Handicap International has been present in Nepal since 2000, initially implementing regional projects in Bangladesh, India, and Nepal, through the South Asian Regional Office based in Kathmandu. Handicap International took immediate action to help victims of the earthquake that hit Nepal on April 25, 2015. The organization continues to deliver rehabilitation sessions and provide walking aids in the seven districts. It also facilitates the supply of humanitarian aid to victims in isolated areas. Over the past few years, our programs have diversified with additional focus on health and access to services such as inclusive livelihoods, inclusive education and community based disaster risk management.
Handicap International employs 81 staff, including 15 field staff and 3 expats.
The civil war that ended in 2006 left more than 13,000 people dead and injured many more, including thousands of people with disabilities. The fighting also made it harder for everyone to earn a livelihood or access health, rehabilitation, and education services. The massive earthquakes in spring of 2015 left over 8,000 people dead and 22,000 injured. People with disabilities are among the most marginalized individuals in Nepal. Often living in extreme poverty and denied access to education, people with disabilities struggle to meet their most basic needs and exercise their rights. Other issues in Nepal include the high prevalence of road accidents and chronic diseases that lead to disabilities.
- Inclusive livelihoods
- Inclusive education
- Support to victims of natural disasters
- Earthquake preparedness
- Community based disaster risk management
- Human rights of detainees and prisoners
- Prevention and health
In partnership with the Nepalese government, Handicap International builds the capacity of rehabilitation centers so that people with disabilities can receive assistance devices and quality physical therapy. Staff members also educate community members about the importance of including people with disabilities and work one-on-one to help them gain the skills they need to play fuller roles in society. The organization supports mobile rehabilitation camps so rehabilitation professionals can reach patients in remote areas, and is gradually decreasing its financial support in order to coach rehabilitation centers to find their own sources of funding. This project has already supported more than 26,000 people with disabilities, and is on target to reach an additional 2,500 beneficiaries by January 2016.
Handicap International fosters the full integration of people with disabilities into civil society, particularly those who were injured following the Nepalese Civil War. Staff members counsel individuals to define a personal livelihood project, and then equip them with the skills and resources they need to obtain their goals (i.e. access to micro-finance funds, apprenticeships, or vocational training). The organization also supports employers so they can better understand disability and provide employees with disabilities the tools they need to succeed. This project has benefited 2,000 people with disabilities in fifteen districts across the western, eastern, and central regions of Nepal.
In partnership with UNICEF, Handicap International is working to promote inclusive primary schools by working to improve the identification, assessment, and date management of children with learning disabilities. Projects also include promoting the enrollment and retention of children with disabilities.
Support to Victims of Natural Disasters
Thanks to its experience in the care management of earthquake victims, Handicap International was able to take immediate action to help people affected by the April 2015 earthquake. The organization held more than 10,500 rehabilitation sessions for more than 4,000 people, carried out psychosocial support sessions, and distributed more than 2,300 mobility aids (walking frames, wheelchairs, crutches) and specific equipment for more than 2,200 people. A hotline has been set up to inform people about the organization's rehabilitation services. Handicap International has also distributed over 4,300 basic needs kits (tents, cooking kits, hygiene kits, and blankets) to the most vulnerable families, as well as equipment for producing sheet metal roofs to protect more than 11,000 people from the monsoon rains.
The district of Kathmandu is highly vulnerable to earthquakes, so it is essential for residents to prepare for potential disasters. Handicap International works with major hospitals and rehabilitation centers to ensure they are prepared for the kinds of injuries people suffer during and after earthquakes. The organization also operates at the community level, raising awareness about the importance of including people with disabilities in disaster planning and supplying assisstive devices and personalized social support to people with disabilities, so that they can participate in disaster risk reduction activities. So far, this project has benefited 34,221 people in the Kathmandu Valley.
Community based disaster risk management
Handicap International works with local partners in Nepal to engage Disaster Risk Management stakeholders to promote inclusive approaches to Disaster Risk Management at local, national, regional and international levels. Through promoting cross-organizational partnership, Handicap International endeavors to achieve effective inclusion of socially excluded groups such as women and people with disabilities.
Human Rights of Detainees and Prisoners
Handicap International works to advance the protection and rights of detainees and prisoners in Nepal in accordance with international human rights, and prevent the torture, ill-treatment of detainees and prisoners, and long-term impairments due to imprisonment. The project also aims to implement minimum standards of detention and imprisonment, and to increase access to essential services (access to water and food, and medical health) in order to ensure decent living conditions.