Penny Appeal meets the former Prime Minister of Nepal
Building a better future for Nepal’s Muslim minorities with the help of former Prime Minister, Madhav Kumar Nepal, the first president of the National Muslim Commission of Nepal, Samim Miya Ansari, and the renowned disaster risk management expert for South Asia, Suman Karn.
We are delighted to have met with Madhav Kumar Nepal, Samim Miya Ansari and other key stakeholders and change-makers in Nepal earlier this week. We enjoyed speaking and collaborating with the former Prime Minister of Nepal, the Disaster Management Chair, and the first president of the National Muslim Commission in Kathmandu.
Our teams at Penny Appeal have been working for the last 5 years in the south-eastern region of Nepal, delivering emergency support and vital development work.
In our meeting with the former Prime Minister, we discussed the work that Penny Appeal has been doing in the last five years to socially and economically uplift some of the country’s most marginalised communities. Ansari shared his own views on developmental needs and the work he has done for Nepal. He believes that the Muslim minorities in Nepal are often left behind, especially when it comes to education and healthcare.
“Increasing awareness of and access to education and skills training would produce graduates that would inspire many others.” Ansari
It’s always great to work alongside our partners - from government officials to grassroots community organisations – and make sure that the work we do is serving communities and individuals in need in the best possible way.
The former Prime Minister, Madhav Kumar Nepal, was very interested and curious about the work that we do. He was also incredibly welcoming, repeatedly expressing his developmental views and goals for Nepal.
We couldn’t agree more – that’s why we always make sure that our programmes are long-lasting and sustainable, rather than just quick fixes.
As rapid responders to many natural disasters such as the recent Cyclone Idai in southern Africa, our emergency teams are also well-placed to help in this part of the world. Nepal is at high risk of earthquakes and floods, as well as fires in poverty-stricken districts.
With our years of experience, resources and local knowledge, we are in the strongest position we’ve ever been in to respond quickly and effectively to emergencies in Nepal and around the world.
Alongside speaking with the former Prime Minister of Nepal, we also met with Suman Karn, a renowned disaster risk management expert for the whole of South Asia.
He brought with him a great depth of experience from his work in the various different regions of the country. We had a very insightful discussion with him, in which he shared the government’s plans to set up a District Disaster Management Committee, which would act as a standalone department with the responsibility to deliver emergency response. Penny Appeal will work closely with this department through our local partners, so that we can respond to future emergencies more effectively than ever before.
In Nepal, just 4.4% of the population are Muslim; between 1 - 1.5 million people. The majority of them live in district Rautahat. We are actively working with our local partners on the ground, to help our brothers and sisters in Rautahat and around Nepal.
The Muslim community in Rautahat is extremely marginalised, facing prejudice from every angle and a lack of opportunities.
Samim Miya Ansari is the first president of the National Muslim Commission of Nepal, which is working to protect the rights of Muslim minorities. We spoke to Ansari about their ambitions, and discussed the cultural barriers which often prevent Muslim minorities in Nepal from getting the help they need.
The most major challenges in this region are health and education. Most of the community send their children to madrassas, which only provide a Quranic education. We are going to continue supporting these valuable Quranic teachings, whilst also encouraging the community to embrace formal education, which will in turn help young people lift their community out of poverty.
“Formal education for children is the topmost priority of the National Muslim Commission of Nepal.” – Ansari
It was a blessing to meet with former Nepalese Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, as well as the president of the National Muslim Commission of Nepal, and risk management expert Suman Karn, to collaborate on building a better future for Nepal’s most marginalised communities. Our Penny Appeal teams are continuing to encourage education and provide aid for those in the underprivileged Muslim minorities in Nepal, to help uplift their communities and break the cycle of poverty for good.
TUESDAY 30 APR 2019