Women’s Economic Empowerment Program

June 20, 2017

Nepal Placeholder
Nepal

Women’s Economic Empowerment Program

About the Implementing organization

Name: Mountain Resiliency Project

Country: Nepal

Year of establishment: 2013

Type of organization: Community-based association or organization / Legally recognized non-profit status / Women’s association or organization / Indigenous group or organization / Ethnic minority group or association

Description

We set ourselves apart by working with existing local schools and monasteries with the triple-bottom food, energy and talent security approach. Local partner contributes partial capital investment. Mountain Resiliency works with them to build and integrate a greenhouse/orchard as an intergenerational platform for community learning while addressing malnourishment and adapting to water resource depletion. The produce yields are then sold off to market, expanding locals’ economic participation. The generated revenue will then go back to the local partner, giving them more flexibility instead of waiting for unreliable government funds. In addition, students are trained in greenhouse and business management with tools like Excel, preparing them with applicable modern skills. With our local organization partners, Mountain Resiliency provides workshops to highlight social issues such as gender-based violence, healthy relationships and emphasis on girl’s education. Our unique agribusiness program is not revolutionary by itself, but combined with local investment, income-generation and local trainings curriculum, it becomes an incubator for social innovation, inclusion and self-reliance. Finding gaps in the existing infrastructures, we make deep-investment in small-scale, doable solutions to development challenges.

Nature Element

Mountains

Type of Action

Sustainable use / Mainstreaming into sectors / Awareness and education

Sustainable Development Element

Jobs and livelihoods / Food security / Disaster risk reduction / Health

Related Sustainable Development Goal(s)

      

Environmental Impacts

Climate change impacts are harder hit and disastrous in remote mountain region, those have been subjected to marginalization and neglect. Our team is from the Himalayas and the people there are experiencing the adverse impact of climate change right now. We have experienced firsthand how climate change exacerbates all disparities and issues such as health, education and development. Mitigating a community’s vulnerability and enhancing its adaptive capacity makes a huge difference in hazardous vs. disastrous. It is pressing. It’s time to take matters into local hands and build widespread climate resilience because our livelihoods depend on it. We have projects that create environmental, social and economic value in our communities, such as indigenous beekeeping initiative, native seeds sharing, traditional irrigation methods and greenhouses. They are all dedicated to conserving high-altitude biodiversity, promoting environmental stewardship and sustainable income generation for locals.

Sustainable Development Impacts

Jobs and livelihood – We have created 65 new jobs through our direct agribusiness management program. We have served 500 farming families. Our farmers have on average increased their incomes by at least 30% through our service.

Food security – We produced 2 tons of organic vegetables. 5 schools and 2 monasteries, total 10,000 students, have benefitted from our school-based greenhouse programs.

Disaster risk reduction – Building adaptation and resiliency mechanism is a core part of our climate change program. We have promoted indigenous irrigation patterns and native crops that can withstand droughts and extreme weather patterns.

Health – We have 20 women fellows who have received year-long training and seed funding to lead Gender Based Violence and sexual health education projects in their respective villages.

Scalability

Our greenhouse programs with schools and monasteries can be nationally scaled. Our strategy for national scaling is by having meaningful presence in several villages in different mountain districts. As we grow we will maintain the talent and quality of our staff members and local agents. Internally, we will have to determine the appropriate rate of replication in selecting new schools and villages to implement our program. While our mission is to work with mountain communities throughout Nepal, we must balance this with fostering strong social relations and community partnerships. Each school and community is our principal stakeholder and we put their needs ahead of funding constraint.

Replicability

Our projects around indigenous beekeeping, greenhouses and women’s empowerment can be easily replicated in other parts of Nepal and the Himalayas. Our core model around building on limited local resources and improving the existing infrastructure requires little capital and more passion. We do not build new infrastructure, there is already plenty of that, instead we find gaps in the existing infrastructure and we make deep investment in small-scale, doable solutions to development challenges that are local.

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