Overall General Situation Adult literacy rates in Nepal are among the lowest in the world. Many years ago, United Mission to Nepal successfully adapted the practical literacy methodology developed by Fr Paulo Frerer in Brazil and it is now widely used in Nepal. It is undoubtedly the most important factor in people's holistic development. Dr. Harding's team has had extensive experience is carrying out Non-Formal Education (NFE) programs.
Participants are 95% women who never had an opportunity to go to school. Generally, several NFE participant groups of 10-15 people are started at the same time. Initially, "facilitators" are selected from among the villagers who have had at least several years of education or have become literate through NFE themselves. They are then trained in the methodology and provided a minimum of supplies and a small stipend. They generally hold classes in the evenings after all housework is done. The classes are monitored and can last from 6-24 months. The longer the program, the more emphasis there is on organization building and the development of NGO supported activities in response to the women's felt needs.