ADVOCACY – March 5 2023

Keeping children at the centre of nation building

Dr. Dereje Wordofa, President, SOS Children’s Villages, called upon Rt. Honourable Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ on his maiden visit to Nepal, the country of Himalayas to celebrate the services of SOS Children’s Villages in the past five decades. During the meeting with the Prime Minister, Dr. Wordofa expressed his deep appreciation for Nepal’s commitment towards child rights and child care by passing the Children’s Act 2018. The Act recognised the right of the child to stay with one’s family, child protection and rehabilitation measures including alternative care. He called it an inclusive act bringing all children including those with disabilities and combining it with the duties of agencies and other partners.

Dr. Dereje Wordofa, President, SOS Children's Villages (L), Ganga B. Gurung, National Director, SOS Children's Villages Nepal and Rt. Honorable Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal (R)

Rt. Honourable Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ affirmed Nepal’s commitment to child rights. He expressed his willingness to further child rights by providing a stable political environment in which child rights can be realised.

On this occasion, Dr. Wordofa also shared about how SOS Children’s Villages encourages participation of children and young people in decision making processes. “We have great belief in listening to the children and young people. Children and young people are experts on their own lives. If they have been part of the decision-making process, measures are likely to be more relevant to their lives and thus, more effective,” Dr. Wordofa shared. He also urged the Rt. Honourable Prime Minister to increase children and youth participation in policy making processes and dialogues to bring the voices of children and young people in formulating policies that are for them.

Rt. Honorable Prime Minister with the delegation from SOS Children's Villages

The meeting with the Rt. Honorable Prime Minister provided Dr. Wordofa with an opportunity to share how SOS Children’s Villages Nepal has been contributing to the nation. There are plans to expand the community based programme to Madesh province in 2023 where SOS Children’s Villages Nepal is currently not present.

The Rt. Honorable Prime Minister responded very warmly to the work being done by SOS Children’s Villages in Nepal. He requested Dr. Wordofa that SOS Children’s Villages can accompany Nepal in building the nation by working in close partnership with the Government of Nepal. He invited SOS Children’s Villages to prioritise the needs of the children in Nepal and to expand its programme locations.

Dr. Wordofa assured the Rt. Honorable Prime Minister of support from SOS Children’s Villages. He further underlined that SOS Children’s Villages believes in working in partnerships. He requested the Rt. Honorable Prime Minister to support SOS Children’s Villages with the much needed resources; financial, human, enabling environment among others to further children’s rights and quality alternative care options in Nepal so that each child can grow up in a stable loving environment with strong relationships to become strong, independent adults contributing to the nation.

Dilliram Sharma, Secretary, Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens, Government of Nepal and Manoj Bhatta, Member Secretary of Social Welfare Council, were also present in the meeting between the Rt. Honorable Prime Minister and SOS Children’s Villages. Dr. Dereje Wordofa, was also accompanied by other senior officials from SOS Children’s Villages, Ms. Angela Maria Rosales, Designate Chief Programme Officer, Dr. Steffen Braasch, Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Biranchi Upadhyaya, International Director Region Asia, Mr. Rajneesh Jain, Representative of SOS Children’s Villages International in Asia, Dr Jyoti Ratna Dhakhwa, President of SOS Children’s Villages Nepal, Dr. Ganga B. Gurung, National Director, SOS Children’s Villages Nepal, Seetaram Subedi, Head of Information Communication and Technology and Elisha Shrestha, Communication Manager.

Dr. Dereje Wordofa, President, SOS Children's Villages (L) with Rt. Honorable Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal (R)

### Established in 1972, SOS Children’s Villages Nepal believes that every child should grow up with love, respect and security with bonds they need to their strongest selves. We are committed to providing a range of care solutions to children and young people through a range of care options. As of December 2022, we have reached 17337 programme participants where 1162 children are currently growing up in 132 SOS families across 10 locations; 901 young people are supported under Young Care Programme and 8881 children and young people are directly supported under Family Strengthening Programme.