Nepal International Marathon

Nepal International MarathonNepal International Marathon

ChoraChori is recruiting runners to take part in this year’s Nepal International Marathon. This challenging, scenic trail running event takes place each November and is held in the hills above Kathmandu.

Fancy taking on the run of a lifetime?

Applications are now open for this year’s Nepal International Marathon that the Impact Marathon Series will manage between 13th and 19th November 2017. The idea of the Nepal International Marathon is that you can run in support of a chosen Nepal charity project. During the course of the week you’ll get the opportunity to visit your project and get your hands dirty with a short local volunteering task. The magical part is that you and 120 fellow runners will stay in a pop up camp that the organisers set up in a stunning hill-top location.

Choose your camping style and running distance

There are three options – taking your own tent (£495), glamping (£645) or luxe glamping (£795). You can select a 10km, half marathon or full marathon route over trails that involve significant Nepalese undulations. Click the picture above left to get an idea of what it’s all about and to sense the amazing atmosphere. Not to mention the pain and the triumph of crossing the finish line!

Helping Nepali schools

Nepal International Marathon

Children enjoying a free lunch at a ChoraChori supported school

By choosing ChoraChori you will be raising sponsorship towards our education programme. Through this we have been reinstating education in the wake of the Nepal earthquakes of 2015. Those two massive earthquakes had a devastating impact on Nepali children. But we’ve risen to the challenge, rebuilding three schools. Additionally, we’ve provided vital short term revenue support to encourage attendances and reduce drop outs. That initiative makes children less vulnerable to trafficking.

Our preferred fundraising platform for UK participants is BT MyDonate. Although it has fewer bells and whistles than the other fundraising sites, it is undoubtedly the most cost-effective. You can find out more about the Nepal International Marathon and sign up through the button below. But please remember that November is a peak time to visit Nepal and flights become more expensive to book the longer you wait!

Find out more

Laying the foundations of a new project for ChoraChori!

At long last we’ve been able to get started with preparing the foundations of our new girls’ trauma management centre that is being built adjacent to our boys’ refuge in Godawari, Kathmandu. This 12 bed residential facility should be complete in ten weeks’ time and will allow us to expand the rehabilitation services that support our rescue operations in India. This is not designed to become another girls’ hostel but rather a place where specialist support can be applied to acute trauma situations. Beyond that we will also offer a referral service and support to other child welfare organisations and to Nepal’s Central Child Welfare Board. To do this we will be drawing upon the expertise of professionals in Nepal and abroad, including some provided by our German partner, Hatemalo.

This project has only been possible through the efforts of some great guys from the UK – Philip Hunter, Rory Buckworth, Sam Day, Arthur Woods and Jonathan Davies. The first three raised the funds we needed to build the centre through their sponsored cycle ride from Shanghai to Kathmandu – “Taking the High Road” – while Arthur and Jonny have done their bit with key volunteer support on the ground.

Now we are working hard to raise the funds we need to operate the centre and networking with potential project partners. All suggestions welcome!Foundations markings

A boy trafficking survivor at our Kathmandu refuge

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In Nepal the extended family is the fundamental social support network of an individual, be they child or adult. That’s how Raju (name changed) came to be looked after by his relatives after his mother’s death and his alcoholic father abandoning him at the age of nine. However, as is so often the case with child trafficking, close relatives can also betray a child’s trust.

It seemed like a dream come true when Raju’s aunt said that she’d take him to see his long-lost sister in India. But as soon as they arrived in Delhi his aunt sold him into domestic service, without his even getting to meet his sister. He became a slave for two years until a neighbour helped him escape by dropping him at the railway station. Before long the police picked him up and he was taken to a “shelter home”. That’s where ChoraChori’s field team found him in February this year and brought him back to Nepal. For now, and because it would be unsafe to return him to his family, he is staying at our Kathmandu refuge, from where he is attending the local school in the 5th grade.

Now Raju’s ambition is to complete his education and become a social activist like his rescuers. You can help him realise this dream by supporting our Christmas appeal using the button below. Many thanks.

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The Tipling Girls

Seven excited girls have arrived in Kathmandu ready to start an education and training programme that is being launched by ChoraChori-Nepal. The girls, who are in the age range 17 to 19, come from Tipling, Dhading District. This is a remote part of west Nepal, quite close to the Tibet border, that was near the epicentre of the April 2015 earthquake. 98% of homes in their area were destroyed and the girls’ families are still living in makeshift tents. Three more girls from the area are due to join them soon, delayed in their travel because of landslides that have followed the arrival of this year’s monsoon.

Why these ten in the midst of so much need? They have been referred to us by our contact in Tipling, Father Norbert, who lives and teaches in the local school. The reason he has selected them is that all have passed the coveted 10th Grade School Leaver’s Certificate (SLC) examination, one of them at A+ standard, but there is no Higher Secondary (Grades 11 and 12) provision in the area. We feel these girls have more than earned the opportunity to continue with their studies. The alternative is early marriage – most of their peers are already married with babies – and there is a risk of being trafficked as all the girls are from the trafficking-prone Tamang community.

This project will run for three years, with a further ten girls due to join us in mid 2017. They will study but also have the chance to learn vocational skills after we reinstate a silver jewellery workshop from January next year. Those who show the aptitude and interest may take this up as their profession. For others we will teach business skills as a second string to their bow.

The girls have all settled well into their new situation in Godawari, been given pocket money and met with our very good supporter, Saroj KC, who is the Principal of the local Kitini School that they’ll be attending. The thing that is remarkable is that all the girls have been accommodated in the home of the Operational Director of ChoraChori-Nepal, Shailaja CM. Once again Shailaja is being welcoming and hospitable to young people in need – this makes her and us special!

If you would like to donate towards this project, here is the link.

Seven girls from Tipling Tipling girls cooking

Usan beat me at chess

Over the coming three years ChoraChori plans to rescue 300 Nepali children from India. Based upon the outcome of our 60 rescues since August we can now safely assume that one third of those rescued cannot be returned to families. This is because we don’t know the family whereabouts or because the domestic circumstances won’t allow it. Many children run away from abuse, often meted out by a step-parent and clearly they can’t (or won’t) be returned to that violence. This is why at least in the short term we require a refuge facility in the absence of significant foster care arrangements. And that implies major – hair-raising – childcare costs. These can only rise even further as a ten year programme to counter cross-border child trafficking runs its course. That is an inconvenient truth and we can only hope that our fundraising matches our operational ambitions.

Within the 20 children who are currently at the Kathmandu refuge there’s clearly significant talent. At least two of the boys have university potential. And one of the kids, Usan, beat me at chess at a refuge picnic yesterday. I put that down to jet-lag, being distracted by the loud background music or something like that. But given that I was able to beat Sir Richard Branson at chess clearly we could have an entrepreneur on our hands. We have to find the money not only to care for these children who have nothing else to fall back upon and allow them to realise their full potential.

Playing chess with Sir Richard Branson Refuge children picnic Refuge children picnic

Grand designs in Nepal

Architect's drawing of the future ChoraChori-Nepal's girls' refuge in Nepal

These are the drawings received this morning from volunteer architect Jonny Davies based upon a design by our colleagues at Good Earth Nepal in Kathmandu. We are hoping to start building this 40 bed facility for girl trafficking survivors from 1 June and will be fundraising in the meantime. We are well on the way to reaching our £75,000 fundraising requirement thanks to the remarkable efforts of our three cyclists who are two thirds of the way through their sponsored cycle ride from Shanghai to Kathmandu. Please support them through this link.

The future ChoraChori-Nepal girls' refuge

The future ChoraChori-Nepal girls’ refuge aerial view

Trafficking of Nepali boys into India

24863865-Tag-or-word-cloud-human-trafficking-awareness-day-related-in-shape-of-hand-or-palm-Stock-PhotoSince August we have been rescuing trafficked and displaced Nepali boys from India. This report in today’s Himalayan Times reminded us of the dangers and how important our work has been. We know Manahari well; it has been a trafficking hotspot for many years with a lot of girls being sent from there to become child circus performers (slaves) in India.

ChoraChori’s first success against an alleged Nepali trafficker

Alleged trafficker on left, Shailaja on right
Villagers gather to hear Shailaja interview the alleged trafficker

Villagers gather to hear Shailaja interview the alleged trafficker

Shailaja collects information from the alleged trafficker

Shailaja collects information from the alleged trafficker

Alleged child trafficker brought to meet ChoraChori team

Alleged child trafficker brought to meet ChoraChori team

Yesterday Shailaja, Founder and Co-Director of ChoraChori-Nepal, went with her co-worker, Rita Mokhtan, to research a village in Parsa District, south Nepal. It is home to a community of 44 Dalit (“Untouchable”) families and around 50 children under the age of six who all looked very malnourished. The villagers informed our team that brokers come to the village regularly and take children and adults off to India with the promise of work. They end up mainly in Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Tamil Nadu. They  might return because of the difficult work environment or remain there as they have no other alternative. But some go missing.

The purpose of Shailaja’s visit was to collect information following parents complaining formally about the disappearance of a number of children who were trafficked to a poultry farm in south India. After saying that she needed to identify the agent to establish the children’s whereabouts, Shailaja was surprised at how the villagers went off and returned a couple of hours later to bring him before her. The alleged agent is 45 year old Patall Mahatwo Dangar. Four months ago Indian relatives came to the village and offered money for him to go and work with children to the poultry farm. He found seven boys to go with him and they met with an Indian agent. After a month and a half at the farm Dangar asked for money but was told that it had already been given to the agent. An altercation followed and Dangar left the farm, while the children went missing.

Dangar has agreed to help trace the other agents but yesterday the team took him to the local police station. There, in collaboration with local NGO Sano Paila, the family of the missing children successfully filed a case against Dangar. Now, in collaboration with the police and NGO partners, ChoraChori needs to not only find the other agents but rescue these lost children from India.

Reunification challenges

These two runaway Nepali boys have been reunited with parents by ChoraChori-Nepal

Numbers continue to drop at our Kathmandu shelter with two more boys reunited with family today. Reunification isn’t made any easier by the information offered by the returnees. These two boys, aged 12 and 13, had said they were brothers when they were actually cousins and one had changed his name to avoid being separated from his cousin while in India. In any case, they are now happily back with family, one with his mother and the other with his father. 

 

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