Who We Are
The mission of the Little Sisters Fund is to help economically disadvantaged Nepalese girls to become empowered leaders through education, mentoring, and community support. Founded in 1998 by Usha Acharya and Trevor Patzer, the Little Sisters Fund began with a single scholarship for one “Little Sister.” Since then, the Fund has grown to serve more than 2,000 girls in 20 districts of Nepal through nine interlocking programs.
Little Sisters Fund fights the injustices of gender discrimination, child trafficking, child marriage, and child labor by investing in at-risk girls with long-term scholarships (up to grade 12) and comprehensive support. Three scholarship programs keep at-risk girls safe, in school, and looking toward the future. Because poverty and disadvantage are multi-dimensional, seven peripheral programs target additional barriers to girls’ achievement and women’s empowerment. Supporting programs include mentoring, teacher training, awareness raising, collective savings and micro-finance, basic health care and health education, mobile libraries, and small-scale community development programs. This combination of access to education plus high-touch support ensures that girls not only attend school, but can succeed there and beyond.
To date, the Little Sisters Fund has supported more than 2,200 girls, with over 2,000 currently receiving full scholarships. In addition, we are proud of the following metrics of success:
- 98 percent year-on-year continuation rate.
- 98 percent pass rate (overall throughout our 15-year history) on the School Leaving Certificate, a national exam all 10th grade students must take. The national average for females is about 40 percent.
- Our graduates: More than 90 percent continue to university-level studies. Common jobs include teachers, nurses, engineers, and NGO employees. Many of our graduates are paying it forward by helping fund the education of the next generation of Little Sisters.
- Primary Educator Training: Enhanced skills of more than 400 teachers, creating a more positive learning environment for more than 10,000 children.
While we track impact in numbers, we know each of our successes by name. Each and every girl we educate and protect from sex-trafficking, marriage, and labor is a major achievement for us.