SPONSOR A CHILD
Nepal is the poorest country in Asia and one of the poorest in the world with 47% literacy rates. Many families simply cannot afford the basic costs associated with education. Sponsoring a child at £10 a month covers all their educational costs, including school uniform, meals whilst at school and teaching materials. Your sponsorship means a disadvantaged child can access education, an opportunity so very valuable in Nepal.
SPONSOR A STREET CHILD
It’s a sad reality that 600 street children arrive on the streets of Kathmandu every year, most of these children do not have a place to go to at night. Many of these children find themselves living on the streets and attempt to earn money begging, collecting rags, and pulling carts and rickshaws. Street children are highly vulnerable to exploitation and sexual abuse. £20 a month can provide a street child with shelter, care and education. Sponsoring a street child could save them from the terrifying life on the street and change their future.
Help Bidur and Hari
Laura’s story is a touching revelation of the truth behind some of the orphanages found in Nepal. She tells what she learned during her first 9 months volunteering in Nepal and what she found was not what she expected at all.
When Nepal came into my life, I almost knew nothing about it, just a blurry idea of a small Country lost somewhere in the Himalayas. I imagined it was a cold place and I thought of Kathmandu as a tiny calm city, out of its time. I believed I was going to work in an orphanage with orphaned children. Nothing could have been farther from reality.
Landing in Kathmandu is a shock! If you’ve been there you know what I mean, you know words can’t really explain its hundred clashing faces and smells. If you have not, then I won’t spoil the surprise.
I was selected to join a voluntary service project, sponsored by the EU, for nine months. I was supposed to work in an orphanage helping the staff with their daily routines, such as: helping feed the kids, getting them ready for school, help them with homework, play with them and so on. Because of the supposed reliability of the sending organization and the name “ORPHANAGE” on the door step (of the building), it took me a little while to discover that behind their charitable appearance, there were only greedy aims.
Nepal is an almost out of law country and corruption is a poison polluting the whole society and government. In this wild scenario the “children business”, has grown exponentially since the end of the civil war. Child traffickers go to rural villagers concerned for their children, deceiving families with promises of safety for their children and attendance at top boarding schools, in Kathmandu Valley. Thanks to the complicity of corrupted policemen, they produce fake documents proving that the children were found homeless in the streets, making them adoptable. Moreover, tourist and web dazzled humanitarian’s compassion, feed this system.
My friends who were working with me and I, were often suspicious regarding the authenticity of the orphanage owner. There were weird rules in the house: we were not allowed to ask kids about their past and families and they were not allowed to talk about it to us. Local newspapers often spoke about the “orphanage business”. But we thought hey, we are getting paranoid, we should just enjoy the time with the children, don’t freak out, our orphanage is not “one of those”! Week by week the children were really conquering us. They were so smart and funny and spending time with them was really like being with friends. Especially with some of them, we were building strong relations and here is our little story.
One day one of boys, Bidur, with two big wise eyes, on a brilliant face, came to us and asked if we could bear a secret. “I’m not an orphan, my mum is living in a village nearby and Aman (another child at the orphanage) is my brother. Would you please bring me to see my mum for few hours but don’t tell the director.”
At that point we nearly freaked out. Were we in “one of those” orphanages? We were so shocked. In the papers kept in the orphanage’s office, Hari and Bidur were orphans found on the street, in different places and dates. But Bidur seemed too serious to be lying, so we decided to trust him. It was a surreal trip. We were three western adults, following an eight year old child and his smaller brother along the filthy, crazy Kathmandu Ring Road. We were waiting for a bus to their village on a horrible dusty junction. We were quite scared and I begun to feel silly. We asked him “Bidur are you really sure you remember how to get your home? You were only 5 when you left it, how do you know which is the right bus?
He looked at us in his serious way, as a small man, and told us “don’t worry I know how to reach my mum”. We just shut up and followed our little leader. After one hour we arrived in Dakshinkali village. Once there a jeep gave us a lift on the roof up ‘n’ down, over the hills. The kids were happy and the photos of the moment were something palpable.
Hari is just beautiful, he is a little brat full of life and he just spreads good energy with his cheeky youngster’s snotty face. He is a happy child still surrounded by that holy unconsciousness that protects children until a certain age. He was laughing and screaming at the wind while Bidur looked serious and concentrated. After a few miles he screamed stop here! We get off the jeep and suddenly an old woman pointed to the children screaming “babu,babu” the nepali way to call boys.
Kamala, the children’s mother was working in a nearby field and the moment they looked at each other was so long and deep. Then while feeding her eyes with their presence, she cut a cucumber for them, as she gazed at her children with a love-loaded sight. We went down to their small house and she gave them a massive dal bhat (lentil and rice), without taking her eyes off them she sat in a corner, smoked a cigarette and drank a little rice wine to steady her nerves, while some tear drops rolled down her face. I wanted to ask her if she knew that her children were now “legally” orphans, thousand of questions crossed my mind but I don’t speak Nepalese and that afternoon was not for my questions, it was time for a family to gather for a while.
The kids were happy, but they knew it was time to go back to the orphanage. The next months were tricky to manage, we did not know where or how to ask for help. Then thanks to some lucky coincidences at the end of April, I met people working in remarkable NGO’s, making outstanding work against child traffickers. And as soon as I flew back to Europe, they did a rescue action for Bidur and Hari.
Unfortunately they can’t live with their mother because she’s too poor to take care of them and in their village there is no school.
But, currently they live in a regular childcare home and are going to school in Kathmandu.
I fell in love with these two children, they truly are like brothers to me and I want to help them far into the future too. To pay their school and hostel fees for them.
Please help me to help them,
Real name of the volunteer has been changed for the protection reasons
How to sponsor a child
There are different methods of payment you can choose from to sponsor a child. You can send us a cheque, make a bank transfer, set up a standing order with your bank or fill in a standing order form provided by us. If you require a standing order form, bank details, or have any questions regarding donations or methods of payment, please email
or call +44 (0)127 377 3976.
You can of course give more or simply make a one-off payment. We'll be extremely grateful for any support you are able to offer. These donations will cover the costs of education for many more children in need.