Our Achievements in Community Awareness (Dec 2017 – Jan 2018) in Ree VDC
- 7783 community members (repeated 3,561 and 4,222 new head counts) reached and educated on harms of institutionalization and orphanage trafficking through 353 community awareness sessions.
- 1,317 students from 12 schools were supported with school supplies (school bags , copies , water bottles , pencils, erasers, sharpeners, pre-primary student’s educational kits and mattresses).
- 1084 households surveyed (out of the 4,325 total households in Ree) by 3 Change Agents in 9 months. Child marriage is prevalent in Ree. Survey data shows girls marrying early in teenage years and young mothers facing complications in birth. Data shows 69 children (including 49 post-quake) separated from families into institutions, hostels and monasteries in Kathmandu, Dhading, Pokhara, Hetauda and other districts.
- Media awareness through Dhading radio jingle aired promoting families and communities to be vigilant on any lures from traffickers (radio reach: 350,000+ regular listeners from Dhading, Rasuwa and Gorkha). 2 information boards installed on Ree village hiking trails to inform and educate locals using the route every day for survival and livelihoods;
Stories of Change
Keeping families together:
Kamala lost her husband and father of their two young children, Rabi and Sanju. Due to the loss of her husband and no fixed income source for the family, Kamala was having difficulty making ends meet. A man named Raju met with her and offered his help by showing how he could make her dreams to give her children a better education and brighter future. He tried his best to convince Kamala to give him her children but it was all in vain because Kamala had attended one of our Change Agent sessions and knew exactly how to respond.
She was courageous enough to stand up and say NO to family separation! More than that, she asked Raju if he really wants to support her children, then she would be grateful if he can support her to keep her children with her. Today her sons play in front of her eyes and help her in the household chores as well as attending the local community school. And Kamala is getting some financial support for her children from Raju!
It is because I got few awareness classes from Shanti, today I am able to speak up and keep my children with me with whatever I have. And I am happy we are together there for each other in good and bad times. – Kamala
Kamala shares her story with pride and says it was possible because she had attended the awareness session delivered by our Change Agent Shanti. She now knows how important it is to keep children with family and help them thrive in their own community.
Home is the best place.
Ajeet was sent to a monastery in Pokhara by his family to receive Buddhist education but unfortunately he missed his family and could not cope with the environment. He ran away and found his way back home on his own after 3 months of separation from his family. His parents realised their mistake when Ajeet shared how he and other children were physically and mentally abused in the name of education.
Ajeet realises his home is far better than the monastery. Five other children also ran away from the monastery to get back home. The children shared their nightmarish experiences of institutionalization and the psychological and physical harms endured during some of our Change Agent awareness sessions.