COPPADES is a non-profit, non-governmental social development organization with activities in the rural areas of Nepal. During the thirteen years of its operation, COPPADES has focused on the empowerment of the poorest and the most discriminated segments of the population and sought to build self-reliance among the people in the more poor and remote parts of Nepal. As a rural based social development organization COPPADES was founded with a belief that sustainable development requires a process that proceeds with combined activities that enhance the educational, organizational and economic freedom of people. Faced with oppressive poverty, a lack of alternative opportunities for income generation, political conflicts and violence spanning almost a decade, the people of rural Nepal now find themselves entrenched in a vicious cycle, hopelessly surviving on their rapidly depleting natural environment. The situations and conflicts have resulted in a drastic deterioration of health and educational opportunities as well as the absence of financial and other necessary services that they deserve as citizens. Furthermore a host of superstitious beliefs, unchanged due to a prevailing lack of literacy, work to promote social ignorance and discrimination. These situations add to a lack of awareness which compounds their insecurity and hinders the abilities of these societies to successfully respond and adapt to their dynamic environments.