Khagendra: A Champion for Children
Meet Khangendra – In his village Chapamandu – 6, Achham he wakes up early every morning and starts blowing a whistle so that he could wake up children and their family members giving them ample time in the morning to prepare children for school.
Khagendra is a local resource person in the village, a motivator for parents in a VDC where 20 children from dalit families were out of school. He followed up on the 20 children and their families seeking answers to why they were not in school. All of them had similar answers – they couldn’t afford to send their children to school or children were afraid of punishment in school. He started reporting these issue through SMS to concerned agencies such as District Education Office, government resource person for schools and social mobilizers of Save the Children’s partner organization WAC Nepal.
He also started a door-to-door campaign in his village – “Enroll all children in school, birth registration of all children in the VDC and ending child marriage”. He goes from home to home making sure that children are going to school. He takes regular stock of children’s attendance in school. He also started a blue flag movement – a flag will be hoisted on the rooftop of the homes of children who are regular in school. Out of 20, he has so far convinced 14 families to join in. Since February this year, he has been working relentlessly for this campaign.
“After I became a local resource person, I received a lot of love and respect from my community. I know the situation in my village and I am able to do something about it. I plan to continue following up on children who are at risk of dropping out of school even after the project closes,” says Khangendra who has become a good counsellor to parents.
Speaking about the green cards that are given to children, he says, “We started using follow up cards and most of the children received green card. Green card reflects that the child is regular at school and performing well.” Eventually, his hard work paid off and all 20 children from the two wards (2 and 6) started attending school regularly, however, Khagendra is committed to keep an eye on the regularity of children in school.
The Integrated Project locally knows as 'Sahayatra' has appointed 29 local resource person from marginalized communities to track out-of-school children, violence against children, neglected children in five districts - Achham, Bajura, Banke, Dailekh and Kalikot. They were chosen through Village Education Committee.