Rescuing Nepali boy Ashish from India

rickshaw2Fifteen year old Nepali boy Ashish ran away from home in 2015, travelling with a neighbour to find work and a better life in India. He travelled to Haryana state and worked in a food cart making chow mein and other snacks. But it turned out that his companion was an alcoholic who beat him often. So after three months Ashish ran away again, this time to Mumbai where the police picked him up and placed him in a children’s home where any attempt at escape would be punished with beating. Ultimately in early 2016 he was transferred to another home at Muzaffarpur in Bihar, north India.  From there he called his parents and asked them to come and free him. His father travelled to the home three times but on each occasion was turned away because release paperwork was not in order. Finally he went to Nepal’s Central Child Welfare Board to ask for help and the Board referred him to ChoraChori-Nepal. Last week Shailaja CM and Yogesh Dhami of the ChoraChori child rescue team journeyed with Ashish’s father to Bihar and this time there were no objections. Click on the image above to see the film of the release.

Ashish is very happy to be back home and says that he will never run away again. He realises now that his best chance of having a better life will come through a return to his studies. We’ll continue to support him all we can.

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Laxman turns his life around

IMG_2972[1] IMG_20170112_154539794[1] Our Kathmandu refuge carer, Sangita (pictured wearing a scarf), finds 14-year-old Laxman stubborn at times. Yet she can see that he loves to read and learn new things. His “house father” has observed that he is a little shy and quiet, while the other refuge boys find him very helpful and kind.

Laxman’s progress since we brought him back from India has been remarkable, especially given the very rough start he had in life. His mother ran away from home when he was just ten leaving him with an abusive father. His sufferings seemed to double under a new stepmother. One day, following a beating from his father, Laxman also ran away to find work as a food vendor in India. This only led to further abuse coupled with exploitation so he fled that too, ending up at Delhi railway station. There he was picked up by the authorities and placed in a children’s home which is where ChoraChori found him last October.

Although we always try to reunite children with families, in Laxman’s case this is clearly not possible or desirable. So we have to help him through to adulthood and independent living as best we can. On the plus side he is intelligent and hardworking and doing very well in grade seven at the local school that serves the ChoraChori refuge. One day he hopes to become an electrician.

No doubt his keen interest in the drums and in taekwondo is helping him make his presence felt and rebuild his confidence!

Tattoos in Gent

15871264_10154743648870520_31276458_nOver the years I’ve been delighted to embrace the arts as a way of fundraising and for therapeutic purposes or income generation in Nepal. But this is a first….

On the 12th January the tattoo studio Noir in Gent, Belgium, will spend the whole day tattooing and piercing to raise funds for our Tipling girls project. Everything they raise on that day will go towards the support of ten girls from the remote village of Tipling, Dhading District, whose homes were destroyed in the 2015 earthquakes. They are now completing their higher secondary education in Kathmandu and in their free time about to start training in arts and crafts (the subject of a future blog post). In June they’ll be joined by another ten girls from their village as we expand the programme, giving girls from a trafficking-prone community the chance in life that they deserve.

Many thanks to former Nepal volunteer Toby for setting up the fundraising effort, inspired by his time in Nepal that included a visit to Tipling itself.

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