The 25th of April 2018 is the third anniversary of the devastating Nepal earthquake which destroyed over 800,000 homes and affected around 8 million people. As well as destroying homes, it destroyed land, livelihoods and people’s way of life. In one of the world’s poorest countries,
in which inequality and extreme poverty were already huge problems, the earthquake disproportionately affected those already suffering. Unable to wait for support, many of the poorest were forced to leave their villages and head for cities like Pokhara to survive. However, no longer being in the areas directly impacted by the earthquake, these children and families were overlooked by the majority of other disaster responses.
After the earthquake, we focused our response on an area in which we have the most experience and resources – helping children and families living in extreme urban poverty in Pokhara. Over the last three years, we have helped almost 1,000 earthquake-affected children and their families who were forced to migrate to the city, the majority settling in slum areas. We helped them set up homes, supported them to access local services, and made sure their children could enroll in local schools. We rescued and rehabilitated girls who were victims of trafficking. We removed children from abusive and exploitative working conditions and reintegrated children with their families and back into mainstream education. For older adolescents, we worked with local employers to improve working conditions and provided skills training, business training and access to apprenticeships to prevent their exploitation.
We have integrated support for earthquake victims into our core programme in Pokhara and now almost 1 in 3 of the working and at-risk children that we support have been affected by the earthquake, like Barun and Susmita.
|The earthquake destroyed Barun’s family, as well as their home and their land. Left with nothing, Barun’s parents moved to a neighbouring village to work on a farm but could not earn enough to support the family. Financial stress and trauma from the earthquake led to violent arguments between Barun’s parents. First his mother left and then his father. Alone Barun (aged 11) and his brothers travelled to Pokhara to see if they could earn money there. We found them on the streets and attempted to reconnect them to with their parents, but when they couldn’t be found we placed the boys in a reputable children’s home.||When a man came to their village after the earthquake, offering to take children to Pokhara to earn money and go to school, Sumita’s parents thought it a fantastic opportunity. In Pokhara, Susmita (aged 10) was employed as a domestic worker and enrolled in school, but when checking why she never turned up, we found her doing gruelling work for long days, unpaid. Her employer was taken to the police and made to pay her the money she was owed. Then our social worker travelled 200km to Susmita’s village to see if it was safe for her to return. Finding the situation there much improved, we then helped her to return to her family and to school.|
This kind of work is vital to ensuring that the most vulnerable do not slip through the cracks and we wouldn’t be able to do it without your support.
We have a new way for you to support us at the moment Make a Street Child Smile: Just MAKE a silly face, TAKE a photo and SHARE it on social media, TEXT SMIL34 £3 to 70070 to donate, TAG some friends and get them to do the same.
If you would like to donate more, simply increase the amount of money in the text or go to www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/kidasha/smile
My #sillyselfie and donation to Kidasha to Make a #StreetChildSmile for #streetchildrenday. I nominate ALL OF YOU to make a street child’s life better. Text SMIL34 £3 to 70070 to donate
Even if you are too shy to smile, I hope you will still consider making small donation – even a little can make a big difference!
Thank you for your continued support.