ICCO Cooperation launched its project “Project REAL- Right to Earn A Living” that works towards promoting economic and social rights of the most marginalized groups in the far and mid-western Nepal. Funded by the European Union, the project was awarded under the ‘EIDHR-Country Based Support Scheme to Nepal for 2016 and 2017’ by the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights, to support projects in the area of human rights, fundamental freedoms and democracy in non-EU countries. The total project budget is Euro 408,000 for 42 months.
Jointly envisioned by ICCO Cooperation, Yes Nepal (YN) and Sahakarmi Samaj (SS), Project REAL recognizes that inclusion of marginalized groups (including persons with disabilities) by integrating them into the community and promoting them as champions of change in socio-economic development is the only way towards reducing inequalities and achieving inclusive economic growth.
According to a press release issued by Ambar Mainali, Press and Information Officer, Delegation of the European Union to Nepal the project will closely engage with the primary beneficiaries - Chidimar, Kushbadia, Maganta, Badi, Tharu Kumals and Kamlaris communities - in Kailali, Banke and Dang districts to help them exercise their economic rights in a socially just environment.
To address major issues and socio-economic challenges faced by target marginalized communities, Project REAL will adopt a dual approach inspired by ICCO-cooperation’s twin core principles, namely ‘securing sustainable livelihoods’ and ‘justice and dignity for all’. While providing the targeted beneficiaries with diversified livelihoods skills, improved access to finance and productive assets (land, forest) for income generation and sustainable livelihoods, Project REAL will also work to strengthen local governance to ensure that existing provisions on socio-economic rights of marginalized communities are put into practice. In this regard, the project will leverage support from Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and CBO networks earlier institutionalized/ strengthened by ICCO and SS/YN’s previous programs, which are actively involved in asserting and advocating for the socio-economic rights of the marginalized groups.
The project will stimulate community-led development processes by implementing innovative, need-based and community driven economic activities and by equipping marginalized communities with the skill and knowledge to uplift their livelihoods themselves. Sustainable socio-economic changes initiated by the communities will be facilitated through mobilization of local resources, development of local leadership and promotion of self-led community development process.
Ambassador Veronica Cody, Head of the EU Delegation to Nepal, officially launched the project at this event. The launching event held in Lalitpur brought together beneficiaries, civil society members, government and partner agencies working continuously for the respect, protection and fulfillment of marginalized communities’ rights, including the right to earn a decent living.