From education to employment

Empowering young people through cricket: Nepal children’s charity joins forces with Marylebone Cricket Club

Kidasha, a UK registered charity working with children in extreme urban poverty in Nepal, has recently established a partnership with the MCC Foundation, the charitable arm of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the owner of Lord’s Cricket Ground. 

The partnership will deliver a unique project titled ‘Breaking Boundaries’ which aims to develop cricket at the grassroots in Nepal, and at the same time provide wider socio-economic benefit to some of the poorest children and young people in Pokhara, Nepal’s second largest city. The initiative is a part of the MCC’s wider commitment to support cricket development at all levels in Nepal over the next three years. 

The project will give both boys and girls attending government schools – where sport is not included in the standard curriculum – the chance to learn and play cricket and to benefit from regular physical activity. This will in turn help to improve the children’s physical fitness and mental wellbeing, encourage teamwork, improve discipline, develop self-confidence and leadership skills, as well as provide alternative opportunities for children to achieve and excel. 

The project kicked off earlier this month when an MCC team visited Nepal as part of MCC’s wider commitment to delivering a series of Legacy Tours over three years, aimed at leaving a sustainable and meaningful impact in developing cricket nations. After which, MCC and Foundation coaches will run “coach the coaches” courses in December, and provide funding towards constructing training nets in five schools; training local coaches and teachers; providing kit and regular training sessions; and establishing a new schools league for both girls and boys in the city.

Kidasha has been working in Nepal for over 20 years, helping to protect and improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable and ‘hardest to reach’ children living in chronic urban poverty. This includes providing shelter and rehabilitation support for street children, offering alternative learning opportunities for working children and helping ‘out of school’ children access formal and informal education. 

Over the past five years they have helped reduce the number of child labourers under 14 years old in Pokhara by 73%, supported 2,200 children into education, provided life skills training and health education to over 2,500 adolescents and removed almost 1,000 children from the streets, labour and other exploitative situations.

Following completion of the pilot, Kidasha hopes its partnership with the MCC Foundation will continue in the longer term, thereby giving even more children and young people in Nepal the opportunity to benefit from the project. 

Janice Miller, CEO of Kidasha comments:

“The increasing popularity of cricket as a national sport alongside the commitment of MCC in supporting the grassroots development of cricket in Nepal, provides a unique opportunity for  children who would not normally have the chance to play, and we are delighted that the MCC Foundation have chosen to partner with us for this project.

“I am personally very excited about the project because I passionately believe in the power of sport to not only improve physical and mental wellbeing, but to give young people – particularly those who, due to their circumstances have had limited education or struggle academically – the self-belief and confidence that there are other ways in which they can develop their potential and excel.” 

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