Reducing neglect, abuse & exploitation
Growing up in poverty without stability and guidance, children are extremely vulnerable to violence, abuse and exploitation. Thousands of children are pushed out of their families. Isolated and ignored and without access to specialised support these children struggle to survive and are inevitably trapped in a cycle of poverty and violence
Family issues, community attitudes, and weak government services create a complex range of factors that make children vulnerable to severe neglect, abuse, and long-term harm.
We work with individual children, families and communities to prevent and respond to child protection issues. We collaborate with local and provincial government agencies to strengthen safeguarding systems and services.
Intensive Individualised Support
We operate a targeted outreach programme, which works in collaboration with other local agencies to identify children living in high-risk situations, whether that be within or outside of family care. These children are then supported by social workers via a comprehensive case management process through which their individual and family needs are assessed and a package of multiple services coordinated, monitored and evaluated.
Our support network includes a temporary protection and rehabilitation shelter, coupled with a midway home, for street-connected children. The aim of this service is to reintegrate children with their families and due to its success, the number of children living permanently on the streets in Pokhara has drastically reduced.
Our outreach efforts extend to support working adolescents, with regular engagement with hundreds of businesses and employers. This includes actively raising awareness about legal provisions and advocating for improved working and living conditions. We also seek to remove children under 14 from labour situations and as a consequence of our collaboration with employers and local authorities, the number of children involved in child labour in Pokhara has reduced by 73%.
Over 1.6 million children in Nepal are forced to work due to severe poverty and neglect. This accounts for 15% of the population of children aged 5-17 year.
– International Labour Organization, Dec 2022
We actively support vulnerable families to improve their situations and reduce the risk of neglect, abuse, and exploitation to their children. This includes regular home visits by outreach workers to provide counselling and guidance and increase awareness and skills to access local services.
We support parents to obtain legal identity to be able to access services and entitlements (including existing very basic social security schemes). We also help them to access income-generation or improved employment opportunities. For those in the direst situations, we provide emergency support, such as medical care or food stipends.
Our lives have changed so much in the last few years. My son and daughter are no longer on the street and are regularly going to school. My husband is drinking less and we are living together in a room as a family. I’m now hopeful that things are going to get better and better for us all.”45-year-old mother who lived with her family on the street
Community Awareness and Response
We actively engage with individuals living in slums, informal settlements, and areas of extreme urban poverty. Our aim is to create a safe space where community members can openly discuss and address significant challenges related to their safety and wellbeing.
We facilitate various groups, including child clubs, adolescent girl groups, and parent/women’s groups, and parent/women’s groups, enabling them to share their experiences and find collective solutions.
The valuable insights and lessons learned from our community-based child protection activities have paved the way for a new initiative in direct partnership with local authorities, working to improve identification and response to child protection issues across all wards of Pokhara and Butwal.
Donate today to enable children and young people living in chronic urban poverty to have safer brighter futures.