Where are you trying to help?
Our focus is on girls from families that we would characterize as ‘urban-migrant-poor’ in Kathmandu. We help them attend school and do everything we can to make sure they stay in school. Even before the earthquake on April 25th, 2015 Nepal was struggling as one of the ten poorest countries in the world. The government school systems are not well run and many children fail to finish high school. This is especially true for children of poor migrant parents who have moved from the countryside to the city. As they go through periods of employment they have ‘income shocks’ and commonly withdraw children from school. Girls are particularly vulnerable. Gakidou (2010) estimated that between 1970 and 2009, every one year increase in education of women of reproductive age, was equivalent to 9.5% reduction in child mortality. Although it is illegal for girls to marry before the age of 18, marriage in Nepal continues to occur relatively early. Among 20-49 year old women 52% were married by the age of 18, for a median age at first marriage of 17.8 (MOHP, New ERA & ICF International, 2012)
Why should someone make a donation to Nepal rather than a local organization that helps their own community?
Why is it beneficial to give money to a small nonprofit like WOV rather than something with a bigger name such as the Red Cross or UNICEF?
The biggest reason is because a much larger percentage of your money will be delivered directly to those in need. Our board is 100% volunteer and receives no special perks or privileges. We may not always be the fastest – but we are unbiased and do this out of a love for Nepal and for helping those in need. You will see the results and are welcome to come visit and to be a part of all activities. You can even have a say in how we use your donation. Yes, we are that small.
How do we know kids who are receiving scholarships are actually receiving the money and going to school? What kind of system is in place to manage the safety of the scholarships?
These are huge concerns and a major reason why we started WOV. We wanted to know where our donations were going. We do all transactions in front of the school administrators, students, and parents and we document the heck out of it. If you are a donor we encourage you to visit us in Nepal and we can go meet youth scholars and school administrators. We are also comfortable with telling donors on an individual basis the name of the school and student and they can call or email the school to confirm scholarships are being paid. We have an opt-in system for students and families to use photos on our website. This is part of a parent-student contract they sign that also gives us permission to check their attendance and report cards.
Is there a way we can stay in touch with the kids and updated on what they are doing or learning? Skype? A blog?
We are working on this. Unfortunately these kids (barring one) are not online. They just don’t have the money. We have one older student who has a facebook account and you might see his posts on our wall. In 2017 we have added a clause to the parent student contract asking for quarterly updates and we will scan them and upload as photos. We are open to other ideas!
Am I allowed to have a say in how my donation is spent in Nepal?
Providing it fits with our mission to help kids in Nepal, yes! Just let us know.