Children’s Home, Kanchanpur
Donor : Nepal Youth Foundation and RUWDUC’s core fund
Time Frame : 2003 – till now
As in any impoverished society the most vulnerable are children. In this particular area, due to ill health the life expectancy at birth is lower than the national average for both men and women and as a consequence a number of children have been orphaned. As the government’s programs are inadequate and insufficient the situation of the orphans of the area is extremely pitiable and deplorable. Lack of education, proper nutrition and attention makes their conditions even worse. Facing such desperate conditions, with very little opportunities the future of these children remain bleak as the communities they live in is poverty-stricken, they often do not have anybody to support them.
Consequently, RUWDUC devoted to serving the needs of the children, established a small Children’s Home in April 2003 to serve at least 12 girl children. It envisaged that in the future the success of rearing and caring for these children would contribute towards making them good and able citizen of Nepal. This home was the first in the hill districts of the impoverished far-western areas of Nepal. The Children’s Home was initially situated in Jogbuda VDC, Dadeldhura district but when Jogbuda became a highly conflict-affected area and the organization began to receive threats from the insurgents the board decided to relocate the Children’s Home to a safer area to avoid the potential risks that may be imposed on the children. Currently the Children’s Home is situated in Mahehdranagar Municipality of Kanchanpur District in the far west region of Nepal and has housed a total of 18 girls since its establishment.
Initially a total of twelve orphan girls were selected from Dadeldhura, Doti, Kailali, Kanchanpur and Dailekh Districts. Most of these children were recommended by the women’s groups working in the areas whereas some were recommended by the CDO Office. The Children’s Home houses these girls up to Grade 10 and upon completing their SLC examination they are sent to home to live with their families/relatives to learn their cultures and get reacquainted with their community. In 2011 another 6 girls were selected to replace the girls that had moved out so they too would receive an opportunity to improve their future.
At present the Children’s Home has been providing 14 girls and 1 small boy with better living conditions and a chance for a better life, as they are being provided with education, proper nutrition and attention. Most of these children have made a tremendous effort at educating themselves and have shown keenness towards studies. A total of 4 girls (2 older and 2 younger) share a room so the older children can help taking care of the younger students (cleaning the room, washing etc.). All the children go to visit their families for a month every year during the Dashara Festivals which is held in September/October. All these children are studying in a Mahindra Higher Secondary School a local government school situated near the children’s home. Among them, Laxmi Shrestha and Bipana Chaudhary belonged to the batch of 2015 to give School Leaving (SLC) examinations. They have now moved out from the children’s home. So, currently there are 14 students in children’s home with 1 students added.