About the Smile from Nepal Project
Children in Nepal
Nepal is among the poorest countries in the world, and this is largely reflected in the miserable life conditions of the Nepalese children. Many of them have to work whole day in the fields to help the family to make a living. Parents have often no interest in educating their children. They simply see their children as a cheap and irreplaceable labour and can’t imagine how their children might benefit from their education later on in their lives. The rate of illiteracy in rural areas of Nepal is therefore high. Even if some more enlightened parents want to send their children to school, they lack the resources to do so. Even though the Nepalese public schools are free, parents still have to pay for school uniforms, textbooks and teaching aids.
Many of the children are trying to escape the hopeless poverty by settling in cities, primarily the capital city of Kathmandu. They leave their families with the prospect of a better life and a chance of getting a well paid job, but only few of them reach their goals. Most children end up homeless, barefoot, dirty and in torn clothes, sleeping directly on the streets using cardboard boxes as sleeping pads. They live off begging for money from the tourists and scavenging for food thrown away by restaurants. Many of them suffer from malnutrition and various diseases. They accept virtually any, even the worst paid jobs, such as rubbish collectors, shoe cleaners, runners or they labour in unsuitable or even inhuman working conditions. They then easily become victims of exploitation, and many of them end up as prostitutes or drug addicts. Such children lose contact and support of their families and are exposed to rejection and enmity on a daily basis.
A better life for the children
The main aim of this project in supporting education among Nepalese children is to improve the social situation of the poorest of them and in doing so to prevent them from becoming street beggars. The educational process will allow children to work on their skills and talents, so they will be able to look not only after themselves when they reach adulthood, but also after their family members in their natural cultural environment. The financial support they receive, will give the children hope for a better life than their parents and a chance to achieve standards of living considered as basic and normal by western countries. It's not just about sending money, but also about creating a relationship of trust, goodness and understanding among the people, who, although of different cultural and social backgrounds, were able to sympathize with each other.
Selection of schoolchildren
The schoolchildren chosen for the Smile from Nepal Project live in very adverse conditions, many of them close to abject poverty, where the income of the family is barely enough for basic subsistence and as such they lack the means to pay for education or health care. These children often come from single-parent families and are physically handicapped. The selection of schoolchildren, which is carried out by experienced social workers from the ranks of our partner organization, a Nepalese foundation Development of Children and Women Center (DCWC), in cooperation with teachers and school principals, is not subject to any religion or caste affiliation or any ethnic background.
Within the scope of the project the financial aid sent from the supporters is used not only towards the cost of education, but also for providing basic hygiene and health care. The money is not sent directly to schoolchildren’s parents, but to our colleagues in Nepal, who are in touch with the families and will then organize children’s enrolment. The money for the children is looked after by the members of the DCWC, who then buy all the necessary equipment and distribute it to the families personally twice a year.
Supporters will receive a copy of the contract between the school, the parents and the pupil (Scholarship Agreement) - Could be downloaded here.
Reporting on school performance
The supporters are informed about "their" children school performance with the evaluation report ( "school report" ), prepared by the school principal. It is then translated from Nepalese into English by the members of the DCWC. The supporters can maintain written communication with "their" children, exchange letters and photographs and can even send them small gifts. Translation of letters (from English into Nepalese and vice versa) and their delivery is done by the members of the DCWC.
The minimal amount of time for supporting a schoolchild is one year.
A supporter of a schoolchild could be an individual, a family or a group of people.
Areas where we are active
Nepal consists of 75 regions, called "districts". We are currently active in five of them, these are: Kavre, Rámečháp, Makvánpur, Kathmandu a Bhaktapur. The schools standing here were also built thanks to your financial help. The first group of schoolchildren comes from the villages of Nágre Gagarče (5 000 inhabitants), Mádan Kudárí (7 000 inhabitants) and a Bhímkhorí (10 000 inhabitants) of the District of Kavre, which belong to the poorest in this region. The second group also comes from the village of Nágre Gagarče and from another one called Mádžhifeda in the same district.
We believe that with your help we will be able to widen the scope of our existing activities in other parts of Nepal in the future.