Keeping children in school is a major challenge for many families. The economic needs of the household often trump the desire parents have to send their kids to school. Girls in particular are held back because they are often charged with caring for younger siblings and otherwise helping their mothers. There is also less interest in investing in girls' education because after marriage they live with the husband's family and work for them. Scholarships are an essential tool for addressing these problems. ETC offers several scholarship programs that support hundreds of children, mostly girls:

  • Community Scholarships: With community scholarships students are paired with sponsors in the United States and Europe. But, while the sponsorships do provide direct support for the student they also help finance school rehabilitation, teacher training and other activities in ETC's Education Program. Additionally, most of the students in this program are children of women involved in ETC's Women's Development Program; this makes the experiences of mothers and their children mutually reinforcing.
  • Dalit Scholarships: Helping dalit women organize into women's groups is especially difficult, so ETC provides a scholarship for one daughter of each woman as an incentive for them to become involved. This strengthens the women's groups while increasing school enrolments from this marginalized community.
  • Higher Education Scholarships: Through a rigorous selection process needy but excellent students are given the opportunity to continue their education for two years after successful completion of the School Leaving Certificate (SLC) exam.
  • Vocational Training: Vocational training in nursing, agricultural extension, and other technical fields is provided for some students.

ETC constantly reinforces the idea that the education of children goes hand in hand with the overall improvement of the community brought about by women's groups. By promoting inter-generational solidarity, ETC strives to ensure that the education of children benefits not just them as individuals but all of Nepali society and to help a new generation of community leaders to emerge.

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Scholarships mean a chance for a better future

Narayani

Narayani Nepali is supported through ETC's Community Scholarship program. In a letter to her sponsor she wrote: "There are seven of us in my family, including mother and sisters. Last year my dad died. For me there was no possibility of going to school because of such a large family with no father. But I want to study very much. Because of ETC I am getting school supplies and other materials. I will never forget such a big help."