Hamro Ghar

at Tripureshwor Temple

 

A Plan of Action in favour of the Street Children
of the Kathmandu Valley
in cooperation with CWARDS

 

 A long lasting program

                To grant street Children a shelter in a historical building, precious to the cultural heritage of Nepal

                To provide the opportunity of hope to some amongst the many street Children in Kathmandu through specific activities centred on schooling, training and social recovery

                To allow these Children, along with the whole of Kathmandu, to be the living present of a millenary tradition

 

HELP/Nepal’s APPROACH

By observing data supplied by other National and International Organisations, as well as through our own experience with the pilot project Asha Ko Biu Pashupati, we believe that, although the constant hardships and hopelessness, street Children take in street life as completely free and as their only element of control.

Fleeing from disastrous situations, they choose their peers as family and themselves as rule. They will not accept external control, formal discipline or anything deemed as an imposition.

As soon as these elements are perceived, they prefer once again to escape, although it implies turning their back on shelter and food.

Considering the above elements, in 2006 we launched Asha Ko Biu Pashupati, a pilot project aiming at recovering street Children initially by providing them with attention and basic needs (food, hygiene and a night shelter). We gradually added sport and educational activities as well as Yoga, and received excellent response.

The Children participating at the program are currently 40, and the average escape rate has been zero.

We are certain that the success of the pilot project has been the specific approach adopted, which is centred on following the street Children’s specific needs, experience and life choice, and with extreme patience bringing them to accept and respect the staff, composed of Nepali personnel and international volunteers, involved with them daily. Only on a monthly basis we provided them with new activities, and a certain more discipline.

We will apply an analogous approach to Hamro Ghar. Undoubtedly the ultimate aims as well as the specific objectives are broader, yet the designated beneficiaries will have experiences and attitudes very similar to those encountered with the street Children of Pashupati.

The principle we apply to our activities is that in order for street Children to choose a better life, they must first of all be able to foresee an option. This implies that before dismantling their present choice, no matter how appalling it may be, we must be able to provide them with an alternative.

For this to occur, it is necessary for the children to confide and believe in who offers them daily activities, so as to accept what is offered. In other words, it is necessary to build with them a true relationship; the premise of which may only be trust. Providing the children with care and activities without asking anything in return is the means for allowing them to understand our unconditioned affection and desire to help. Only having thus acquired their confidence, will it be possible for them to accept and foresee the possibility of a change and that of building for themselves a future.  

HELP/Nepal’s MISSION

For 13 years HELP/Nepal has been committed to fighting inhuman poverty, which deprives people of their dignity, and to promoting the rights of the poor.

HELP/Nepal believes Children are the true beneficiaries of the world and thus must be able to live a better life in a better world.

PROJECT GOALS

Hamro Ghar aims at supporting street Children of the Kathmandu Valley by offering them an unprecedented benchmark.

The historical site Tripureshwor Mahadev Temple will be entirely restored, underlining the cultural and artistic value of the building, and used as a centre apt to hosting, feeding, advising as well as providing scholastic, sport and vocational training classes to street Children.

What the project intends to offer is not limited to a shelter. It intends to be a reference point which Children aged 3 to 13, with no obligation or constraint, may refer to when in need.

A Cultural Nepali Heritage site will thus become the centre in which street Children may find a true alternative and the possibility of hoping and concretely providing for a future.

It will be structured to comprise the below activities and functions:

THE DORMS - the planned reconstruction of the Temple will include an area of for sleeping facilities for those street Children who wish to find shelter. Permanence at the centre will not be an obligation, so as to grant the Children that freedom they perceive as part of the streets. HELP/Nepal’s personnel will monitor the dorms, thus granting the Children a constant and caring presence, along with protection.

THE LUNCHROOM – traditional, varied and nutritional meals will be provided twice a day. The lunchroom will be open to those Children hosted in the dorm, to Children only attending the daily activities and to Children simply seeking a meal. HELP/Nepal’s staff will provide the children with soap and assist them in washing their hands before every meal.

In addition to the daily meals, a 12 hour food service will be available for Children from 8 am to 8 pm.  

HYGIENIC SERVICES – an area of the Temple will be constructed to provide for basic hygienic facilities, including showers which will be accessible to all street Children. The showers will be open from 6 am to 8pm; shampoo, soap and towels will be made available by the staff.

A laundry service by which Children may exchange dirty clothes and shoes for clean or new ones will also be provided.

THE CLASSROOMS - An education service will be provided in partnership with CWARD’s existing education program which runs from 10 am to 3 pm daily, and is currently followed by previous victims of Child labour. The restoration of the Temple will provide for classrooms in which all children wishing to attend education may follow different scholastic courses. The fact that these classes will also be followed by children coming from a different reality and experience than that of the street, will furthermore be an opportunity of growth for the street children.

THE TRAINING ROOMS – the project intends adapting an area of the Temple so as to carry out vocational training courses in which the older street Children may attend training and workshops in topics ranging from mechanics, agriculture, carpentry, plumbing, electronics, IT and handicrafts. The courses will be held on a regular basis, and specialised staff will identify along with each Child the most appropriate activity. The Children will be free to attend any course and, although constancy will be rewarded, will not be graded or obliged to follow.

THE WORKSHOPS – following the vocational training courses, the children will have the opportunity of putting into practice what they have learnt in workshops open to the public. These will be rented free of charge to craftsmen of different fields, with the condition that they hire the children participating to Hamro Ghar as apprentices.

HAMRO CROFT – there is an extended part of land, near to the river, which will be used for cultivating vegetables and flowers. Those children who choose agriculture as a training course will be able to work in the croft, thus learning a potential working activity while also producing fresh and organic goods to be used daily in the lunchroom. All excess vegetables as well as flowers not used as decorations within the Temple will be sold to the public, with the aims of attracting local participation as well as generating a small-scale profit to invest in the project.

THE GARDEN AREA – recreation, sports, art, drama and singing sessions will be held in the Temple’s garden, as well as occasional events concerning culture, religion or art. Such activities are not only in themselves fundamental to Children: they also are a means of attracting street Children to the Centre.

 THE CONFERENCE ROOM – To involve the local community in the project, there will be within the Temple a conference room open to the public. When necessary, the room will also be used as an auditorium for artistic and recreational activities programmed to take place in the Garden Area

THE MUSIC ROOM – a room equipped with some musical instruments will be predisposed to carry out music classes and small concerts on behalf of the street children.

THE LIBRARY – a small library, open to the public, is intended to be constructed adjacent to the classrooms.

THE INFIRMARY – a 24/7 service providing first aid will be available at the Temple, along with a four-bed room to be used for admittance of street children affected by minor pathologies. In an adjacent room we also intend for daily activities open to the public to take place. These will be centred on the following:

1.  Family Planning advice

2.  HIV & AIDS awareness

3.  Health screening

4.  Vaccinations

5.  Personal hygiene awareness

6.  Maternal & Child health

7.  Diet awareness

THE GUIDANCE ROOM – along with health services, Hamro Ghar intends offering constant guidance to the Children. This will primarily occur through the affection and attention provided by HELP/Nepal’s staff, which will be concretely sustained by regular sessions held by social workers and psychologists. The latter will consist in individual and group discussions centred on problems and more or less traumatic issues which the Children might have encountered. When needed psychological profiling will be provided and, on the Child’s consent, more specialist intervention will be sought.

SUMMARY OF ACTIVITY AREAS WITHIN THE TEMPLE

●  dorm rooms

●  play room

●  shower rooms

●  guidance room

●  multi-room toilets

●  lunchroom

●  classrooms

●  library

●  vocational training rooms

●  garden area

●  infirmary

●  conference room

●  nursery

●  general purpose storage room

●  admittance room for minor pathologies

●  laundry room

●  Hamro Croft

●  kitchen and food storing room

●  workshops

●  administration rooms

●  music room

●  staff accommodation rooms

SUMMARY OF THE PROJECT’S ACTIVITIES

●  providing for shelter

●  provision of clothes and shoes

●  provision of meals

●  sport activities

●  provision of hot water and soap

●  recreational activities

●  vocational training