Programme Ujyalo Bhabisya is a holistic community development programme which is needs-based and community-led. Programme Ujyalo Bhabisya staff use their expertise and take their time to understand the specific needs of each participant community and to work with them to develop and plan tailored programme activities that on a day-to-day level would then be delivered by community facilitators, who are locally-based and have the support of their communities. Programme Ujyalo Bhabisya’s work has primarily comprised:
• Education – including child supplementary classes, and work with adults, with the objective of increasing school attendance and improved educational attainment
• Micro-finance and livelihoods – including our work with Savings Groups, our Revolving Fund micro-loan initiative, and livelihoods training and support.
• Health - including activities in support of improving nutrition, sanitation and women's health, and supporting connecting communities with government provided health facilities.
We additionally periodically support and undertake activities within the thematic areas of: rights, which relates to advocating for and linking communities to public services (such as securing identity cards), and; infrastructure, which has included support to the development of community halls (for facilitating UB classes and community meetings), irrigation systems and tube wells.
Since 2015 we have focused increasingly on our micro-finance and livelihoods initiative, with the establishment of an Ujyalo Bhabisya Co-operative. Investing our time and resources into enabling the Ujyalo Bhabisya Co-operative to become self-sufficient, should generate funds in a sustainable manner for the traditional Programme Ujyalo Bhabisya activities.
Geographically Nepal can be considered as three parallel tracts of land running from East to West. In ascending order of hilliness, and from south to north, these are: the Terai; middle hills (home to Kathmandu and Pokhara); and the Himalayas (home to Mount Everest, and the mountainous lands approximately over 2,500m). The Terai refers to the southern-most tract of land and is flat, has a relatively higher density of population (and poverty), is warm and shares many similar characteristics with northern India. Our work is based in Sunsari in the eastern part of the Terai.
To date we have worked with over 4,500 people across 45 communities. We focus on the poorest and socially excluded, such as what were formally referred to as untouchable castes (communities). We help those who have previously lived with limited opportunities to move out of poverty and we design and focus activities around the specific needs of each community through Participatory Rural Appraisal.
As at May 2017 we had over 800 people routinely saving within our Ujyalo Bhabisya Co-operative, and over 300 people taking micro-loans on an annual basis.
Watch a video in which we interview those benefitting from our work at Ujyalo Bhabisya Video or read impact case studies at Ujyalo Bhabisya Case Studies.