AHF's commitment will leverage its existing partnership with RHEST to carefully increase enrollment each year. AHF will continue to work directly with RHEST staff, village coordinators, and local volunteers to identify the most at-risk girls, deliver the needed support, and monitor student progress. In 2009, AHF will enroll 6,000 girls in the RHEST program, in 2010 enrollment will increase to 7,800 girls, and in 2011, the goal of 10,000 girls will be reached.
In rural Nepal, poverty is widespread. Most families live on subsistence agriculture and many cannot afford to send their children to school. Poverty, combined with cultural bias against girls, makes rural Nepal a prime target for prostitution traffickers who lure female children away from families with promises of jobs and marriage, and in some cases purchase the girls outright. The girls, some as young as 11 years old, are taken to brothels in India, where they live a horrible life of sexual bondage. As many as 90% contract HIV and die within a few years. For ten years, the American Himalayan Foundation has partnered with the Rural Health and Education Services Trust (RHEST), and its director Dr. Aruna Uprety, to support the educational expenses of poor girls in rural areas - school fees, uniforms, books, stationary, and the like, to keep them in school. Once in school, girls have a far better chance of learning the skills they need to escape poverty. They are more respected and valued by their families and communities, and most importantly, are no longer targets for traffickers. Since AHF's partnership with RHEST began, the drop-out rate has been less than 1%, not one RHEST girl has been lost to trafficking, and the high school graduation rate for girls in the program is consistently double the national average. The average cost is roughly per girl per year. In 2008, AHF supported approximately 5,000 girls through RHEST. AHF's commitment is to double that to 10,000 girls by 2011.
SEEKING: Financial Resources and Media/ Marketing Opportunities.
AHF seeks funding to support its program providing access to education for poor, at-risk girls in rural Nepal. Corporate, foundation, and other institutional funding and ongoing annual support are ideal. AHF also seeks marketing partners to help spread the word about this important work and the need for financial resources to support it.
OFFERING: Implementing Partners, Best Practice Information and Media/ Marketing Opportunities