Hello vibrant Herd asking the best questions always!
Here’s FMN CEO Andrea Nave answering some of your questions. Please keep asking questions… and we will keep answering.
How do you find the families of paper orphans?
We find the families of paper orphans through trekking and tracing through the hills and valleys of Nepal.
We search districts and areas based on the small fragments of information we collect from the children’s already existing documents.
It’s a difficult task and the search can take months.
The children are reconnected to their family after we put together a full case file for them.
It is a slow and steady process and sometimes like looking for a needle in a haystack.
What if the family is unable to financially support their children?
If a family is unable to provide for their child financially we work with that family to develop ways and means to help improve their economic viability.
Sometimes it’s income generation, sometimes it’s a connecting link to some already existing organisations that may provide some kind of social support or welfare.
We seek scholarships from schools and various payments that may be available to that family that they were previously unaware of.
Either way we work to uplift the financial wherewithal of that family so that they can take control of their family’s affairs.
In the interim we support the families to look after their own children through educational stipends, sometimes nutritional care and stipends, or medical support.
What if the parents don’t want the kids back?
Sometimes it’s difficult for a child to return home to their family.
Maybe the mother is sick, the father is sick.
Maybe they have remarried. It’s a variety of complex situations for children returning home.
What we look to if a child cannot return their immediate family is the next of kin opportunities.
We look towards, grandparents, older siblings, cousins and those that are connected to the child.
That’s where we find solutions and we call that kinship care.
How long has this been going on?
The process of children being pushed into orphanages to look after the care of vulnerable children has been going on for several decades in a country like Nepal.
It was enhanced further during the civil war and unrest and then enhanced again after the great earthquakes.
But it’s not a solution, we know.
It’s been going on for a long time as a kneejerk reaction when there are children in need of care, and extreme poverty.
But we know just because of poverty a child shouldn’t be removed from their family.
We also know that after a traumatic situation the best place for a child to be is back in their family’s arms where they can be secure and safe moving forward with a better life.