Photo: Children we work with in the slum colony of Kathmandu are thankful to receive scholarships which enable them to attend local schools in the city.
We are happy to report that 46 children are currently enrolled in our Children’s Hope Center education outreach program in the slums of Kathmandu, Nepal. With your support, we were able to provide all of these children with scholarships which have enabled them to attend local schools in the city where they have been studying math, science, history, geography, their native Nepali language, and English since the current school semester began in April. Focusing our efforts on getting them into school is a key component in breaking the cycle of extreme poverty, and gives them great hope and an opportunity to change their lives.
The slum colony where we work is composed of about 100 families who live in make-shift homes built with nothing more than tree branches, tattered tarps, and vinyl ad banners found in the trash dump beside them. There is no electricity and only a few latrines serve the entire settlement. However, in the midst of these scenes of squalor, our program is providing the nutritional support these kids need to stay focused as they enter the education opportunities we’re opening for them. In a country where over 12,000 girls are sold or kidnapped annually and trafficked as slaves to India and beyond, and over 40% of children are engaged in child labor, there’s a great need for education and rehabilitation. Only as we start to open the doors of education and support these children in their pursuit to break these cycles, will we start to see changes in Nepal.
Today we want to share the story of a child of the colony named Janavee who is a recent recipient of a scholarship. She was abandoned by her father when she was 5 years old. Janavee, her mother, and her two younger brothers have been living in the slum colony for the past 10 years. Her mother is a single mother, thus it was difficult for her to provide for the needs of her family. To make ends meet, she did a lot of odd jobs all the while in poor health. Therefore it was difficult for her and she got sick often. We met Janavee five years ago and she has received a scholarship every year since then. She is now 15 years old and in the 9th grade. She is very grateful for the scholarships, which have given her the opportunity to pursue a quality education she would otherwise have no access to. She would never have had such hope before. It’s the hope of a better life — of a life with much less risk of human trafficking or child labor.
Photo inset: (Top-left): “Janavee,” who lives in the slum colony our native team works in, is grateful for the scholarship we have given her that provides the opportunity to pursue a quality education. (Top-right): A new building has been constructed next to our Nepal orphan home, which provides extra space for studying and eating. (Bottom-left): Our native team recently organized trafficking avoidance counseling classes for 305 teenage girls in Nepal. (Bottom-right): A girl who is currently in our Nepal rehabilitation program proudly shows off a sweater she learned to knit.
In other good news, we recently constructed a new side building to our orphan home, which we are using as a kitchen, a dining hall, and a study room. The new building has 2 rooms with electric lighting, and is 33 x 15 ft., made of zinc siding and iron pipes. The 22 children currently living in our orphan home are thankful for the additional space, giving them more comfort and ease during their meals and study time for school the next day. Thanks to our farmland which grows various organic vegetables and raises goats for goat milk and stockbreeding, our work is growing toward sustainability in Nepal. The produce from our farmland stocks our orphanage pantry with nutritious ingredients for the children’s meals in the new building. It also supplies our human trafficking rehabilitation home with fresh ingredients for their meals. Surplus from the farmland is sold at market to generate much-needed funding for our programs.
To round out the good news, our native team recently organized trafficking avoidance counseling classes for girls ages 13-17 in the heavily-trafficked areas of Kathmandu. This month we equipped 305 teenage girls through our training classes which are styled in a workshop and discussion format. We also reached 64 more girls through our door-to-door trafficking avoidance program in the surrounding villages, and 175 girls through our monthly border trafficking avoidance program for the girls who pass through the border.
Lastly, the girls at our rehabilitation home are doing well — they are learning to make knitted sweaters, socks, baby hats, and various Nepali dresses which are popular among Nepalese women. Many of their creations are sold online at the She Has Hope crafts shop where all the profits go toward the girls’ rehabilitation. As always, we are so grateful for your generous donations and your faithful prayers, helping to improve the lives of our girls, our children, and our native team, who faithfully serve in our programs.
Take a Closer Look: view more photos from this project and others