Reflecting on 2019 and the challenges ahead

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The approach of Christmas and the end of the year offers us all a chance for reflection. At Kidasha we have a lot to reflect upon: it’s been an incredibly busy and exciting year.

Once again, we’re enormously grateful to everyone who has supported us during the year. Our amazing supporters took on the Wye Challenge in May, trekked to Nepal in September, bucket collected in King’s Cross and generously donated their time and money to support vulnerable children in Nepal.

Our 2019 highlights include: 

  • Raising an incredible £60K from our Wye Challenge
  • Being awarded a £250K UK Aid grant from the UK government for a project designed to improve the health and wellbeing of vulnerable and marginalised adolescents
  • Being one of only three organisations from over 100 applications to be awarded a Sir Ernest Cassel Centenary award – a £350K project to provide an alternative learning programme for ‘out of school’ girls 
  • Establishing a new and exciting partnership with the MCC Foundation

At the same time the year has not been without its considerable challenges. An outbreak of dengue fever in August affected five of our team, with two being hospitalised, including our CEO, Janice Miller. We also had to get to grips with a delayed start to our UK Aid project and manage the impact of numerous changes in policy and legislation in Nepal, designed to increase government control over civil society.

Although running up against such obstacles can be disheartening, the stories coming from Nepal never fail to underline how our work radically changes lives. During her latest trip to Nepal Janice was invited to the wedding celebrations of an ex-street boy who is now living with his family in a local slum. Janice was welcomed with the utmost hospitality and generosity and also met several young adults who had previously been on the street, but who are now employed and able to live with their families. The support Kidasha provided had enabled them to leave the dangerous and precarious environment they were previously living in, which has seen many children end up in prison or even die as a result of violence or substance abuse.

This story highlights how our street project has become a lifeline for hundreds of street children in Nepal – we’ve been providing essential services for them for the past 15 years. However, it has become increasingly difficult to raise enough funds to maintain these services. Many institutional donors will only support ‘new’ projects, and for a limited period, with the view that they should be self-sustainable within three years. Keeping these services running will be one of our highest priorities in the coming year.

The new year will no doubt bring new challenges but at same time we are excited that its likely there will be new opportunities to help even more children. This is all possible thanks to the generosity and commitment of our supporters – your belief and support have been integral to our success in 2019 and will continue to be so into 2020 and beyond.