World Education is dedicated to improving the lives of the poor through education, and economic and social development programs.

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Breaking a Cycle of Exploitation in Nepal’s Brick Factories

January 10, 2018

Rapid urbanization, increased demand for infrastructure development projects, and the April 2015 earthquakes are the main reasons for the brick industry’s rapid expansion in Nepal. As a result, there is increased demand for brick laborers, many of whom are children and people from marginalized communities.

World Education Nepal’s Building Better Futures initiative reduces the vulnerability of adults and children at risk of exploitation in these factories by providing a holistic approach that aims to educate brick workers’ children, expand livelihood options, and provide access to financial services to break the cycle of exploitative labor.

Since 2011, Building Better Futures has enabled 365 previously out-of-school children working in brick factories, like Sharadha (whose narrative you can read in this photo story), to enroll in formal classes. World Education is also improving the education of youth factory workers who were already enrolled in school but struggled to meet grade-level learning outcomes. Our support has increased grade promotion rates for these children from 50% to 96%.

More than 97% of households participating in Building Better Futures activities reduced their loans or debt burdens, increased savings, and accessed microfinance services, and 2,729 participants in livelihood activities increased their incomes or diversified their livelihoods to better resist exploitation. This documentary shows the effect of these interventions on the lives of individual beneficiaries.

Beyond providing basic education, World Education empowers children in Nepal and other countries worldwide with tools and life skills to identify and avoid exploitative labor.