The Gospel and Education in Nepal
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, educating and training girls and women in Nepal was a struggle due to the caste system and socioeconomic norms. Only 57% of Nepalese women are literate. When girls do not have access to education, their choices are limited. Many become child brides and end up totally dependent on their husbands and restricted to domestic duties in the home. Also, uneducated girls and women, whether they marry as child brides or older, are more likely to be subject to various mentally and physically unhealthy living situations.
TWR Nepal and TWR Women of Hope work together to continue educating and training women, many from the country’s most rural areas.
In 2018, TWR Nepal funded a six-month literacy program attended by 12 women and two men. They learned to read and write basic sentences in Nepali and English and were taught basic math skills. Testimonies from this group were encouraging. They were so thankful to now be able to read signs, use their mobile phones and listen to the Women of Hope radio programs contained on SD cards, which had been given to the participants and were playable on their phones.
In early 2020, 30 women from the eastern area of Nepal gathered for a three-month basic training course. Learning to sew encouraged the women that they would be able to earn a living to help their families and improve their financial situations. They also were introduced to the Women of Hope radio program. Some were already listeners, and some heard for the first time what it means to trust in Jesus.
There has been much fear and anxiety in Nepal because of the pandemic. To combat these concerns, TWR teams spent five days traveling from village to village teaching women and children about health and hygiene, including the benefits of handwashing in accordance with World Health Organization standards. They gave gifts of soap, masks, toothbrushes and toothpaste to those who attended the training. This helped ease the anxiety spurred by the coronavirus. More than 210 children and 300 women participated in this vast effort. This training, the Women of Hope programs discussing coronavirus, and TWR Nepal’s Facebook and YouTube pages all provided people with education and encouragement.
These women and children are not forgotten. Even during a pandemic when ministry looks different, TWR Nepal and TWR Women of Hope continue to invest in their lives by sharing health information and the Word of God.