We do a lot of things like making wall magazines, drawings, quiz competitions. I’ve made a lot of friends here. Previously I was very nervous, but now have become more confident,” said 11-year-old Sajan Rana Magar, chairman of his club at Bijeshwori. Saugat Kshatri, president of his club at Ward 7, Ramkot VDC added, “We meet in the evenings, and besides various entertaining and knowledge gaining activities, we also hold meetings, make rules, design logos and even our parents support us.”
These are some of the children who attend the Recreational Classes supported by World
Currently, such programmes are being held in seven different sectors (Ward 12, 15, 19, 20) in Kathmandu and five village development committees (VDCs) — Ramkot, Bhimdhunga, Ichangu Narayan, Talkududechour and Chhaimale, which fall under the Kathmandu Area Development Programme (KADP).
“We organised these especially for students of government schools. Since their parents are usually working in the evenings, this is a place where they can come and learn new things, and don’t get involved in unwanted activities” said Mahesh Bist, Community Development Coordinator, KADP.
The recreational classes are organised for two to three hours where children, besides studying, are involved in various activities like games, singing, dancing, arts and crafts and
even trainings for leadership qualities, child rights and capacity building. Some are even running radio programmes while others are actively involved in organic farming.
Coordinating with locally run NGOs, they have been working as partners from three to seven years in different areas. “Around 3,000 children are benefiting from these classes right now,” said Bist.
In every club, there are around 160 students who come and it is mostly two facilitators who look after these children. “We give trainings to facilitators, and we encourage people from the local community, since it’s for the development of their own community they are very motivated,” said Bist.
Rachana Lama, who has been working as a facilitator for the last three years with World Vision, shared, “We have seen the changes in children. Being self-reliant, raising their voices or issues that concern them, taking decisions, gaining confidence. Besides that there is a strong sense of sharing, co-ordination and bonding between them.”
“It is not only the children, I feel even I have learnt and benefited a lot from these evening sessions,” she added.
“We are working in partnership with local NGOs so that so that when our term is over
and we are not funding them anymore, they are self-dependent and can run by themselves,” Bist said.
To give it continuity while some of the clubs have already been registered, others are in
Naresh Dhungel, Community Development Facilitator, KADP said, “It is not only the children from government schools, but others also come and this is a place where the gap between the two are removed and they get to learn from each other. Behavioural changes can be seen among them. They are even getting better grades in school.”
The Grand Child Congress is organised every year where competitions are held between children from different sectors, where they get to participate in spelling, drawing and various other competitions.