Projects for Peace: The Vision of Kathryn W. Davis

"My challenge to you is to bring about a mind-set of preparing for peace, instead of preparing for war."

Creating Sustainable Educational and Economic Opportunities

Project #
643
Year
2012
Country
Nepal
School
MIT
Proposal
643pro
Report
643rpt
Students
  • Uddhav Sharma

Creating Sustainable Educational and Economic Opportunities

The rural village of Necha in northern Nepal is a region most negatively affected by the civil war that ended in 2006. With few opportunities in the village, many young people began to move away to seek opportunities in urban areas or abroad. Uddhav, a native of Necha, designed this project to foster sustainable and educational opportunities to rejuvenate life in his village. He planned an agricultural initiative through which cash crops would create local employment opportunities and generate profits that would begin and carry on a computer education program at the local school. Uddhav began by holding meetings to bring together members of the village to discuss the idea and to form a management committee to take responsibility for the project. This committee, including local and school leaders, drew up a formal agreement letter to launch and guide the project, starting with leasing land for the project near the center of the village and nearby the school so that it might serve as a model to all the villagers.

In spite of this preparation, project implementation proved challenging, in part due to the monsoon season that inhibited transporting needed materials from elsewhere. Nonetheless, the project moved forward with the assistance of outside agricultural experts training local villagers in the planting of cash crops. Forty-five local volunteers planted chilies, onions, cauliflower, turmeric, and cabbage on the leased land. The management committee now has ongoing responsibility for oversight of the harvesting and marketing of the crops as well as controlling the remaining project funds and future profits. By initial agreement, the anticipated profits of $2,000 per year are to be used to begin and sustain computer education in the local school.