Empowering a New Generation of Adolescent Girls with Education (ENGAGE)

Project completed implementation in February 2023

VSO’s Empowering a New Generation of Adolescent Girls with Education (ENGAGE) project empowered up to 2,525 highly marginalised, out-of-school girls – including those with disabilities – through education across three underserved districts in Nepal’s Terai region.

The project equipped girls with tangible and transferable skills for improved learning, better decision-making, more active roles in family decisions and the pursuit of their own economic opportunities. ENGAGE achieved this through peer-support for adolescent girls, community interventions, social support for families of children with disabilities, structured trainings for teachers and mentors, and a key focus on inclusion of children with special needs, including support to the Government of Nepal to adopt new standards in disability assessment and identification.


  • Provided girls aged between 10 and 19 literacy and numeracy education through formal and non-formal channels with special resourcing for girls with disabilities. Complementary learning activities varied across age groups and included; peer-based mentoring (older girls supporting younger girls), life skills, sexual and reproductive health and rights, vocational skills, financial literacy and business skills.
  • Supported younger girls with school enrolment and providing older girls (15 to 19 years old) with personalised social support.
  • Developed robust Gender and Social Inclusion processes for educational institutions, informing school improvement plans.
  • Delivered training for educators and mentors to establish inclusive methods and teaching environments as the norm.
  • Supported Nepal Government education officials to adopt the Washington Group set of questions for identification of disabilities among children along with assistance in developing an education management information system (EMIS) for improved tracking and knowledge management.
  • Promoted community-based attitudinal and behavioural change to promote inclusion of girls in education, with a focus on parents and caregivers but also actively seeking to build self-esteem amongst girls to give girls a voice and become influencers in their own communities.
  • Supported the development of a collaborative advocacy network - the Girls Inclusive Education Network (GIEN) for continued communication and awareness on girls education at all tiers of the education system.

Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO):