Regional Sharing of Advocacy Activities in Morang and Banke
In June and July 2018, Human Rights Advocacy activists and representatives of Member Organizations (MOs) of 'Sansthagat Bikas Sanjal’ from East and West Nepal held meetings to share and discuss the current situation and achievements of their advocacy activities. In close coordination with Sanjal, 'Community Development Forum' (CDF) Morang hosted the meeting in East Nepal and 'Sahakarmi Samaj' (SS) Nepalgunj hosted the meeting in West Nepal. These member organizations are working together with Sanjal on the issues of child rights, caste land rights, chhaupadi, educational rights and social protection rights.
Achievements in regard to the prevention of Child Marriages
The MOs CDF, GMJS and SAHAS collaboratively achieved increased interest and awareness on the issue of child marriage in Letang and its surroundings, as well as in Okhaldhunga. In order to reach that level of awareness, local and municipality level stakeholders were included in their interactions. The organizations implemented workshops and conducted studies on advocacy issues. Working together, they also established hoarding boards on prevention of child marriage in Morang and Okhaldhunga. Resulting from their advocacy, a budget has been allocated from the local government to run a campaign against child marriage and local media has given priority to the issue of child marriage by addressing the issue in local newspapers.
Achievements for Minorities and Dalit Rights
CIRDS Human Rights Advocacy activists managed to do a base line data collection of landless people in Thakre and conducted a common meeting between the ward chair and landless community people. CDS established a ward-level network to raise the issue of Dalit rights. Subsequently, the Dalit community members became active participants in advocacy of their own rights.
'Jana Jagaran Samaj' (JJS) has managed to implement multiple interaction programs in order to convince Dalit families to send their children to school. Until recently, 20 households (with altogether 22 children) didn’t send their children to school. JJS can be proud, because now, 34 children (15 male and 19 female students) have started going school.
Sahakarmi Samaj (SS) can also be proud; due to their commitment it was possible to stop the government’s dumping of garbage near the Gandarba settlement. The garbage caused severe health issues in the community. Furthermore, SS improved coordination among local government, journalists, local representatives, and the Gandarba community. Moreover, they are providing scholarships for enrollment in boarding school to three children.
TVS was busy managing the water pipe line in the Chidimar Community. TVS successfully managed to help the community obtain a Lalpurja (Land Registration Certificate) from the Rural Municipality. Welfare Association Children Tikapur (WACT) was able to empower numerous people to stand for their own rights, and some of the Rural/Municipality budget has been allocated for ‘People Living with HIV’ (PLHIV).
More time and resources are needed for bigger impact
Despite their great achievements, most of the Human Rights advocacy activists and the representatives of the MOs mentioned that their impact would have been even bigger if they would have had more time and resources. Furthermore, due to undefined roles and responsibilities on the local and regional level, activities have been delayed or slowed down.