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Caritas Nepal was founded in 1990 to help ease the suffering of people struggling to make a living in one of the world’s poorest countries. A decade-long civil war wrecked the country’s economy and today people live with ongoing instability. Caritas Nepal has been involved in initiatives for building sustainable peace since 2004.
Activities, often carried out with non-governmental organizations and cooperatives, include peace marches, skills training, raising awareness of children’s rights, school projects and debates on peace, a Caritas weekly radio programme calling on people’s help with peace building initiatives.
By tackling poverty, Caritas Nepal is helping create the conditions in which peace can be sustained. Initiatives include:
Another major focus of Caritas Nepal’s work, in a country prone to natural disasters, lies in preparedness and emergency relief. After an unusually severe monsoon in 2007, Caritas Nepal distributed food, carried out needs assessments and worked with partner agencies to help with rebuilding homes. There is a strong emphasis on reducing people’s vulnerability, and increasing their ability to cope with such disasters.
The agency has help from disaster-management committees that have overseen work such as building river embankments, storing sandbags, tree planting on river banks, first-aid training and distribution of life jackets. Local people are trained to pass on skills to neighbours and help communities become less dependent on outside help.