In Lumbini area girl children are considered as a liability from the time they are born. Sons continue the blood linkage; daughters do not. Sons look after their parents in their old age; daughters get married off to another family. Thus people consider daughters are somebody else’s property; to be somehow reared, brought up and given in marriage as soon as possible. Girls get less medical care and have less access to education and food than their brothers. It is no surprise then that more girls than boys die before they are 5 years old. In Nepal where one child in every 15 is malnourished, the figure is two times higher for girls than boys.
Metta School (www.servelumbini.org) has been working to provide education for rural girls for the past 7 years and as a result over 500 young girls are attending specially designed educational program at the 2 Metta Schools in Lumbini. Metta School has been running a special girls’ only class for the senior students so that they could continue their education. Girls who are graduating from the highest grade offered at Mettaschool are the prospective candidates for the Nunnery. Most of their families do not want to send them to other schools to further studies because these schools are either co-ed (therefore socially unacceptable) or private and therefore too costly. As per the cultural norm the families would have them married.By creating this nunnery we are able to offer them the chance to continue their education for a further 2 or more years and thereby gain the valuable skills and knowledge they will need for their future roles in the society.
We believe that children are the most precious legacy of any community. They deserve care, understanding and the best that humanity has to offer. They have the right to justice, freedom and ample opportunity for the development of their full potential. This is every child’s inborn right, irrespective of nationality, caste, creed or sex.