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Bhutan & Nepal

Nepal, lying along the southern slopes of the Himalayan mountain ranges, is a landlocked country located between India to the east, south, and west and the Tibet Autonomous Region of China to the north. Its territory extends roughly 500 miles (800 kilometers) from east to west and 90 to 150 miles from north to south. The capital is Kathmandu
Nepal has 14 administrative zones which are further divided into 75 districts.

The South Asia Foundation (SAF) is setting up a Sushila Koirala South Asian Cultural Centre (SKSACC) and an Institute of Arts, Crafts & Fashion. The Sushila Koirala South Asian Cultural Centre would be the principle set up and the Institute of Arts, Crafts & Fashion would be a part of this Centre (SKSACC) under SAF Nepal. The overall administrative and financial control will be vested with the SKSACC & SAF Nepal and will be part of the regional set up (Nepal Chapter) of the main South Asia Foundation (India). Both SAF & SAF Nepal would work collectively to further the objectives of the SKSACC & the Institute of Arts, Crafts & Fashion.

The Centre & the Institute would be catering the need of modern Nepal with a global perspective and prepare, train & mobilize professionals in the field of arts, crafts & fashion. It would help build up and create opportunities for employment in these fields and publish research documents.

South Asia Foundation-Nepal is a Nepal based development organization with Prof. (Dr.) Shashank Koirala as its chairman. It would be working actively in collaboration with SAF in Nepal. It will be setting up the Sushila Koirala South Asian Cultural Centre in Nepal to promote the objectives in accordance with its objectives of the South Asia Foundation.

Background & Objectives
Nepal has a rich cultural tradition with distinctive ethnic groups, each of them, practicing their own traditional cultural values

South Asia Foundation is setting up a cultural centre in Nepal that will promote and propagate Nepali culture alongside documentation of culture of South Asian region. This centre of excellence will be called Sushila Koirala South Asian Cultural Centre.
To set up an organization which will work towards securing a position and establishing an arts and crafts centre, a library, an auditorium and other ancillary facilities that will promote, demonstrate and document the detail of Nepalese Culture and culture of the South Asian region. It would also be a centre of excellence to do research and showcase various aspects of South Asian regional culture with special emphasis on Nepalese culture.
Nepal is going through phenomenal changes. The centre would create infrastructure and build facilities to be integral part of this New Nepal based on equal opportunities to all the people. The centre would work as a catalyst in the society with larger community participation so that all sections of the people work together to build a stronger region.
To promote handicrafts of the region and provide logistical, financial and material support to the Artisans and impart training to desirous people in the field with special emphasis to the weaker sections of the society.
To organize cultural concerts on classical and Folk art and music of South Asia and to produce booklets, films, video tapes and other visual material for a free access to socio-political-cultural-economic information to people of the region.
Initiate and prompt action oriented research projects on these; and provide studio and exhibition facilities to rural artisans.
To set up an Institute of Arts, Crafts & Fashion and a crafts village at suitable place(s) under Sushila Koirala South Asian Cultural Centre, SAF & SAF Nepal.

Activities with Physical Targets
South Asia Foundation, through SAF Nepal, will work in following sectors and will set up institutional frame work for

 1. Women Empowerment
Through micro-credit based income generation programme for 5000 people.
Creating awareness on gender justice and social equalities.
Non-formal education so as to bring a qualitative change in socio-economic status of common people with special emphasis on the down trodden people.
Skill up-gradation and imparting training on micro-credit management, market and managerial skill.
Providing health support through regular medical camps in its Project area.
Introduce and launch projects for larger community participation for sustainable development that would cover 5000 lower marginal people initially.
 2. Setting up of a Sushila Koirala South Asian cultural centre (SKSACC)
To popularize Nepalese culture in South Asia and to familiarize South Asian culture in Nepal.
SKSACC to act as a national resource centre of all ethnic compositions of Nepalese Society and cataloging information on all ethnic communities & crafts of Nepal.
To provide training in the arts & crafts and create 100 resource persons.
To create infrastructure for artisans and to introduce action oriented projects for the welfare of rural artisans
To build capacity and to create job opportunity in the field of arts & crafts
 3. To work on human rights and democratic values and to further peace      process that is already underway in Nepal so as to help build a strong new      Nepal. To organize regular seminars and workshops to continue dialogues      among all sections of the society.
4. To set up an institute that will create skilled people in the field of arts, crafts      & fashion in Nepal. This institute will further provide infrastructure that will      help create employment opportunity in the field of arts, crafts & fashion in  Nepal, provide design input, help diversify products and develop new      techniques that would increase productivity. This institute would also create      opportunity to put products of Nepal in the global market with improved      quality. The institute would create 100 professionals in these fields every  year.
Salient Feature
The details of the SKSACC & the proposed Institute of Arts, Crafts & Fashion, as part of the broader objective of this project, have not been defined. This will be built up in phases, specially after 2nd year (1st phase).

There will be specific improvements in the lives of skilled workers, who have participated in the project including training, skill development and micro-enterprises. They will gain competence, confidence & experience in organizing and managing themselves to engage in local development initiatives to improve their living standards with active community participation. It would create professionals in the field of arts, crafts & fashion. The Project would create employment opportunities for 5000 people directly and would benefit more than 15000 people indirectly.

Multiplier effects
The projects can be replicated in various parts of Nepal where similar conditions & empowerment approaches are feasible. The key elements of the project which enhances the success potential include the following: Sustainability
(a) Financial and economic sustainability
The project envisages to make target group independent & to increase capacity for promoting livelihood. It intends to increase earning for improving financial sustainability. It will set up a cooperative society of production unit based on natural fabric.
(b) Social and cultural sustainability
The Project targets to create employment opportunity with larger community participation and through formation of SHGs in the income generation field.