We went to visit Voice of Children in Kathmandu to learn about their work, the programs they are running and their facilities. It is amazing to see how this organization is taking care of the children and all the other work that is done from preventing, to capacity building to education to provide families with seed money to empower them to take the children back etc. We were absolutely amazed and still are. The program coordinator gave Birgit a tour which we would like to share with you.
We also learned that in 2016 were around 1.200 – 1.500 Street Children in Kathmandu. Mainly boys (90%) and we learned that the concept of foster families has been launched recently and is still new to the country.
Why less girls you may ask: here comes social norm into play. Girls are educated to take less “risks”. Therefore, they stay longer at home and tend to suffer rather than to run away. On average it takes longer for girls to run away. And the ones that are “out there” are being closely watched by the boys or grown ups: either they are sending them to work (domestic worker, entertainment industry) or the boys fight over the girls (age 10-14). So these are reasons why they are not really visible in the streets. Often they end up getting a baby what brings them in the street with a child.
Birgit learned also, that daily isn’t weekly 🙂
As a next stop, we went to see the Sports Hall, where the kids engage in activities jointly with social workers and volunteer help. Activities are for example dance, do yoga or other activities. Children were super engaged, laughing and really seemed to enjoy dancing!
For a few minutes we were able to be part of the scene and felt the positive energy. A safe space for Street Children to forget and enjoy.
A little further up where the 2 socialization centers one with solar panels on the roof and one sponsored by the European Union.
We for sure will come back and are very happy to support Voice of Children with their work!