In partnership with Accountability Lab, a civil society organisation working in Liberia and Nepal, The Mountain Trust has developed a new radio-education initiative, aimed at young people and adults. The Civic Education programme combines the proven effectiveness of educational radio broadcasts with a unique and rigorous civic education curriculum. Our principle is Education without the need for physical infrastructure.
Politics in Nepal has traditionally been characterised by infighting, corruption and ineffective leadership. The country only began to open up to the wider world in the 1950s with the ascension of King Mahendra. There then began an uneasy period of the country vacillating between absolute monarchy and a democracy, leading to the Civil War between the Maoists and the State. In 2006, the Maoists agreed to a ceasefire on condition that the King abdicate. The Parliament agreed and Nepal became a Republic. 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.
Our programme is designed to provide information and educate the public on important issues facing Nepal at this stage of its development. Given the recent creation of Nepal’s first constitution, there has never been a more important time to inform the Nepalese people about their rights. As history has taught us, there is nothing more powerful than an informed electorate. Social and political transformation occurs when a critical-mass of citizens know their rights, understand their democratic duties and become engaged with a discourse beyond their immediate environment.
Through the medium of radio, we plan to broadcast one 30 minute episode a week for a year on a range of different topics, including voting rights, wildlife diversity and human trafficking. Some of these scripts have been submitted by our Nepali partners specialising in Human Rights, including DidiBahini, a wome’s rights charity. Our volunteers work with experts in each particular field to create the most engaging and informative broadcast, agreeing on a framework of questions for the Anchor and Expert to discuss. This is an exceptionally low-cost, high impact project, which has the potential to change entrenched opinions and to open people’s minds to new ideas.
If you’d like to work with us on this important project, then head to our volunteering page where you can find out more information about our placements.