The Umbrella Foundation was founded in response to the growing number of corrupt children’s homes or ‘orphanages’ in Kathmandu that neglected their children’s most basic rights – food, education, safe shelter, healthcare and love. In October 2005, with the help of the Nepali government’s Child Welfare Board (CWB), Umbrella carried out our initial rescue and closed down the first of these rogue facilities.
Recognising the high standard of care Umbrella offered its children, the Child Welfare Board sought our help in repeating this intervention elsewhere. Between 2005 and 2009, we closed down 7 corrupt homes and relocated the children living in them, many of whom were suffering from severe malnutrition, dehydration, forced labour and general ill-health. Umbrella also performed smaller-scale rescues of children from domestic servitude, abandonment, and life on the streets. To date, we have rescued 388 children from such conditions – 74 of whom are currently living in our childcare homes, 172 are reintegrated into their local communities, 72 young adults are enrolled in the Next Steps Youth and Education Programme, with 43 having already gone through and signed out from the NSYEP. We now offer our support in an advisory capacity to other organisations and the Child Welfare Board in further rescues. This ensures our knowledge and expertise still goes to good use in actively fighting the growth of illegal ‘orphanages’ and the negative effects of child trafficking. See below for the story of one such rescue carried out by Umbrella.