Although there have been vast social and political advancements in Nepal, the country still remains one of the poorest countries of the world. Many Nepalis live on $1 per day or less and have limited skills to sustain themselves or their families.
The majority of Nepal’s population lacks access to the internet, telephones or electricity. With high levels of print illiteracy, Nepal’s dominant form of communication is oral tradition, which communities have utilized for thousands of years. Recent political changes and the end of the monarchy provide new opportunities for civic participation in the “New Nepal”.
Equal Access produces multiple award-winning radio series that empower listeners with critically needed information about early childhood development, youth issues, sustainable livelihoods, women’s rights, education, HIV/AIDS prevention, reproductive health, safe migration and peacebuilding. A recent survey by AC Nielsen indicates that an aggregate audience of 9 million Nepalis (over 30% of the population) listens to Equal Access programs on a weekly basis.
Moreover, Equal Access manages leadership training and support for community radio producers and reporters, NGO workers, youth educators and other community-based leaders to build the capacity of large numbers of rural Nepalis to advocate for change at their local level.
On June 22, 2010, EA Nepal’s radio program Samajhdari won the prestigious One World Media Special Award, an award given to outstanding media from the developing world. Also in the recent past, UNDEF provided its support to a two-year initiative to strengthen democracy building principles and reconciliation in Nepal. This project entitled INSPIRE provided critical information on the peace process predicated on the belief that informed citizens form the vanguard of a strong democracy. This project was featured in UNDEF’s first newsletter.
For more information on country projects, please visit Equal Access Nepal’s website at www.equalaccess.org.np.