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OUT-OF-SCHOOL/SCHOOL GRADUATE GIRL INTERVENTIONS

OUT-OF-SCHOOL/SCHOOL GRADUATE GIRL INTERVENTIONS

Age Group # OOS Girls at Midline
Age Group 1 12-14 years:  5
Age Group 2 15-17 years: 68
Age Group 3 18-23 years: 792
Age Group 4 24-32 years: 321

GEC Nepal | Year 2 Update

Project: Supporting the Education of Marginalized Girls in Kailali

Location: Kailali, April 2017 – December 2020

Date of Baseline Evaluation: Jan – Feb 2018

Midline Evaluation: Jan – Feb 2019

Evaluation Partner: FDM

Introduction

To ensure that school leavers (OOS) girls have demand-driven work readiness skills and better access to income generating activities, Mercy Corps has been implementing several activities, including: enhancing girls’ knowledge on financial literacy and business skills, linkING girls to vocational training opportunities in Kailali, and establishing the STEM Young Women Entrepreneurs Association. Additionally, the project has also been working on establishing and providing peer-to-peer counselling services and continues operating the Girls’ Transition Fund.

STEM works with girls who have dropped out from gradeS 6 to 10 from STEM school from the year 2009 to date. The project provides these girls with demand-driven work readiness skills and access to income-generating activities. The project has designed the OOS girls club where they get Youth Financial Literacy Training (YFLT), Business Skills Development Training (BSD) or Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health (ASRH) classes, and thereafter take Vocational Training (VT) and Girls Transition Fund (GTF) low-interest collateral free loans. This prepares these girls to venture into various career opportunities by providing prerequisite knowledge for their career aspirations, boosting their self-efficacy with clear indications that they have not only increased self-worth and confidence, but also they can now envisage their futures through a more self-managed, aspirational and fulfilling lens. The unique aspect of OOS intervention is its robust design where girls first obtain the required skills, be it FLT, BSD, or VT before starting or expanding their business. This design helps reject the underlying assumption that young girls are not suitable for business.

Out-of-School Girls’ Clubs

The social stigmas that plague people who have dropped out from school at an early age are significant, not to mention the limited life opportunities this causes which directly impact on livelihoods and career possibilities, social inclusion and political participation, as well as health, well-being and general security.

Establishing out-of-school girls’ clubs aims to narrow this gap and provide better opportunities to girls who have dropped out from the 30 STEM schools. The main objective of establishing OOS GC is to enhance knowledge on Youth Financial Literacy, Business Skill Development and Sexual and Reproductive Health (see below).

For the 2nd round of OOS Girls’ Clubs, 17 OOS Girl Clubs were established and successfully implemented. The details of OOS Girls’ Clubs are presented below:

OOS GC activity No of Girls  

Total # of clubs

# of sessions per club Girls Attending classes
100 % 99% to 80% 79% to 50% Less than 50%
YFLT 269 17 14 261 (97%) 6 (2.2%) 1 (0.4%) 1 (0.4%)
BSD 267 17 10 263 (98.5%) 3 (1.1%) 0 1 (0.4%)
ASRH 267 17 10 262 (98%) 3 (1.1%) 2 (0.9%) 0

Youth Financial Literacy Training (YFLT)

14 hours of YFLT sessions were delivered in 17 clubs where 269 girls participated. The sessions covered topics ranging from determination of financial goals, saving and its importance, calculation of interest rates, family budget preparation and analysis of expenses, analysis of source of income, insurance, internet banking, to use of ATM and VISA Cards.

YFLT particulars and scores

Business Skill Development (BSD)

10 hours of BSD sessions were delivered in 18 clubs in which 564 girls participated. The session covered topics ranging from improving business skills, dealing with customers, selecting a profitable business, preparing business plans, identifying market needs and customers for their business. The main objective of this activity was to enhance the business skills of those girls who want to establish their own business or want to expand their current business.

Vocational Training

Vocational Training (VT) is skill-based training that provides knowledge and skills that can be utilised for employment. The STEM II project provides various forms of training based on Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT) curricula through CTEVT-affiliated institutes. The vocational trainings are provided as per the needs of the people and cover a wide range of industries, including agriculture, engineering, management, tourism, computers, etc. The training workshop duration ranges from 39 hours to 1500 hours. Most of the training institutes provide training on subjects such as tailoring, vegetable production, housekeeping, cooking/baking etc.

The project emphasises VT for girls/young women who are from female-headed households and the main objective of the training is to produce a skilled female workforce that have skills relevant to current and emerging market needs, helping them to improve their employability and develop entrepreneurship skills. Once the girls graduate from such training, they become eligible for the Girls’ Transition Fund (see more below). The second round of vocational training (VT) based on the CTEVT curriculum (beauty parlour, hand embroidery, machine hojiyari (clothing and undergarment making), and vegetable farming) was delivered to 292 OOS girls through four training institutes. The total training time was 390 hours. The objective of the training was to develop girls’ vocational skills in order to enhance their opportunities for employment, self-employment and entrepreneurship. The training methodology included lectures, group work, experience-sharing, discussion and demonstration, and useing tools such as flip charts and flash cards. While 20 percent of the training time was devoted to theoretical training, 80 percent of the training was practical.

Girls’ Transition Fund

The Girls’ Transition Fund (GTF) was established to provide affordable finance in the form of small loans to out-of-school girls and women between the ages of 16 and 34, living in the Kailali district. STEM II is working with a cohort of girls who have dropped out from grades 6 to 10 from the year 2066 BS (2009/2010 AD) onwards from 30 STEM schools, offering them the opportunity to set up their own business.

STEM worked with four local cooperatives to distribute the funds to girls’ who meet particular selection criteria with Mercy Corps conducting strict monitoring throughout to ensure the most marginalised girls were being targeted.

For the second year of STEM II, a total of 345 girls have received GTF loans. Evidence from STEM’s Survey shows that girls who face multiple types of marginalisation build up their capacity and are able to set up their business very confidently, which not only impacts them at an individual level, but also supports their families to meet their basic needs. This all helps towards economic progress.

Achievements of OOS Girl Interventions

Qualitative findings from the midline study paint a bright picture about the positive impacts of the training and skills from STEM II, with the girls becoming more confident about their futures after the financial literacy and vocational skills provided.

These successful findings warrant an extensive focus on expanding outreach to SG/OOS girls to facilitate their transition towards successful pathways, ahead of the subsequent evaluation