Psychosocial support to girls and boys vulnerable to child marriage and violent discipline
Almost every child in Nepal suffers violence – be it child marriage or violent discipline. Around 52% girls are married by age 18 compared to 19% boys (NDHS, 2016).Violent discipline (physical punishment or psychological aggression) affects 82 per cent of children aged between 1 and 14 years in Nepal (MICS, 2014). Over 50% of students aged 13-15 years reported being bullied on one or more days during the 30 days before the survey (Aryal et al., 2017). This violent discipline is inflicted upon children by parents and caregivers who have insufficient skills regarding positive disciplining techniques.
What child brides and grooms have in common with children who suffer violence is that these children are more likely to drop out of school and suffer from psychological distress. The school setting can offer the answer to both issues. Ensuring retention of children in school is one of the most effective strategies to end child marriage. And to ensure students stay in school the school needs to be gender-sensitive and free from violence, including corporal punishment. Initially, the major activities of this project include capacity building of the teachers, advocacy level activities, community sensitization and increased access to psychosocial support to the children.
With declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic, this project has been extended to provide the psychosocial support to all the people from 14 districts of Nepal. With Nepal lying adjacent to China, the origin of pandemic, and having a large number of migrant workers travelling abroad and foreign internationals coming to the country daily, the country has been categorized as amongst the high risk countries assuming owing to low-resource setting and poor contingency plan.
- This programme contributes to protection, and psychosocial well-being of children and adolescents from all forms of violence, abuse and exploitation.
- The program aims to provide psychosocial support to girls and boys vulnerable to violence including child marriage and violent discipline. It also aims to increase knowledge of teachers, students and parents on harmful effects of violence against children and capacitate teachers on positive discipline techniques.
- It will also provide Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Service (MHPSS) during the pandemic of COVID-19.
Province Two: Dhanusa, Mahottari, Rautahat and Parsa
Bagmati Province: Sindhupalchowk & Kathmandu Valley
Lumbini Province: Rupandehi, Banke and Bardiya (only April-Sept, 2020)
Karnali Province: Surkhet, Kalikot, Dailekh and Jumla
Sudurpaschim Province: Kalilali and Kanchanpur
Timeframe: October 2020 to March 2021
Supported by: UNICEF