Linda here....reporting from Kathmandu. To say it's been an interesting journey to date would be an understatement! Tracey & I are on a whirlwind trip of 3 weeks which includes wonderful catch ups with friends....yes, we have cooked the sausages and they were delicious and almost worth being jailed for!
Our journey also entails some research, investigating new projects. As Umbrella Nepal are slowing down their operations TUFA are planning to move forward and focus on communities who are most vulnerable to poverty, lack of education and suffer major discrimination.
I was invited to visit Lumbini by a local NGO Better Bricks Nepal (BBN) who are operating 40 bridging schools for children working in bonded labour in the brick kiln factories. There are currently 1294 Brick Kilns in Nepal with an estimated 32,000 children working in bonded labour. BBN are part of the Washington based Global Fairness Initiative who contacted us 12 months ago to be involved in this extraordinary program.
Visiting 5 kilns based in the Lumbini district (350km from Kathmandu) with country director Homraj Archarya was certainly an eye opener. 70% of the workers are Nepali with many coming from the poverty stricken western districts and remote mountain communities. I witnessed the deprivation suffered by the women which of course left me wondering how they manage menstruation in the extreme conditions in which they live.
On arriving back in KTM Tracey & I met with Sarah Webb (South Asian and South American Co-coordinator of Days for Girls International) and Celeste Mergens (founder of Days for Girls International) as our timing fell perfectly into place. We now have plans to not only start a 'Children of the Kilns Sponsorship education program' but accompany it with a 'women of the kilns health & hygiene program'. This will entail our trainer Pramila and ourselves visiting the many kiln factories and running a distribution program in agreement with Day's For Girls Nepal....watch this space.
Would you be interested in sponsoring a child? This is your opportunity give education and break a generational cycle of bonded labour.....one child could be the next Einstein!! The cost is $20 a month....$240 per annum and is TAX DEDUCTABLE! We would greatly appreciate feedback from our supporters or companies interested in sponsoring the program as we need sponsors to make this program possible.
Next Tuesday Tracey & I will visit our school rebuild in Sindhupalchowk. We have one final level to finish and of course need your tax deductible donations to complete the project. You can purchase bricks and have your name added to our giving wall at the school. The financial year is coming to an end and unlike so many Aussie charities 100% of your donation goes to the designated projects!
Wednesday 25th April, we have been invited to attend the Anzac Ceremony at the Australian Embassy. This special day corresponds with the 3 year anniversary of the 2015 earthquake. It is a day we not only remember our countries brave but the many lives also lost here in Nepal in 2015. Communities are still living under tin & plastic and have become forgotten to the outside world, rebuilding is a slow and tedious process for remote, poor and isolated villages.
Please support us in making a difference to many less fortunate than ourselves.