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ADRA project in Nepal seeks to help affected children in wake of conflict

Initiative to provide 4,000 children with literacy, psychosocial support

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency last week announced it is implementing a project in Nepal to provide protection and promote the rights of former child soldiers and conflict-affected children.

The project, "Action for Social Inclusion of Children Affected by Armed Conflict in Nepal," is being implemented in in four districts of mid-western Nepal.

Before Nepal's decade-long conflict, the country was among one of the worst ranked in terms of socioeconomics and health. Thousands of children in the mid-western region of Nepal were exploited, assaulted and faced other forms of violence.

The primary focus of the project improves literacy and job skills for 4,000 vulnerable children and adolescents, enhancing availability and improving access to psychosocial support for 2,000 abused and exploited children, and increasing awareness of child protection, child labor, gender-based violence and human trafficking among 50,000 people at national, district and local levels.

At least 70 percent of beneficiaries targeted are expected to be girls and adolescents. Other marginalized groups represent members of low castes, ethnic minorities, and indigenous groups.

In addition to suffering from psychological trauma, the continuing political instability and violence have made life for children in the region particularly difficult. Access to education, health care and other basic services is severely limited. These children are more vulnerable to labor, sexual exploitation, homelessness and human trafficking.

The project, worth nearly US$650,000, is being funded by the European Union through ADRA UK and in partnership with Association for Social Transformation and Humanitarian Assistance Nepal. It is expected to last for 36 months.

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