Reintegrating children from Nepal’s corrupt orphanages
As many as 80% of the children living in children’s homes are estimated to have living parents and relatives and are not in fact orphans. Traffickers go to poor rural areas and ask for parents to put children in their care promising them a bright future and education opportunities. Parents entrust their children hoping they are being provided with better opportunities and even often pay money to the traffickers who request a fee. On arrival to the children’s homes, it is common for official documents to be falsified stating that the children are orphaned when in fact they are not.
The traffickers run these children’s homes as businesses and use the poor conditions of the children to appeal to tourists and foreigners in Nepal or abroad showing them the great need faced by the children in their care. In reality, the money donated never reaches its intended beneficiaries. The children are kept in poor living conditions as this encourages multiple further donations. There are often cases of children in orphanages with 4 or 5 different “sponsors” from different country who are still not cared for in a proper way.
Traffickers in order to instill a culture of fear to prevent children from running away or reporting them, face daily abuse, child labour and regular mistreatment also forcing the children to lie to volunteers and visitors.
The government sometimes takes action against some of these homes and rescue the children, putting them in the care of NGOs who specialize in reintegration.
Studies show the importance of a family environment for children to reach their full capacity and grow up in the best conditions. Working against the institutionalization of children, we work in partnership with Sano Paila to care and to help reintegrate children rescued from a corrupt orphanage in January. Our partner Right4Children also supports this project by supporting and advising Sano Paila for the reintegration of the children with their families.
Some of the children have no seen their parents in years so our team is working on tracking down family members and reinitiate contact before helping to facilitate reintegration.
The main objective of this project is to care for these children while we are progressing in the reintegration process. Children receive basic care and services including food, shelter, healthcare, education as well as counseling.
When parents and families are found, a gradual reconnection is initiated until the child is ready to rejoin his family. We closely monitor and follow up on a regular basis with children who have been reconnected to ensure their well-being.
Beneficiaries in 2014
- 44 beneficiaries amongst which 42 children as well as a mother who is mute and her baby were rescued by the government from an orphanage called Ama Ko Ghar and put in our partner’s care
- 9 children were rescued from trafficking and forced labour in India and were transferred to our receiving home
- 8 children were rescued from another children’s home by the government and put under our care
- 1 child was rescued from the street
- 3 beneficiaries comprising of a mentally ill mother and her 2 children were rescued from the street
- 30 children have been reunified with their families who are now responsible for their care
- The mother who is mute and her baby were transferred to out sister project Kopila Nepal which is a Safe Shelter Home for women who have suffered abuse and have nowhere to go. The other mother and her 2 children who were rescued from the street were also transferred to this project.