The Government of Japan has decided to extend financial assistance of 110,733 US Dollars; equivalent to approximately 9,632,663 Nepalese Rupees to Shapla Neer = Citizens’ Committee in Japan for Overseas Support under the Grant Assistance for Japanese NGO Projects scheme of the Government of Japan in Japan’s Fiscal Year 2012. Shapla Neer will implement the second phase of the Project for the Prevention and Reduction of Child Labor in Restaurants in the Kathmandu Valley in coordination with local NGO, named Child Workers in Nepal (CWIN).
The Grant Contract relating to this Project was signed and exchanged between, Mr. Shuichi SAKAKIBARA, Chargéd Affairs of Japan to Nepal, and Ms. Maki MIYAHARA, Country Representative of Shapla Neer - Nepal Office.
Prior to the project which was signed, Shapla Neer implemented the first phase of “the Project for Prevention and Reduction of Child Labor in Restaurants in the Kathmandu Valley” under the Grant Assistance for Japanese NGO Projects Scheme in Japan’s FY 2011. This project is based on their experience and findings drawn from a past project named, the “Program for Alleviation of Difficulties of Working Children,” with assistance of the Government of Japan. Under this project, Shapla Neer, in coordination with a local NGO, has supported 260 working children in Lalitpur Municipality by providing them with free non-formal education and free medical checkups. However, despite their dedicated activities, they found it difficult to bring a fundamental change to this issue without the involvement of Nepal’s local government. This realization led them to form a new project which focuses on the role, the responsibilities and the capabilities of the Municipality in order to prevent and reduce child labor. During the first phase of this project, Shapla Neer helped to set up a child labor Monitoring Unit within the municipality offices of Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Kirtipur Municipalities. In addition, heavy awareness campaigns have been conducted through media such as TV commercials, radio jingles, posters and leaflets.
To enhance the outcomes of the former project, Shapla Neer will utilize the grant exclusively to promote human resources development at ward offices as well as municipality offices so that staff at each office will be able to conduct monitoring and related activities effectively and efficiently on their own in the future. Moreover, the awareness campaigns through TV, radio, posters and leaflet will continue to take place to rouse public opinion, as well as bring awareness to restaurant owners and local people about the plight of working children and child labor.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Shuichi SAKAKIBARA expressed his belief that the Project, as one of Japan’s contributions to Nepal to ensure the protection of working children and the improvement in their environment, could further strengthen the friendly relationship between Japan and Nepal.