„He who saves a single life saves the whole world.“ (from the Talmud)
Our help is directed at children who fight for survival at the fringes of society.
Many Nepalese are sent to prison following theft or other minor crimes they commit to survive. Their children have the choice to live on the street or follow them into prison. Many of them join their parents in their cells, where they are locked up in a tiny space until their parents are released.
These Nepalese children – many of them from deprived families – were abducted by child traffickers when they were five to nine years of age. They were sold off to Indian circusses where they were held like animals, exploited, and abused. Most of them are severely traumatised.
Many Nepalese children with physical or mental disabilities lead their lives as outcasts. They are locked up or stigmatised and mistreated as „village idiots“. Due to their handicap, their social environment ignores and segregates them. Consequently, there are hardly any schools or other training opportunities open to them.
We can hardly imagine the living conditions of these children. Most of them collect food leftovers to survive. Their families are too poor to feed all of their kids. Hardly any of them go to school. Our goal is to free the children from their immediate suffering and then provide them and their relatives with the means to build up an independent existence within their social environment.
To achieve this goal
- We plan rescue operations to free children from Indian circuses. So far, we have freed more than 300 children;
- We accommodate 130 children in our children’s homes (mainly prison children, circus children, and slum children) providing emotional and educational support until they are strong enough to stand on their own feet;
- We support schools – including a school for deaf children and a school for mentally disabled children. We contribute to pay for teachers, books, the building of classrooms, scholarship for disadvantaged children, and school buses, to name a few;
- We condcut, with the support of our Nepalese partner organisation, awareness training to those living in rural areas who are affected by problems such as child trafficking;
- We offer free occupational training, e. g. to become a sewer, potter, or mosaic artist;
- We provide microloans to those starting their own businesses.
When talking about „we“ in this context, the actual work on the ground is conducted by our partner organisation, the Esther Benjamins Trust, a recognised British children’s charity. They provide the network in Nepal and (so far) supply the major part of the necessary financial resources. The Esther Bejamins Trust concentrates its activities on two programs:
PACT (Program Against Child Trafficking)
With PACT the Esther Benjamins Trust is taking action against trafficking of children in Nepal. During the past few years we could free more than 300 children. These Nepalese children – many of them from deprived families – were abducted by child traffickers when they were five to nine years of age. They were sold off to Indian circusses where they were held like animals, exploited, and abused. By giving them the caring and friendly environment they need and by providing them with medical and social programs, we attempt to help these traumatised children. Our aim is to give them a good education and thereby allow them to lead a self-sufficient life independent of outside help in their own social environment.
We estimate that there are a further some 150 Nepalese children „living“ in Indian circusses. More rescue operations are being planned.
CEDAR (Child Education, Development And Reintegration)
This program is aimed at the large number of children who severely suffer or live at the fringes of society. Such children are children living in slums, disabled children (who in Nepal are sometimes still locked away from public life), and children of prison inmates (who so far often had to live with their parents in their prison cells). We offer own educational and training programs as well as social activities and support schools to give these children the opportunity to become educated, self-confident, and socially engaged personalities These are the best tools for them to escape the vicious cycle of poverty.