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Irish Aid

Irish Aid brings more villages alive

Irish Aid is the Irish Government’s programme for overseas development. The programme is managed by the Development Co-operation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. They work to fight global poverty and hunger, which is integral to Ireland’s foreign policy.

Dalit children
Dalit children from Dhamaura Village, part of the Village Alive Programme

Since 2014 Irish Aid has supported our Village Alive Project (VAP) in Nepal. Four more villages joined VAP in November 2018, thanks to another three-year grant from Irish Aid’s Civil Society Fund matched by partner funding. Each village must reach specific targets to participate in this project.

The Village Alive Project empowers marginalised low-caste communities in rural Nepal to improve basic services such as sanitation, education, water and health facilities. The communities also develop economically by setting up savings clubs and small businesses.

Nepal Leprosy Trust supports people affected by leprosy and now also those with lymphatic filariasis (commonly know as elephantiasis) to form self-help groups, which go on to lead Village Alive Projects. In this way, formerly stigmatised leprosy patients become highly respected leaders in their communities. Each village must reach specific targets to participate in this project.

Such collaboration between Nepal Leprosy Trust and local communities is the fruit of more than twenty years’ work by the Community Development Department in Lalgadh Hospital.

Evaluation report of VAP 2014 – 2016

Village Alive Programme (VAP) 3 was originally implemented by Lalgadh Hospital in 2 low-caste villages of the south-eastern Terai region between 2014 and 2016. Supported by NLT Ireland, Irish Aid and Effect: Hope, the project goal was to improve the health and wellbeing of low-caste and poor people.

The following is an excerpt from the evaluation report of VAP 3 by Kerstin Beise, Consultant for Inclusion and Disability, DARE THIS cooperative, www.dare-this.com

‘VAP has been successful with very positive outcomes and impacts. Almost all expected outcomes have been achieved and a number of other positive findings can be added.

Strong and active village groups have been established in two villages, Chepkat and Harsahi, with the participation of 122 women and 46 men. The main impact can be seen in the increased self-awareness, self-efficacy and confidence of the villagers to change their own lives. The example of toilet constructions shows that the entire community participated in problem solving. Supported by intensive guidance and assistance of the VAP team and the Self Help Groups (SHGs), the communities have attained increased health, better education and better earnings.

The local government as major stakeholder is well aware that the village groups are important local partners for their development strategies.’

A Village Alive womens group meeting in Chapkat Aurahi in Mahottari district, Nepal. Sarita, staff member from Lalgadh Hospital  is seen on left addressing the group and listening to their concerns .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘VAP has been successful with very positive outcomes and impacts. Almost all expected outcomes have been achieved and a number of other positive findings can be added.

 

Strong and active village groups have been established in two villages, Chepkat and Harsahi, with the participation of 122 women and 46 men. The main impact can be seen in the increased self-awareness, self-efficacy and confidence of the villagers to change their own lives. The example of toilet constructions shows that the entire community participated in problem solving. Supported by intensive guidance and assistance of the VAP team and the Self Help Groups (SHGs), the communities have attained increased health, better education and better earnings.

 

The local government as major stakeholder is well aware that the village groups are important local partners for their development strategies.