Why we do it.....

About Nepal - and it's children...

Nepal is a beautiful and fascinating country, with its magnificent Himalayan peaks, resilient and diverse peoples and colorful religion. A tiny kingdom between India and China, it is home to eight of the world's highest mountain peaks including the towering Mount Everest at 8848m. It also spreads to the low plains of Northern India where the land is subtropical and lush.

Nepal is ranked 175th in the World (per capita 440) out of 189 countries listed, in accordance with the World Bank Group (Atlas Method).

Of a population of 23.2 million, 52% are under 18 years old and 64% are illiterate. This is not surprising that given 30% of children never enroll in school and of those that do, only 27% complete primary level. These young people are currently denied the opportunity to live full and productive lives.

Marginalised children and their families lack support from local power structures and access to social services. They must struggle against a caste system that legitimises descrimination amoung the people, and girls face a culture that tends to treat them as second class citizens. In addtion violence and other forms of abuse continue to be widely accepted methods of disciplining children and there is little awareness of the rights and potentials of children, despite the numerous International Child Protecition instruments Nepal is party to.

Child labor is a serious problem and 2.6 million children in Nepal are exploited through this practice as they are sent out to work to provide an income for their families. Additionally, 63% of all children are malnourished at some stage. With these shocking statistics about a place with such a calm and spiritual image that Nepal has, it is easy to see how vulnerable its children are.

In Pokhara itself, where most of the CHILDREN-Nepal's activities take place, there are13000 children living in slums, 8100 are working as laborers and 130 are sleeping at the street. All of those figures are showing the big need for continuous and systematic help to many of the Nepali children.

Sources: UNICEF, Central Bureau of Statistics, CHILDREN-Nepal, and Pokhara Municipality