Community Support - Rasuwa
As a responsible and ethical charity, Umbrella works to spread awareness and implement programmes which prevent further child-trafficking and improve quality of life in vulnerable rural communities. Our projects to promote education, integrity of the family unit and community awareness are situated in villages across 4 districts (including Kathmandu), the origin of many children in our care and high-risk areas for trafficking.
“… vulnerable to trafficking due to their proximity to Kathmandu, poor educational opportunities and low economic status.”
Situated to the north of Kathmandu and sharing a border with Tibet, Rasuwa is home to the Tamang people, a culture with strong Tibetan influences. Some regions of Nepal are more vulnerable to trafficking due to their proximity to Kathmandu, poor educational opportunities and low economic status. Rasuwa is one such district and is the place of origin for 60 of our youngest children.
Our Reintegration Project
Working closely with Next Generation Nepal (NGN), we were able to trace the families of these children and prepare them for reintegration. In April 2011, Umbrella safely returned 27 directly to their families and set up a temporary childcare home in Syabhrubesi, Rasuwa for those remaining. This home was part of our staged approach to full reintegration and acted as a centre to reconnect them with their families.
One year later, the final 32 children went to live with their families and our temporary childcare home closed as planned. This was the fulfilment of almost two years’ work and, thanks to the dedication of our reintegration team, these children will grow up surrounded by family and community, with Umbrella continuing to monitor their progress regularly and providing them with support.
For 4 of the children in Rasuwa, it was not deemed suitable to fully and permanently reintegrate them as there was no local school for them to attend. Therefore, Umbrella established a foster care home in Syaphrubesi, Rasuwa to accommodate them in a safe, family environment where they are looked after and can go to school. Here, they are also close enough to their family homes that they can visit on weekends/public holidays and are growing up immersed in their own cultural and traditional environment.
Our Rural Education Project
“… we have made commitments to improve the local schools in which our children will be educated.”
The primary cause of migration to Kathmandu is to receive better education. Umbrella is improving the local schools our children attend to change the perceived imbalance between rural villages and the capital, weakening child traffickers’ main selling feature. Apart from providing English-speaking teaching volunteers since 2012, Umbrella also provided infrastructural and staff support as follows:
April 2012 - Began supporting the salaries of 2 additional teachers in Rastriya Secondary School, Gatlang. This had a positive impact on the whole school community as the villagers, motivated by our intervention, managed to collect funds for 2 more teachers to join the school staff;
February 2013 - Completed work on the ‘Gatlang Library Project’ which was led by French volunteers Victor and Adeline Lapras and Victoria Junior College, Singapore. They worked together to construct flooring and to furnish, decorate and stock the library with books and educational materials.
March 2013 – Provided teacher-training workshops for Rastriya Secondary School staff in Gatlang village.
April 2013 – Facilitated teacher-training led by Nepal English Language Teachers’ Association (NELTA) for staff of Shyameywangphel Higher Secondary School, Syabhrubesi.
June 2013 – Refurbished and constructed new mixed toilets for Parbati Kunda Higher Secondary School, Goljung.
June 2013 – Collaborated with The British School in providing a week-long teacher-training course in Kathmandu to two teachers from Rastriya Secondary School, Gatlang.
April 2014 - The Umbrella Foundation Australia commenced the Gatlang Women's Health & Community Project in conjunction with Day's For Girls Australia. Training in health education and sewing skills has resulted in a small group of women producing washable menstruation pads to be sold in kits to women in the Rasuwa district. Nepali text books were also supplied to the school library.