As 2016 draws to a close, many will say thank goodness it’s over! It has certainly been a year of surprises and some sadness – especially if you are a fan of David Bowie, Victoria Wood or one of the other notable people who have sadly passed away this year. Perhaps the biggest surprise was the Brexit decision and whatever your views there is no denying it has had an impact, not least for Kidasha in that we now receive at least 12% less Rupees for every £1 we send to Nepal.
It has certainly been a very challenging year financially for Kidasha, as some large grants draw to a close, but I remain cautiously optimistic as we look forward to 2017. I have recently returned from an extremely busy trip to Nepal during which I worked with the programme team to refine our strategy and also met with some current and potential donors. All of the visitors were very impressed with our work and will hopefully support us in the future, although, as always with larger donors, the decision making process can be quite slow. You can read more about our work last year in our latest Annual Review.
One of the areas we are looking to expand in 2017 is our functional literacy classes, one of which I recently attended. Held at 7am in a motor repair workshop it provided an opportunity for child labourers who have been out of school for a long time to increase their literacy and numeracy skills in ways that are more relevant to their lives than the standard curriculum. The classes are held close to their workplace at convenient times and covering topics like weights and measures, signs and symbols, managing money etc.They not only teach life and job skills but also inspire self-belief in children who otherwise have little or no confidence or aspirations for the future. Finding the additional funding to be able to inspire even more ‘out of school’ children is one of our top priorities for next year.
Lastly, I want to say a big thank you to everybody who voted for our films in the Charity Film Awards. I’m super excited to say that thanks to the public vote, both our films have been shortlisted for consideration by the judges. We hope that these awards will provide a platform to shine a spotlight on Nepal and our work. We definitely couldn’t have got this far without you – thank you so much.