Sanothimi is located just outside Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. Around 2.9 million people live in the urban agglomeration of Kathmandu, making it the most populous city of Nepal.
Kathmandu is considered the centre of Nepal's history, culture, art and economy. However, poverty is still widespread in the capital, with about 11% of the inhabitants live in poverty. This worsened after the 2015 earthquake that hit Kathmandu severely, destroying 600,000 buildings and killing about 9,000 people.
Since 1972, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Sanothimi.
Nepal has the 16th highest rate of child marriages in the world. This means that 40% of women in Nepal were married before the age of 18.
Child marriage is a violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the emotional damage a child suffers from a forced union is profound. There is also an increased risk of child pregnancy and domestic violence.
In the province of Bagmati specifically, where Sanothimi is located, 19% of girls were married as a child. The national target to end child marriage by 2030 will require a major push from the government.
Sanothimi is located just outside Kathmandu. Kathmandu is one of the fastest growing cities in Nepal, but the infrastructure has not been able to keep up with its development. There is a lack of affordable housing, adequate sanitation and clean drinking water.
Often, people who move to Kathmandu in search of a better life and job opportunities, end up in informal settlements on the outskirts of the city. Children are the most affected by the poverty prevailing in these slums – the lack of access to clean drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene. In Nepal, about 49% of the urban population lives in slums.