COMMITTED believes education gives individuals the freedom to dream the impossible and chart their own destinies. However, often in rural Nepal, education of children is either neglected or not a priority due mainly to poverty. In the communities COMMITTED serves, the financial burden placed on the household is so much that children either do not go to school at all or drop out long before graduation. To address that, and as a part of Sikchya Mero Adhikar (Education-My Right) Campaign, COMMITTED establishes Social Business for Education (SBE) projects.
Social Business for Education is an income-generating project, profits from which will be used mainly to run and support free, mandatory, and quality education at community schools. The rest of the profits will be spent on village development projects through a local government-led community planning process. These income generating self-sustainable businesses are appropriate for the local economy and run as a community managed cooperative. As such, both the community and the school will participate directly in the planning, implementing and running of the business. Each year a certain amount of generated funds from the SBE is allotted towards improvements outlined in the School Improvement Plan (SIP).
COMMITTED's School Improvement Program (SIP) works to implement the School Improvement Plan- a document the Education Ministry requires every government school in the country to produce. In addition to providing detailed background about the school--the context, resources available, personnel etc.--the document also provides comprehensive details about the school's immediate and projected needs. The needs may be infrastructure, resources, teacher training, or funds to pay salaries. The SBE Program is designed to fulfill the funding requirements outlined by the SIP. COMMITTED works closely with the School Management Committee in the target community to assist them with fulfilling those needs.
Currently COMMITTED runs a student-sponsorship program as a part of its School Improvement Program. The sponsorship program provides a platform for donors seeking to sponsor education for children who stand the risk of dropping out of school as a result of financial constraints.
Government schools provide tuition-free education. However, many families still are unable to meet some of the most basic of expenses--admission fee, exam fees, tie, belt, school bag etc. SBE ultimately would cover such expenses as well. But until such time when the project generates the necessary income, COMMITTED implements a sponsorship program to help families struggling to cope. As and when we receive notification of struggling families, for whatever reason, we attempt to find the necessary funds either through individual sponsors or otherwise.