At our recent AGM, we reflected on the challenges of the past year for our partners in Nepal. There are now more fatalities from COVID-19 than the 2015 earthquake and the impact of livelihoods has been devestating. Reports of domestic violence to Nepal’s government-run domestic violence hotline have significantly increased since 2019. The inability to run in-person events and trips to Nepal has made fundraising challenging.
We're proud that despite a tough year, we've been able to continue to provide vital funding for programs that have real impact for women and girls in Nepal. With your generosity, we've expanded our funding from one to two Family Based Care homes and supported new education projects.
We focus on having deep, rather than wide, impact. In the past year, we supported:
These may seem like small numbers but we know family strengthening, education and safe employment breaks intergenerational cycles of poverty and violence. We know that a child that grows up in a safe family has stronger health, wellbeing and resilience and has greater opportunity to make informed decisions about their future. We also know that a girl with an education has a decreased risk of domestic violence, greater decision-making power and is more likely to educate her own children.
Meet our founders: Leonie Keogh
Our founders, Leonie, Sarah and Fiona, have worked for over 15 years to support independent, dignified and bright futures for women and girls in Nepal.
They met in Nepal and formed Project Didi in 2014. They chose the name Didi, which is a respectful term for older sister in Nepali, as it reflected the supportive, collaborative role they wanted to take in Nepal, one working in partnership with local organisations.
Do you have any dreams for Project Didi and our work in Nepal?
I hope Project Didi's work in Nepal will continue to grow and be able to help more of those in need. I would also like to see us develop programs that support self-sufficiency and independence. In Australia, I hope we can raise more awareness and support for the issues facing many women and girls in Nepal.
Why is volunteering important to you?
I am very fortunate to be living in Australia with the luxuries and freedoms that we sometimes take for granted. There are so many causes in the world that need support and it can sometimes be overwhelming to know where to start. We don't need to change the world but if we can each do something small - that will lead to greater change.