In theory Human Rights are guaranteed to all Nepali people independent of personal circumstance. In practice the situation varies widely. The Mountain Trust has been actively supporting organisations working in the field of human rights since 2011. This year we are launching programmes to actively promote knowledge and awareness of these all-important rights.
In 2006 Nepal emerged from a decade long civil war which claimed 16,000 lives. Great energy and reserves of goodwill on all sides led to peaceful moves to end the conflict, but this energy dissipated quickly after 2006 and many of the underlying causes of the conflict, namely pervasive poverty, corruption and the weak state, remain unaddressed.
Politics in Nepal has traditionally been characterised by infighting, corruption and ineffective leadership. The second Constituent Assembly election in 2013 led to record turnout at the polls, so while Nepali people may be disaffected and disappointed with their politicians, they are far from apathetic. The Mountain Trust believes in engaging people in the achievement of their rights and we support others who do the same.
The Mountain Trust has developed partnerships with a number of highly influential organisations across the NGO and Academic fields working in Human Rights. Through our formal partnership agreements we have been able to place graduates and students from the UK to intern with these partner organisations. Roles during Human Rights Internships vary and can include: primary research, project monitoring, report writing, literature reviews, evaluation and fieldwork. These placements have been mutually beneficial for interns and host organisations alike, providing valuable practical experience for interns whilst giving the rights organisations a well-motivated and intelligent temporary staff member.
The Mountain Trust will continue to provide interns to our valued partners through our prestigious internship programmes. In addition we plan to increase our positive impact through 'Radio Guru - Civic Education'. This unique programme will broadcast human rights information once-a-week, every week of the year, to around 16 million Nepali people living in 61 of Nepal's 75 districts.
FM Radio is a very effective medium in Nepal, especially in rural areas. Figures suggest that over 75% of people have their own radio set or access to one. The next comparable medium is television with approximately 18% coverage. Radio is also cheap to produce and free to listen to. The Mountain Trust prides itself on designing high-impact, low-cost interventions which can be effective on a nationwide scale.