TAKING CHILDREN FROM A LIFE OF LABOUR TO A BETTER FUTURE
Anuj (10) and Sarita (13) were trafficked from their village and forced into domestic labour in Pokhara
My mummy gave me and my sister to a man who brought us to the city. He told us we were going to go to a big school and we were very excited. But in the city he separated us. He took me to the house of a doctor and his wife, I don’t know where my sister was taken. I was forced to work, doing all the cleaning and helping with cooking, or I would get beaten. I had to get up very early and work till very late. It was very hard work and made me tired and hurt, but I wasn’t allowed to rest. I missed my sister and my mummy. I didn’t think I would ever see them again. I was very lonely and used to cry myself to sleep.
One day Kalpana [a Kidasha outreach worker] came to the house. She asked me lots of questions about my family, my work and the man who brought me there. She found my sister and took us back to our village. Now we both go to school, have new books, uniforms, nice bags and coloured pens. Mummy promised that she’ll never send us away again and we can stay in school. I am happy now and want to finish school so that I can become a doctor. A nice one.
Kidasha’s team fought to ensure that Anuj and Sarita received 38,800NPR (£250) of compensation from her employer for her unpaid work.
£100 A MONTH PAYS FOR AN OUTREACH WORKER TO HELP CHILD LABOURERS LIKE ANUJ RETURN TO THEIR FAMILIES
Over the last 5 years we have:
- Contributed to a 73% reduction in child labour in Pokhara.
- Removed almost 1,000 children from exploitative labour.
- Provided 2,700 children with alternative learning opportunities.
More than 1.6 million children in Nepal are forced to work due to severe poverty and neglect – many simply working in exchange for food and roof over their head. Those migrating to cities are usually engaged in hazardous labour in garages, workshops, restaurants or as domestic servants in other people’s houses. Isolated, invisible and ignored, excluded from education or meaningful learning opportunities, they have little hope for their futures.
Kidasha prioritises removing children under 14 from the labour force, and changing individual and community attitudes to prevent other children being employed. For working adolescent girls and boys, we work with employers to protect them from abuse and exploitation and improve their living and working conditions.
We have developed a range of tailored learning and training programmes to support working children to build their confidence, improve numeracy & literacy, develop life skills, and if possible return to school. Our outreach workers also provide advice, counselling, and health support, and for many of these children are the only positive adult they have in their lives.
Numeracy and Literacy Classes in the Workplace
“I have learned many practical things in an interesting and friendly way. This was completely different from what I had experienced in school where I could not relate to what I was learning.”
– 15 year old boy working in a garage