SOS Children’s Villages supports individual children, young people and families so that they can thrive (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Nepal).

Pokhara is a city in the centre of Nepal. Around 510,000 people live in the city, making it the second largest city in Nepal after the capital Kathmandu. The city's population is ethnically diverse, with four Tibetan settlements. However, in these settlements, Tibetan refugees live under harsh conditions and without any documentation. Furthermore, children, especially girls, in the city are still at risk of child marriage, which are common in the region.

Since 1975, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Pokhara.

Of girls are forced into marriage

Child marriage

Nepal has the 16th highest rate of child marriages in the world. This means that 40% of women in Nepal were married before the age of 18. Child marriage is a violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the emotional damage a child suffers from a forced union is profound. There is also an increased risk of child pregnancy and domestic violence. In the province of Gandaki specifically, where Pokhara is located, 35% of girls were married as a child. The national target to end child marriage by 2030 will require a major push from the Government.

Tibetan refugees live in exile in Nepal

Tibetan refugees

To date, two generations of Tibetans have been born and raised in exile in Nepal, after the first emigration in 1959. However, more refugees are still arriving from Tibet, the autonomous region of China. They have often suffered oppression, which has led them to flee to Nepal. An estimated 13,500 Tibetan refugees live in exile in Nepal. Life in the refugee camps is harsh, and Tibetan children are not granted Nepali citizenship even if they were born there. Moreover, Tibetans in Nepal are not allowed to own land, a house, a car or any other property, nor are they allowed to start a business. This makes life very difficult for many displaced families and their children.

Your support makes a difference for children in Pokhara

SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities to offer a wide range of support that is adapted to the local context. We always work in the best interest of the children, young people and families.
Adults and children
Are supported in the community
Learn at our kindergartens and schools
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Siblings having fun together. They grow up with each other, and often form bonds that last a lifetime (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Nepal).

How your support helps in Pokhara

Strengthening families and communities
When parents face hardships, they can sometimes struggle to give children the care they need. SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities. Each family needs different support so that they can stay together. This support can include workshops on parenting and children’s rights. We also run trainings so that parents can get the skills they need to get a job or start businesses. Likewise, we ensure that children can get medical help and go to school.
Providing quality education
SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children and young people have access to high-quality education. We help them learn and develop in a safe and supportive environment. We train teachers on children’s rights and child-centered learning, so that each child can get the most out of their education. Young children spend time playing and learning at kindergarten. Next to the village is the Tashiling Tibetan Refugee Camp, with joint celebrations to keep social and cultural traditions alive.
Caring for children who cannot live with their families
Some children cannot stay with their families, even with additional support. When this happens, they can find a new home in SOS Children’s Villages. Here the children can build safe and lasting relationships. All the children in our care have access to education and healthcare. Wherever possible, we work closely with the children’s family of origin. If children can return to live with their families, we help them adapt to this change.
Supporting young people to become independent
To help young people become confident and independent, our local team works closely with each young person to develop a plan for their future. We support young people and also help them prepare for the labour market and increase their employment prospects. For example, young people can attend workshops and trainings run by SOS Children’s Villages. They also improve their skills through taking part in different projects with local mentors and businesses.