especially among girls, by improving the quality of teaching and encouraging creativity and critical thinking in Nepali classrooms.
Four female teachers trekked six hours across Nepal’s rural landscape to learn how to design engaging curriculum and develop their students full potential as Nepal's next leaders. Nepal Teacher Training Innovations (NTTI) develops women’s teaching leadership skills in rural communities and, “provides effective and intensive trainings to encourage critical thinking, problem solving, and self-advocacy in Nepal’s most disadvantaged schools.” Seventy percent of NTTI’s teacher participants have said that NTTI’s trainings are the best they have ever received. NTTI has already trained more than 1,000 teachers and provided high quality instruction to more than 80,000 students, including 26,000 girls. Leading the way in developing the highest quality teachers in the country, NTTI will now bring “Her Turn –The Girls Education and Empowerment Program,” to the remotest villages in Nepal.
NTTI operates in some of the poorest villages in Nepal, where often there is not a single woman who can read or write. Girls between the ages of 10 and 14 are extremely susceptible to being sold into forced marriages or sex trafficking.
“Her Turn” will dismantle this dismal outlook on life that many girls face. Not only will NTTI provide young girls with positive female role models and teachers, but the organization will also train 230 women in leadership positions, such as teacher trainers and school mentors. Women teachers who are trained in gender issues are a life-changing resource for students, helping at-risk girls deal with gender discrimination, improving their self-esteem, and avoiding forced marriages and trafficking. NTTI is also conducting "girls' sensitivity trainings to make teachers aware of the unique needs of female students. The workshop was designed as a result of feedback from more than 100 village girls noted that they would be more likely to stay in school if the bathrooms at their schools had locks; if their teachers did not beat them; and if their male teachers refrained from touching them.
The “Her Turn” project will also:
- Build the self-confidence of 400 village girls
- Train principles and school administrators on how to combat sex trafficking and domestic violence
- Train two female teachers to lead train-the-trainer workshops
- Train a team of female mentors and workshop facilitators to spread awareness that works to reverse the traditional belief that women are intellectually inferior to men
- Establish a local girls’ support and response committee, especially for girls at risk of sex trafficking…and so much more!
NTTI has already proven that “Her Turn” is a success through their pilot program that was conducted last year, in which girl participants unanimously reported they have increased levels of self-confidence. Help NTTI support a new generation of female leaders and motivated students committed to eradicating illiteracy and empowering girls for a bright future in Nepal.
Directed, shot and edited by: Aleksandra Perczynska
Music by: Akashic Records (Creative Commons)