Nepal is one of the poorest, least developed countries in the world. Nearly one third of its people live below the poverty line. A nine-year civil war between the government and Maoist extremists ended a multiparty democracy established within the framework of a constitutional monarchy. Recent negotiations resulted in the signing of a peace accord, the upshot of which has been the election of the first Nepalese president, and the vacation of the throne by the King.
Although a new government, favourable farming conditions, better security and transport, and increased tourism have boosted the economy, growth barely exceeds the rate of population increase. Nepal is also susceptible to natural disasters. It is remote and landlocked, and continued civil strife means that foreign investment is minimal. Education, health and agriculture infrastructures are inadequate, and government policies often disadvantage the poor.
The people of Nepal are in great need of the life-changing hope that child sponsorship can bring to their families and communities. You can sponsor a child in Nepal through ActionAid, one of the world's leading relief and development agencies. They have developed a child sponsorship scheme which links people in more affluent countries with individual children in developing countries around the world.
ActionAid has worked with communities in Nepal since 1982, and now reaches 357,000 people. Improving access to basic sanitation, to education facilities, and the training of health workers and the provision of health services are its top priorities. It has also championed the need for poor people to know their rights, and, in conjunction with local organisations, it lobbies the government on their behalf.
ActionAid supports micro-finance companies that make small loans and credit available to business start-ups. It also works with community organisations to ensure equitable management of Nepal's natural resources. At times of natural disaster ActionAid has been on hand to provide emergency relief.
In the 37 years since its inception, ActionAid has reached many millions people in Africa, Asia and the Americas, and it has developed a wealth of expertise in fighting poverty. The charity partners with local organisations and recognises the need to work with communities on their own terms, and not impose solutions. By getting to know the culture intimately ActionAid workers have the best possible opportunity to affect a lasting end to poverty.
Sponsoring a child in Nepal today will cost you only 50 pence per day. Your money will also go towards development efforts in the town in which the child you sponsor lives. This will ensure the most efficient and effective use of your money.
As a child sponsor you will be able arrange a personal visit with your child and to communicate with them. You can also look forward to receiving special letters and drawings, including a new photograph every two years. Additionally, you get to see where and how your money is being spent by keeping in touch with your child's local ActionAid office, and through regular editions of Common Cause, ActionAid's newsletter.
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