Founded in 2018, SHAKHI Friends of Women is a grassroots feminist organization committed to the development and growth of girls and women in Nepal. SHAKHI’s programming aims to improve access to education, end gender-based discrimination, promote entrepreneurial development, and end child labor and abuse. SHAKHI also supports reintegration programs for girls who have dropped out of school, offers self-defense training, and sponsors sports programs to promote physical well-being and self-esteem.
SHAKI’s project will focus on preventing child marriage in several marginalized communities in the Pheta Rural Municipality of Nepal, including: Dom, Natuwa, Bin, Paswan, Halkhor, Dushad, Chamar, and Mushhar. Due to their class status, many families in these communities often face poverty and difficulties obtaining well-paying jobs. Consequently, girls are often forced into marriage at a young age, preventing them from pursuing their education and dreams.
The project aims to empower girls in these communities by providing resources, knowledge, and skills that will enable them to make informed decisions about their future. SHAKHI will provide special classes and educational materials to girls, and it will also help parents find income-generating opportunities in the local community. The project also includes a community engagement component, which will increase awareness about the detrimental effects of early marriages and encourage communities to adopt preventative measures.
SHAKHI’s project is the first of its kind within the targeted communities. In implementing the project, SHAKHI aims to start and facilitate a larger conversation about the importance of empowering young girls and supporting their education. Combining awareness, advocacy, and support, SHAKHI hopes to change social attitudes and improve the lives of young girls in the Pheta Rural Municipality of Nepal. The project will reach an estimated 100 girls, 100 mothers, and 60 community members.