The past few months have been a real roller coaster for our staff with so many sad stories of children to deal with. At the same time, we are very happy that we are there to help them as there is no other organisation to assist them in any way.
Recently, we were contacted by the police and asked to help an 8 year old boy who saw his mum being killed by his aunt and uncle. His dad is in prison for a different crime so he was under the care of his grandmother who decided to send him to a hotel to work. He was physically abused there by the hotel workers, had to work very long hours and didn't get paid for the work. When the police found him, he was wearing plastic bags instead of clothes. Now he is safe with us and is getting all the necessary counselling and care. He has other 4 siblings under the care of the grandmother - all are very scared and not safe, with one 6 years old girl also working in a different hotel. We are now working on bringing all the children to our shelters and then we will plan for their future.
We have also finally managed to get birth certificates for the two girls that have been staying with us for just over a year and we are now able to move them to our new Janakpur safe house for girls. This was a huge achievement for the staff as getting birth certificates and citizenship is a very long process - especially when the children have no parents. Without these documents the children are not even able to attend school. So the girls will embark on their journey to Janakpur this week where our social worker and the counsellor will be planning their future to ensure they receive good education and best possible start in their lives.
Another big achievement has been a series of meetings that have led to an MOU to be signed in the next few weeks between us and the Chamber of Commerce in Birgunj. As part of the MOU, the Chamber of Commerce have committed to assisting us with finding jobs for the parents/guardians/families of the children that we help. This will make a huge difference to the lives of so many children over there.
Thank you again for all the support. It means so much to us and to our children.
It has been an incredibly busy time for the Our Sansar team in Nepal. We are starting a new project in Janakpur this month and are also focusing on our existing projects in Birgunj.
One of our boys will be linked back with his family soon. Due to a mental illness, his mum was not been able to look after him but now she is married again and the husband is looking after her and is happy to accept our Adip as his own son. Adip also has a little sister who will attend the same school as him and he cannot wait to join them and help her with her schooling. The community are rebuilding their house that is in a really bad state at the moment, and we will provide beds, desks, educational materials and anything else necessary to Adip and his sister so that they can have comfortable lives. We will also support him with education and any further training that he might require/want in the future.
We had two new boys joining our Child Helpline in Birgunj - 8 and 9 years old children who were being forced to work in a hotel. They are staying with us at the moment and we are liaising with the family and the authorities to try and find the best possible solution for them. In the meantime they are receiving care, informal education and counselling.
We have also managed to send a sister of one of our boys to Kathmandu to our new partner's, Lily's Leaves, training and counselling centre to provide her with counselling and mentoring that she desperately needs, and then any suitable training that might fit with her skills. We will update everyone on the progress of the training.
We have some exciting news coming up soon so you should be able to read about that in our next report!
Thank you so much for all the support so far. It means so much to us and even more to all the children that we have been able to help.
Time stopped for a bit and we haven't been able to help as many children as we would like to due to all the current restrictions. But our team are doing whatever they can to provide good support, education and care to the children in our current care, and have also just been able to get in touch with many more children that are on the streets of Birgunj.
It's a festival time in Nepal and many parents have sent their children to beg on the streets - families have no money for food or basic necessities and no support from the government during these difficult times. The government have even stopped supporting medical treatment for coronavirus patients so everyone who needs hospital treatment needs to pay around 15,000Rs (approximately £96) a day and this is a huge amount for most people in Nepal.
We are trying to keep the children as safe as possible - no outsiders are allowed into our children's home or the child helpline buildings (apart from the doctor who comes to do routine health check ups). Luckily, it has so far worked really well and all the children and the staff have managed to enjoy their Dashain festival - we even built our own huge swing (a tradition in Nepal during these holidays).
All the boys are receiving online classes on top of their usual classes and activities with our staff. They celebrated the National Children's Day in September with art and music competitions and tonnes of quizzes. So everyone is in good spirits!
We are hoping things will come back to normality shortly but we just have to wait and see. We will keep you up to date with all the new developments.
And thank you so much for all the support. It really means a lot to us and the children in these strange times. Please keep sharing the information about us and the projects.
The last few months have for sure been really eventful. Luckily, all our staff and children have been safe and healthy and observing social distancing very strictly. We have redesigned our child helpline/day care centre building slightly to provide an area for any new children needing emergency assistance so that they can be isolated for 2 weeks. In some new cases, the children were quarantined at the police station and then brought to us to ensure safety of everyone.
We have had some very sad cases of children being forced to beg on the street with a cobra snake performing for the passers by, children used in the porn industry and many more difficult situations. The staff from our children's home and child helpline have only been able to communicate via phone but they have been exchanging ideas for activities with the children. The children have been occupied with the yoga classes, a lot of crafts, sports and of course classes at home. Last time I had a video call with them, they were watching Bollywood movies so it was difficult to get their attention - so I promised to find them some more educational programmes and movies in English to help them learn in a fun way. I think they'll be watching Indiana Jones soon!
As the lockdown is being eased, we expect to come across more and more children needing assistance - the lockdown was very strict and many people lost their income streams. Many experts predict famine in Nepal and a massive economic disaster. We are prepared to take many more children should the need arise. We are working closely with the local government, the mayor and the local chamber of commerce - we have now started discussions with them to try and arrange jobs for some of the most affected families. We will also provide education for the children from these families, and food and shelter where necessary.
I wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported us throughout this difficult time. Thanks to you we are able to help more children and families. Please continue your support when possible.
Our wonderful staff have been extremely busy this winter and have constantly been assisting new children. We have had some incredibly sad cases but we are very proud of our staff that they have been able to help these children that needed urgent assistance. As a result, these children have a place to stay, good nutritious food, education, love, care and a lot of fun at the moment.
We have recently admitted 2 very young girls who had lived with their dad on streets and the dad passed away. The girls were malnourished, one of them was in a critical condition and we took her to the hospital in Kathmandu where she had a blood transfusion and treatment. She is fine now but still needs a lot of care and is under doctors' observation. We tried tracking their family but nobody so far wants to take responsibility for them so they are saying to us that they are not a real family. A truly heart-breaking story. We are hoping to get the girls to full health soon and provide them with a loving home with us before we can assess the best way forward for them. In the meantime, we are still trying to find any existing family members. Our two lovely staff members, Baby and Sabita, are taking good care of them at the moment.
Our boys from the children's home come and visit all the children at the Child Helpline on Saturdays and ensure they have a lot of fun with them. There is always a lot of dancing, drawing and sports. The Child Helpline together with the Day Care Centre is proving to be really successful in reaching many of those street children that we weren't able to assist just by running the children's home and we are getting requests for more and more help every day.
And all this is possible just because of your generous support. Please keep supporting us so that we can assist even more children in need.
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