14 November - Conference - Meet Rajani Gurung and Umbrella Organisation Nepal

participants making organic manure

Today in Luxembourg, literacy rate of female, as well as male, is close to 100%. What is considered as normal here isn’t in Nepal yet. Althought male literacy rate is estimated at 75%, only 57% of Nepalese women can read and write nowadays. Why such a gap? 

A conference, organized by ONGD-FNEL Luxembourg with the support of Banque de Luxembourg (BDL) on Thursday, 14 November at 6.30p.m. in BDL’s auditorium, will help raise awareness among the public about the situation of girls in Nepal, the realities in the fields of education and support structures for young people, as well as regarding the trafficking of children, real plague for a country which at the same time knows a growing tourist development.


Patriarchal society and sociocultural norms still discriminate against women

Although in recent years, the school enrollment rate of boys and girls has become equal, the dropout rate remains higher among girls. For young girls in Luxembourg, having their period is just a natural phenomenon; for Nepali girls, it can result in total drop-out. Indeed, many girls do not go to school when they have their period, fearing mockery. The lack of intimacy, infrastructure and information to local communities contributes to the academic failure of young Nepalese girls.

In 2014 in Luxembourg, the the median age at first marriage for a woman was 30.7 years-old, while in Nepal, the same year, 25% of adolescent girls aged 15 to 19 were already married.

Although there is a positive trend, girls in Nepal still face many obstacles to a decent life and a decent future, such as physical violence (at school or at home), parents’ unequal treatment of daughters compared to sons and failure to value their educations, early marriages and lack of adequate sanitary facilities.


Towards an evolution of Nepali society

These young women, who do not have the "same odds" and the same opportunities for social development as other young Nepalese, can now rely on local associations like Umbrella Organization Nepal (UON). Created in 2005, this association aims at helping children that were trafficked, displaced or placed in orphanages as a result of poverty and internal conflicts in the country. It has evolved from a small organization operating childcare homes to a still small, but well respectedchild protection organization working for youth across the country.

Since March 2019, UON operates a Youth Centre in Kathmanduwhere they provide advice and training on topics that are relevant to the youths. "In Nepal, there is little advice and information available to young people at the end of their schooling regarding their career plans or their autonomy, or other problems that may affect this age group (eg sexual and reproductive health, safe migration, peer pressure). This can lead to ill-informed choices at an important stage in their lives" says Tsewang Norbu Lama, Director of the association. Tsewang will honor us with his presence at the conference and will exchange with the public regarding the current situation of development in Nepal.

Rajani Gurung, former beneficiary of the association, will also participate in the conference and will give an intimate, moving but nevertheless inspiring testimony in a documentary directed by Marc Hammer. This film, called "Rajani", will premiere at the conference.

"It is through the work of organizations like Umbrella, who do a remarkable job, and to young Nepali people like Rajani that are willing to create a better futurethat Nepalese society will evolve. This film  reflects this soberly "says Julie Denève, Project and Awareness Manager for ONGD-FNEL.


Raising awareness beyond Nepalese borders

ONGD-FNEL's mission is to develop the skills, knowledge and know-how of young people and adults in order to give them a chance to become responsible citizens living in dignity. This mission applies mainly in Nepal but also in Luxembourg by raising awareness among young people and the general public about development issues and local realities.

"A better understanding of the Nepalese reality and the daily life of a person can encourage changes in values, attitudes and behaviors at the individual and collective level" says Nicolas Magnette, President of ONGD-FNEL. "This conference will be an opportunity to stimulate the public to think critically, to form their own opinions and to become actors of change," he concludes.


The conference will be introduced by Paulette Lenert, Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs in Luxembourg and Nicolas Magnette. It will be followed by the screening of the film "Rajani" which will lead to an exchange between the main stakeholders, Rajani Gurung and Tsewang Norbu Lama and the public. The conference will be held in English with simultaneous translation into French.


Participants will then be invited to a cocktail offered by Banque de Luxembourg.


About the conference

Date           Thursday, 14 November 2019

Time          6.30p.m.

Location    Auditorium of Banque de Luxembourg

Address    14 Boulevard Royal, 2449 Luxembourg

English language (simultaneous translation into French available)



ONGD-FNEL is a non-profit association founded in 1989 in Luxembourg. Coming from the Scouting movement in Luxembourg, (the National Federation of Scouts and Girl Scouts of Luxembourg-FNEL), it supports many projects in favor of the development of education in Nepal.

The ONGD-FNEL defends the values ??of solidarity, cooperation, commitment, responsibility by relying on strong local partnerships guaranteeing the smooth running and results of activities.

The association works in partnership with local associations to ensure the effectiveness and sustainability of its actions. Our focus is Nepal's vulnerable children and young people since giving them access to education, training and understanding of their rights opens up opportunities for them.



Thank you for registering to our event by sending an email to ongd@ongd-fnel.lu before November 10, 2019