The ‘Community Empowerment through Social and Economic Upliftment Project’ (CESE-UP) aims at strengthening the social capabilities of the most marginalized people in 6 communities in Morang, Sarlahi, and Chitwan, and to act as ‘change agents’ at the household and community level against caste- & gender-based discrimination. Although the main visible problem in the project communities is poverty, at its root is caste- and gender-based discrimination against dalits and ethnic minorities, in particular women. They are often landless and survive ‘from hand to mouth’ doing hard daily labour or seasonal work. They often have no identity papers and therefore cannot access the services and rights guaranteed by Nepalese legislation; sufficient livelihood or land to cultivate, health, water and sanitation, education, and social security benefits (senior-citizens, people living with disabilities, etc.). The project sensitizes them to their fundamental rights as guaranteed by the Nepalese Constitution, and encourages them to form their own local organizations to advocate for their rights. Through the community organizations, in particular women’s groups and cooperatives, health and sanitation conditions and practices can be improved. By supporting children with school uniforms and materials, the drop-out and truancy rates can be reduced. The community groups are assisted in setting up and operating small funds, where the members can get loans for developing cottage industries, purchase of small livestock, renting land and cultivating vegetables and herbs. In Terai’s flatlands where floods and droughts alternate, mitigating natural disasters is possible through disaster preparedness and climate-change sensitive construction and cultivation. The project involves approximately 13 000 people(belonging to Santhal, Musahar, Paswan, Chamar/Sarki, Tamang, Biswakarma, Pariyar ,Chepang, Bote or Majhi dalit or ethnic groups) and some 280 local civil servants and civil society organization employees.