After initial consultation we found both parents for 27 children, 31 children with one living parent and we discovered 5 children with no living parents. We are yet to have any breakthroughs tracing families for the remaining 27 children in this 90-child cohort. We will continue the search for family connections for all 27 children.
Despite monsoon rain, muddy trails, leeches, dangerous rivers and unsafe night shelters in remote villages, our team completed discovery missions and returned to Kathmandu office safely with many inspiring stories to share. During these missions our Reintegration Officers were able to visit 23 children and their families. These children were reunified in June 2018. All are adjusting well to family and village life.
Children are not always able to return home safely. Entrenched social problems sometimes impact the capacity for mothers and fathers to raise their children in a safe and loving home environment. Child safety is paramount for reintegration to happen. Where safety is an issue we explore options for kinship care, which can be problematic where parents are affected by addiction.
Our team is tasked with recruiting potential foster carers within the communities we visit. We are confident we can find a family for every child.
It takes a village to raise a child and we are grateful to Chitwan teachers and other community members who helped us immensely during our missions. Our ROs took every opportunity to educate villagers with anti-trafficking messages and share stories about orphanage trafficking. We made sure they understood that some vulnerable families might be conned into sending their children with traffickers on false promises for better education.
Visiting families confirmed our goal of reuniting children with their families as soon as practicable as best practice. Our team report the earlier the reunion the fewer adjustment issues within the family.
Ganga & Aarati
These gorgeous sisters were passed into orphanage life due to poor health and poverty at home. Ganga was a toddler when she entered Asha Orphanage and years later Aarati was admitted when she was 7 years old. Their father disappeared long ago and their mother has been ill for many years.
With our support we have reunited this family and in June the girls bid farewell to orphanage life forever. Both are studying diligently and enjoying learning about family life together.
Aarati enjoys dance classes after school and both girls feel loved and well cared for by their mother, aunt and extended family. They say it is wonderful to be home.
Kriti & Sushila
One year after their father died three-year-old Kriti and eighteen month old Sushila were admitted to Asha Orphanage. Now after 13 long years of separation, these sisters are home their family. We are providing extra support for this family because the adjustment is complex.
The orphanage raised the girls Christian but their family belongs to the Brahmin community so non-vegetarian meals for the girls must be prepared outside of the home. Thirteen years is a very long time to be separated from your family and raised with different values. Kriti misses her childhood friends from Asha Orphanage.
We will continue to provide regular monitoring and counselling as well as financial support for school lunches to help alleviate some of the pressures during this crucial transition period.
After 3 long years held at Asha Orphanage Sudipa loves being home with her family. She plays with her pet goats in family in Chitwan. She spends time with her friends in her local neighborhood and enjoys helping her uncle and aunt with household chores when she can. There is no better way for Sudipa to learn valuable life skills than with her family, at home.
Her uncle did not hesitate to have Sudipa live with him and his family and enrolled her in the local community school promptly. Sudipa is happy and healthy and joyfully embraces the freedom of belonging to family.
Minu was 3 months old when her mother left home and remained out of contact. In the absence of proper parenting, her grandfather admitted Minu to Asha Orphanage. The orphanage sent baby Minu to Kathmandu but she was soon returned and remained at the orphanage until her thirteenth birthday.
Minu showed us what should have been a nutritional meal but was merely a bowl with noodles soaking in cold water. She smiled sweetly and said, ‘this is what we have to eat to survive here.’
Minu never expected to be freed from Asha Orphanage, so you can imagine her sheer delight when in June 2018 Minu finally got to go home with her grandfather, reunited forever.
Today, Minu is cherishing her new life and is happy to be with her grandparents in her village.