Last month, I visited 3rd Creek Foundation partner organization, Hoste Hainse, in Nepal. Hoste Hainse is a unique, locally led Nepali organization that we have supported since 2007 which delivers education and income generation services to the ultra-poor in marginalized communities throughout Nepal.
3rd Creek Foundation supports Hoste Hainse’s education programming in 4 rural villages in Sarlahi District. One of Nepal’s poorest areas, Sarlahi is notorious for the trafficking of women and children due to lack of economic opportunity. Given the Nepali context of corruption and several years of Maoist rebellion, industry in Sarlahi has suffered and the majority of inhabitants work as landless agricultural day laborers.
Local infrastructure leaves much to be desired, and it takes hours bumping around on dirt roads to reach the Hoste Hainse schools.
The schools themselves are a sight to behold, each at a different stage in its evolution. Two are in rather newly constructed concrete buildings. Two remain in rather dilapidated structures in constant need of repair, one of which will be shifted within the next year to a new building thanks to the Michael Mathews Foundation! Given the high demand for education, each of the schools includes a handful of classes taught outdoors where children are seated on the ground. In total, the schools have 1,900 children enrolled this year.
Perhaps most inspiring from visiting this program site is the fact that these schools exist in the first place. The land is extremely rural, the population extraordinarily impoverished, the organization thinly financed. And yet here, in what appears to be the middle of nowhere, over 1,000 families have signed their children up for the highest quality education available to them. Also quite striking is the cost involved. To educate a child at Hoste Hainse schools in Sarlahi for the 2014-15 academic year cost a total of $50.
Basic numeracy and literacy are critical to prevent individuals from being, as Hoste Hainse Founder and Chairperson, Sulo Shrestha Shah terms, “mentally oppressed.” As a foundation dedicated to poverty alleviation through building economic prosperity, 3CF plans to evaluate the impact that education has on these children’s livelihoods as young adults in the near future.
If you would like more information on Hoste Hainse, please contact Krishna Shah firstname.lastname@example.org or Gwen Straley email@example.com
Gwen Straley is the Executive Director of 3rd Creek Foundation where she oversees the foundation’s grant-making processes and ensures fiscal and regulatory compliance. An emerging markets professional, Gwen has worked for a diverse range of organizations in some of the most complex environments in the world. Prior to moving to Seattle, Gwen managed a large-scale nutrition program in Mogadishu, Somalia. She has also consulted for government, foundations, NGOs, and small businesses in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America. Gwen holds an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and a Bachelor of Arts from Hampshire College with a concentration in Sustainable Development. She is a travel, outdoors, and coffee enthusiast.