Geographic Focus: Kathmandu
Project Focus: schools, hospitals
The Kathmandu Valley has a population of over 2 million people. That may not sound too bad until you consider density: with as many as 13,000 people living in each square kilometer, the population density of the Kathmandu Valley is mind-boggling—at least five times that of New York City.
While there are countless institutions serving children in Kathmandu, we made a strategic decision to focus our efforts on the city's public schools. Of the more than 2,000 schools in the Kathmandu Valley, most are tuition-based private schools and can afford to purchase bottled water or pay for filtration. The government-run schools, by contrast, are poorly funded and, generally speaking, have the lowest quality water and worst hygiene practices. And they truly serve Kathmandu's most vulnerable children—its orphans, child laborers, and kids from the city's many slums. These are exactly the children who will benefit the most from clean drinking water and hygiene education, especially since neither are available at home.
We envision a day when every child in the Kathmandu Valley has clean water to drink—as well as improved hygiene practices—whenever they attend school. Putting vision into practice, though, is never easy. However, we are working hard at the strategy to ensure that every government school in Kathmandu (and there are more than 400!), will have clean and safe water. Meeting this goal will take a ton of heavy lifting initially by our organization, with additional and increased support by local government and businesses. But we are planning on 100% coverage of every poor student in Kathmandu by 2022. We will be close to 20% coverage in 2013.