Hamro Ghar Pashupati

 

STREET CHILDREN

At least 5,000 Children live and work in the streets of the main urban centres of Nepal,  trying every day to find the money necessary to survive. When they are lucky, on average, they earn 1 Euro in six/seven hours work  (ILO 2004) by begging, robbing, collecting cloths, plastic, and rubbish.

 

Street Children are from 3/4 to 16 years old and they spend their days near Temples, malls, cinemas, bus stations and tourist centres. In Kathmandu street Children are primarily concentrated in Thamel - an area of the city, visited every day by many tourists – and in Pashupatinath – the widest and most important Indu site of Nepal, if not of the whole world.

 

Living in the streets of Kathmandu means having no access to food, shelter, schooling, and basic care, in inhuman hygienic and sanitary conditions. Moreover, and almost “obviously”, living in the street means also to have a direct access to drug abuse.

 

Glue is the cheapest and therefore the most common drug used. Inhaling it allows the Children to keep away hunger, cold, and fear. Glue inhaling results however in devastating effects both for the brain tissues and for the liver and lung tissues, destroying this way not only the children’s psyche but also their identity.

 

Street Children are either orphans, or they have been completely abandoned by their families. For many of them - having contacts with their parents but not living with them - the street represents the only alternative to family abuses.

 

When young widows with Children re-marry, the new husband often refuses the Children of the previous marriage. Many amongst the street Children in the Kathmandu valley are forced to street life by their stepfather or by their own choice, when they decide to refuse the newly imposed strictness and abuses.

 

The majority of street Children develop this way a strong sense of independence, leading them to refuse situations perceived as having excessive rules and limitations. On the contrary, such situations – for example orphanages and care centres – may represent an occasion for a better future.

 

BROAD  OBJECTIVES

The  Hamro Ghar  project aims at offering these Children an alternative to street life and the possibility to build up a better future for themselves, by stopping the use of drugs, defending their own rights, reaching a better life quality and an education level that can let them have a good job in the future.

 

In particular, the project wants to recover street Children from absolute poverty, deprivation and the dangers linked to street life in the Kathmandu valley.

 

The strategy for the implementation of the project keeps into consideration the characteristics of the beneficiaries: street Children refuse external control and imposed rules.

 

The first step is therefore the establishing and maintaining of a relationship based on trust: the Children must know the staff of the project, have a personal relationship with them and feel that their perceived freedom is not being altered any way.

 

THE FIRST YEAR

This project started in March of 2006, with a first group of 10 Children found in the streets of  Pashupatinath by our staff, who worked every day  for and with them.

 

The fist proposal developed in an area very near to the temple, and was based on one hour of football training every day, except for Saturday. After football, all the Children who had taken part to the activity, received lunch.

 

Day after day, a continuous increase in the number of Children has led to the current number of 40 beneficiaries.

 

During this first year, the project has been further developed with the activities described here following:

 

THE SECOND YEAR

During the second year of the project implementation, HELP/Nepal rented and restructured a building in the surroundings of the Pashupati Temple.

 

Today “our street Children” can say: “I am tired, I want to go home”. A big deal has been reached!

 

Hamro Ghar (our home) develops on three floors and is made up of 4 bedrooms, a kitchen, a living room, toilets on every floor, 5 showers, 3 classrooms with blackboard, an infirmary and an office. Three people from the staff of HELP/Nepal live with the Children and take care of them and of the house for 24 hours a day. Every day a nurse is at Hamro Ghar for the whole day and follows the Children as for their health and personal hygiene.

 

THE FUTURE

The main objective of the project remains improving the life conditions of street Children in the area of  Pashupati.

 

This can be done:

-          by continuing to help the children who have lived in Hamro Ghar for several months.

-          by helping the Children who live with their families in Pashupati, but who spend most of their day in the street.

-          by offering new opportunities to the Children who live in Hamro Ghar, helping them to plan their future.


 

The visible improvement of the life conditions of these Children represents an important stimulus for us in continuing our action to find out new solutions to build the children’s future together with them. For this reason it is fundamental to help new Children and to give new opportunities to those already living with us.

 

Bringing new Children to Hamro Ghar will allow us to start a new process to keep them far from the street. In addition to what Hamro Ghar already offers to the Children attending the house, we would like to realise the following activities:

 

1.       Establishing a direct contact with these Children through the mediation of an educator.

2.       Through the support of a facilitator, creating a collaboration relationship with their families, in order for them to take part to the growth of their Children.

3.       Involving the local community in recognising street Children as its own members and leading it to become our active collaborator in our helping action.

 

Further developing the support relationship with those Children who already live at Hamro Ghar will allow us to give them the necessary tools to be able to choose their future. In order to do that, we are planning to:

 

1.       Finance 25 more scholarships in order for the Children who have reached the best result at school to continue their studies.

2.       Finance 25 scholarships for professional training schools for the Children who attend Hamro Ghar.

3.       Give constant psychological support to all the Children who attend Hamro Ghar.

4.       Organise a course of health education

5.       Start afternoon activities separated for younger and older Children, among which:

-          A course of cricket (national sport) in order to strengthen through playing the sense of belonging to a group and in order to make it easier for the Children to understand the importance of respecting rules.

-          Courses of orientation to carpentry, electrical engineering, plumber, and mechanics, in order to help the Children choosing a possible future job.

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