Location: Western Rukum District
Project 1: Strengthening Partnerships for Maternal and Child Health
Project 2: Improving Livelihoods & Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WALI, Pilot Project)
PARTNER: Human Development and Community Services (HDCS)
Western Rukum is a district in rural Nepal, nearly 280km west of Kathmandu, where roughly half of the people live below the poverty line. Life expectancy is only 70.2 years and child mortality rate for children under 5 is 33 deaths per 1,000 live births. Sanitation is also problematic, with more than 20% of households having no toilet facilities.

Project One:

Strengthening Partnerships for Maternal and Child Health

Goal of the Project

This project will be a role model for improving the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) situation in the project area, through integrated health promotion and intervention at the facility and community level. It will be working in difficult and remote locations, dealing with highly vulnerable and marginalised communities. The project will help those who are mostly deprived of essential Maternal and Child Health services in their community.

The components of health promotion include extensive health education sessions in the community among mothers’ groups. This improves the awareness and knowledge level of pregnant women and mothers. Awareness will be raised about the fact that early identification of complications in pregnancy can help to prevent maternal and child deaths – as can malaria prevention measures, such as the use of bed nets.

In 16 targeted areas in the Western Rukum district, the goal is:

  • To reduce the maternal mortality rate by 10%,
  • To reduce the infant mortality rate by 7%,
  • To improve the health status of children under five.

Progress Update (From Quarter 3 of 2019/2020)

  • Across 16 communities, more than 4,000 participants (250 were pregnant) per month were trained in health awareness – covering topics like nutrition, hygiene, anaemia, sanitation, HIV/AIDS and breastfeeding,
  • Weekly radio program about Maternal and Child Health aired to 15,000 people. Radio is a great way to communicate about the COVID-19 pandemic as well,
  • 4,903 students from 52 schools – including 8 schools in new districts – participated in school health programs on topics including COVID-19,
  • 144 social mobilisers from 10 districts were trained in Maternal and Child Health,
  • Social mobilisers support primary health care and 1,049 deliveries took place in 9 months, in hospital or in birthing centres,
  • 4,507 antenatal and 1,039 postnatal check-ups were performed,
  • Immunisation clinics were held where 20,425 children were vaccinated.

To help improve the lives and wellbeing for mothers and children in Nepal, donate today.

Project Two:

Improving Livelihoods & Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

Goal of the Project

Opportunities in the Western Rukum district to improve livelihoods are limited, especially for women from marginalised castes, or with a disability, or those who do not have a husband at home. Schools in the district face shortages of toilet and water supply facilities. As a result, girls are unable to attend classes regularly during menstruation.

The project’s objectives are two-pronged:

  1. Increasing the livelihoods of 40 women to provide for their children,
  2. Improving access to water supply and sanitation and hygiene practices for 855 students in three schools.

The project creates opportunities for vulnerable women through agriculture and livestock training and loans to improve their livelihoods. These families are the ones most likely to withdraw their children from school, especially girls, to reduce expenses and to assist with earning income.


  • The project aims to empower 855 students in the three schools to increase awareness of and access to water, good sanitation and hygiene practices, using good practice called 7FATS (Seven Flags Approach of Total Sanitation) so that:Children can practice good hygiene by having washing stations with soap, reducing sickness across the student population,
  • Girls can attend school during menstruation,
  • Children can access safe drinking water during school hours to remain hydrated and able to learn (especially after walking long distances).

Progress Update (From Quarter 3 of 2019/2020)

  • Training has started for 40 women to improve their skills in agriculture and livestock management – for example, improved goat breeds were introduced,
  • 2 Village Savings and Loans Associations have been established with 40 members,
  • Market analysis was completed and relationships were established with microfinance institutes,
  • Students have formed into 7 groups responsible for educating their fellow classmates and mobilising resources through 7FATS,
  • School competitions and sanitation conferences held,
  • Designs for latrines have been completed, and construction will finish in May,
  • Agreement reached that schools will contribute 20% to the building of latrines,
  • All 3 schools are building latrines and informing children how to use them properly,
  • Through community networks, the school management has been constantly reminding of handwashing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To help improve the livelihoods of women and access to water, sanitation and hygiene for students in Nepal, donate today.

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