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Our Sansar celebrates International Youth Day

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The boys strike their #YouthPower poses
The boys strike their #YouthPower poses

Voices of the Our Sansar Birgunj children’s home’s youth were heard around the world Wednesday for International Youth Day.

As part of an online campaign, the boys told world leaders what they want their future to look like and how they can achieve it.

In the lead up to and throughout the day’s activities, the home’s 17 residents sent messages and pictures through the twitter and Facebook handle #youthday and #youthpower – to United Nations leaders and its Youth Envoy.

With the help of staff and volunteer Katie, the boys started off the day with a lesson in sustainability and planting the seeds of the future by recycling old oil bottles into flower planters for the home’s garden.

The bottles were cut in half to make pots and the residents sowed flowers and mango trees.

Taking part in an environmental workshop
Taking part in an environmental workshop

“We organized an environmental workshop, which was aimed at talking about reusing, recycling and taking care of our environment,” Katie said.

The theme for this year’s events was civic engagement and later in the day Katie gave the boys a special “My Future” workshop and English lesson.

“The children and youth learned about different jobs and occupations in English, and played games and made posters to practise their newly acquired knowledge,” Katie said.

“As the younger participants got tired, older youth participated in a second part of this workshop, that was aimed at introducing the Global Goals for Sustainable Development and discussing what we think is wrong in the world, whose responsibility it is to tackle this and what we expect from our futures.”

They spoke about what they can do to achieve the future they want and what they need others to do, such as their community, government and other countries.

The youths took part in a special youth day lesson
The youths took part in a special youth day lesson

“All our posters and photos are currently being shared online and the powerful messages of the Our Sansar youth are being spread world-wide – I dare say the campaign was a success,” Katie said.

“We’re confident that these young men will go on to be constructive, powerful members of the international community.”

The day was important because in September world leaders will meet in the UN to announce a new set of global goals, the Sustainable Development Goals.

These will aim to shape the future of people and planet by ending poverty, inequality and climate change and campaigners were asking the world’s young people to make sure they were involved in the process.

Our youths made posters illustrating what they'd like to do in the future
Our youths made posters illustrating what they’d like to do in the future

Even before the day got started the residents had been posting special “power pose” photos of them standing strong in asking for a brighter future.

The #youthday handle trended well throughout the day and had more than 90,000 tweets added.

To find out more people can visit Facebook or twitter @oursansar

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Update from Nepal: Visit to Birgunj home!

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Our Sansar’s Director Julia, Clint and Katie had no rest after setting up our temporary home in Dhading – it was straight to see the boys at our home in Birgunj! Our team was excited to see the boys had changed and have all grown in both size and in confidence! The boys act like brothers to each other – even distributing the sweets they got from Julia and Clint equally (unlike me and my brothers).IMG_1604The team got to witness what the kids get up to on a daily basis. This began with a visit to the school that they attend. Since last year the boys’ exam grades have improved dramatically, and are even enjoying their trips to school (again, unlike me and my brothers)! After studying at school, they often work on various school projects and homework.IMG_1605

2015-07-11 13.45.15The children are also doing various extra curricular activities such as playing cricket and creative activities with our volunteer Katie! Katie is currently teaching English and giving Arts and Crafts lessons to the boys. They love being creative and learning new skills!

As you know, thanks to your donations, we were able to buy a buffalo for our Birgunj home. The buffalo has grown to be huge and is very happy in it’s new home! The boys also love the buffalo as well our dogs!

The group also got to take a trip to town with some of the boys from our home! Some of the stops they made were to the temple, a cake shop and paint store. We are looking to decorate the home further and make it a more colour place for the kids to stay in.

If you’re interested in volunteering in Nepal or in the UK, then please contact: info@oursansar.org. We are always looking for new people to join our team and have a range of positions currently open within events, social enterprise and to physically support us in Nepal.

If you would like to donate to Our Sansar, please see our GlobalGiving page: http://www.globalgiving.co.uk/projects/childrens-home-nepal/

“Knees Up For Nepal” raises over £3800 for Survivors of Nepal Earthquakes

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On the 6th of June, hundreds of people descended on The Railway Tavern in Tulse Hill for “Knees Up For Nepal”, an innovative fundraising event organised by friends of Our Sansar to help the survivors of the devastating earthquakes that tore through Nepal in April and May. Described as an “All Day Party-val”, the day included live bands, DJs, a BBQ, a raffle, hula hooping and cake amongst loads of other fun activities. Over the course of the day, an incredible £3800 was raised towards our Nepal Earthquake Relief fund and we are absolutely astounded by not only the amount raised, but the dedication and support of the event organisers and everyone who attended.

Live music created a great atmosphere and got everyone in the mood to party!
Live music created a great atmosphere and got everyone in the mood to party!

The money raised will go directly towards our work in Nepal; we are currently working to open a shelter for children in the Dhading district of Nepal, one of the areas worst affected by the earthquakes. This money will help us to provide food, shelter, education and counselling to the children, many of whom have tragically lost both their parents. As a small charity, our friends and supporters are absolutely integral to our success, and without people like those that organised and attended “Knees Up for Nepal”, we simply would not be able to continue our vital work. We are always looking for amazing individuals to fundraise for us, and there really is no limit to what you can do. Whether you take part in a challenging physical event, run a bake sale or jump out of a plane, we will be extremely grateful for your support and you can rest assured that the money you raise will have a genuinely positive impact on the lives of children in Nepal. We hope you feel inspired to fundraise for us; for more information about fundraising, please visit our website or pop us an email on info@oursansar.org . Can’t commit to fundraising but want to make a difference? Please donate to our important work here.

Charity Chuckle at the Komedia!

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To support with our Nepal Earthquake Appeal, Charity Chuckle are holding a special event for Our Sansar at the Komedia, Brighton, on the 12th of May! The aim of the night is to provide aid, relief and blankets for victims of the Earthquake in more rural areas of Nepal.

  
May is the month of the Brighton Fringe Festival and to celebrate Charity Chuckle is bringing in an American veteran of comedy, Al Lubel! Al has toured all over the US and various parts of the UK, but will be exclusively performing at the Komedia for his Sussex leg! Jerry Seinfield has said he “has one of the best jokes [he has] ever heard”! So come along and see what the funniest joke is according to Jerry Seinfield!

Taking a break from his tour with Seann Walsh, also performing at the Komedia is Mark Simmons (whose first solo show was described to be “packed full of inventive one-liners”- Chortle), Sam Savage as suburban housewife Linda Larkin (Voted by Funny as Funny Best Female Comedian 2012 and NATYS 2013 runner-up), and Juliet Meyers (who has been described as “Laugh Out Loud Funny” – Chortle)!

We can’t think of a better way to support the families and individuals left stranded and homeless after the Earthquake, by having a few laughs! Tickets are £10, and the event, again, is on the 12th of May! For more information please see: http://www.charitychuckle.co.uk/

If you cannot make the event, please consider donating to our Earthquake appeal: http://www.globalgiving.co.uk/projects/urgent-appeal-nepal-earthquake-relief/

We’re Delivering Supplies But Your Help Is Still Desperately Needed

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Five days after the devastating earthquake in Nepal, we have finally been able to start delivering desperately needed supplies to some of the more remote communities affected, many of which are outside the reach of the major aid organisations. Thanks to our supporters, who have helped us raise over £1,000 in just a few days, we have been able to provide 100 tents and 100 blankets to people whose lives have been shattered by this unprecedented natural disaster.

  • In Dhading, family homes are being scattered across the village, we are placing tents to provide shelter for the victims of this devastating earthquake.

Our work is not over, however, and there are many more people at risk and who need our help. Our people on the ground in Nepal have reported that up to 90% of buildings have been destroyed in rural villages and towns and there are thousands of people with no shelter, no food and no clean drinking water.  We need your help to deliver as much aid as possible; the people we are helping in the Phulkharka, Gumdi, Mulpani, Slyankot, Jyamrung and Tripureshwor communities have lost everything.

After consultation with the Nepalese authorities and other NGOs, including CWIN and Red Cross, we identified the largest need for relief assistance to be in the Dhading district, near the epicentre. Before the earthquake, within 16 villages in that area, there were about 5000 houses – now there are 20-30. We are also assisting communities in the Nuwakot area – one the of the worst affected areas during the earthquake.

Collapsed homes from Dhading villages, leaving people in danger and no shelter to sleep

  

It has been raining since the earthquake and most people in villages couldn’t get shelter or food, and no assistance has been available to them so far.

The amount of people injured, or worse, is still unknown. So far almost 200 bodies have been recovered from that area but the number is likely to rise significantly. The aid is starting to reach some of the villages in Ghorka and Dhading from today. We are getting supplies including tents and blankets, and together with CWIN are transporting these to the villages that desperately need them.

We have also uploaded the names of the places that we are assiting on the Kathmandu Living Labs website so that anyone from the area can contact Our Sansar staff with up to date information and request for assistance. http://kathmandulivinglabs.org/earthquake/reports/view/413

We hope to be able to assist as many people as possible in that region where some of the villages are very difficult to reach. We will be posting updates as the work progresses.

To donate please use our Global Giving page: http://www.globalgiving.co.uk/projects/urgent-appeal-nepal-earthquake-relief/

Thank you all for the support so far!

This is how your money could help:

£7 will buy a tent, providing shelter to a homeless family

£16 will buy toiletries for 12 households

£33 will buy 10 blankets to keep the families warm

£63 will help us transport goods from the Indian border to a mountain village.

Please give whatever you can.

If you are looking for someone who is missing in Nepal, you can use the Google Person Finder:https://google.org/personfinder/2015-nepal-earthquake

Rural Victims of Nepal Earthquake Need Your Help

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The world is in shock after a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal on Saturday, the worst the country has seen for over 80 years. At the time of writing, the death toll stands at over 4,310 with over 7,000 injured, dozens stranded on Mount Everest and hundreds of thousands left without shelter after their homes were destroyed. Many people are still unaccounted for, and there are shortages of water, food and electricity, as well as serious concerns about the potential spread of disease.

We at Our Sansar are incredibly thankful that all of the children and staff at our children’s home in Birgunj, Nepal, are safe but there are so many more that are not. Unicef estimates that over 1 million children have been “severely” affected and, though the international aid effort is being stepped up, Nepal is one of the poorest countries in Asia and is little equipped to cope with a humanitarian disaster on this scale.

So what can you do to help?

The kids at our children's home in Nepal are offering their prayers for those affected by the Nepal Earthquake
The kids at our children’s home in Nepal are offering their prayers for those affected by the Nepal Earthquake

Major aid organisations and the international community are already doing an amazing job; however, the majority of the aid effort is focussed around the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu, and other areas with high population density. There are many badly affected villages and communities in more rural areas outside the reach of international agencies and NGOs and that are yet to receive any help.

From our position in Southern Nepal near the Indian border, and through our connections with local organisations, we are able to reach these remote communities and, with your help, provide them with blankets, tents and much-needed toiletries. Our children’s home is able to provide shelter to displaced and now homeless kids. Your money will make a real difference to people whose lives have been shattered by this devastating natural disaster. Please donate today and help some of Nepal’s poorest people rebuild their lives.

Donate here and make a difference: http://www.globalgiving.co.uk/projects/urgent-appeal-nepal-earthquake-relief/

This is how your money could help:

£7 will buy a tent, providing shelter to a homeless family

£16 will buy toiletries for 12 households

£33 will buy 10 blankets to keep the families warm

£63 will help us transport goods from the Indian border to a mountain village.

Please give whatever you can.

The kids from our children's home had to move to safety outside. Powerful aftershocks were felt across a wide area.
The kids from our children’s home had to move to safety outside. A number of powerful aftershocks have been felt across the region.

If you are looking for someone who is missing in Nepal, you can use the Google Person Finder: https://google.org/personfinder/2015-nepal-earthquake

Street-connected children myth busters

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There are a number of common misconceptions about children in street situations, from who they are, to how many there are around the world, to why children connect to the streets in the first place.

MYTH
Street children live on the street

BUSTER
Street children have many connections to the street – some live on the street, some work on the street, others spend much of their time ‘hanging out’ in public spaces and do not go to school. Some do all three. Some street children maintain relationships with their family whereas others have lost or broken all contact. ‘Street children’ are also sometimes called ‘runaways’ or are known as ‘children in street situations’ or increasingly as ‘street-connected children’. Whatever they are called, the street plays a significant role in their everyday lives and identities.

MYTH
Children are pushed onto the street by family breakdown

BUSTER
Street-connected children come from families with a wide range of experiences, including death, dislocation, isolation, poverty, mental illness, domestic violence, child abuse and drug use. Some come from families unable to accept a child’s desire to act against deeplyheld convictions around arranged marriage, sexuality, FGM etc. Factors that ‘push’ children onto the streets are usually complex, emerging suddenly or over time.
Larger forces are usually at work in their community and wider society, from ethnic or sexual discrimination, through heightened inequalities to inadequate social protection for families, women or children. There are also factors which ‘pull’ children onto the street such as the enticements of apparent freedom, financial independence, friendships, adventure, and city glamour.
Children may experience a whole combination of push and pull factors as they develop strong connections with
the street and loosen their connections to home.

MYTH
There are 100 million street children in the world.

BUSTER
UNICEF estimated there were 100 million street children a decade ago in 2005. But data is not collected by the UN or any other international body on their numbers – so we do not know how many children worldwide depend on the streets for their
survival or development. In each country, numbers can vary by city and from one year to the next.
Wars, disasters, economic difficulties, religious/ethnic or other clashes can all trigger a sharp rise in numbers. Counting street children can be difficult because they may not want to be found, may be frightened or mistrustful of authorities, may not want to be known as ‘street children’ or may not have afixed place to live.

MYTH
Street children only exist in poor countries

BUSTER
Street-connected children can be found in most countries, both rich and poor. There are more reports of street children in countries and regions where social and economic inequalities are high.
In the UK, street children are more commonly known as runaways or detached youth. In the USA and Canada they are included in street youth. The nature and degree of children’s connections to the streets in richer countries may be different to
those in developing countries, but they have many experiences in common.

MYTH
Street children are boys

BUSTER
Evidence does suggest fairly consistently that 75% to 90% of children living on the streets in many countries are boys. But this is not universal – a study in Ghana showed a much more even split between girls and boys. And in many countries, in
Mexico for example, there is a more even spread of girls and boys amongst those working on the streets and living with their family. This can be because of gender bias in communities or the wider society.

MYTH
Street children are victims

BUSTER
All street children experience constant and direct exposure to violence and some will even die as a result. Violence can also be a factor in pushing them onto the street, perhaps through family violence or war. Once on the street, violence is also a challenge: street children have repeatedly reported suffering violence at the hands of adults, the police and other street children. Although street children are constantly vulnerable to numerous dangers on the street, they are also resourceful and often resilient individuals. Street children actively make their own connections with the street: they build friendships and survival networks, even homes there and many earn a living for themselves, siblings and sometimes for their whole family on the street.

MYTH
Street children who take drugs do not deserve support

BUSTER
Some street-connected children engage in substance use to cope with trauma, mental illness, hunger, stigmatisation and discrimination, or other punishing realities of daily life on the street. Some children in street situations find other ways to cope.
The choice of coping mechanism is not a deciding factor in whether a child is deserving or not of society’s support – all children need some support from society.

MYTH
All that street children need is a chance to go to school

BUSTER
Street children almost always struggle to integrate into ‘standard’ children’s programmes because they live transient lives and often need to work during times when support services are available. They also struggle with the attendance requirements, routine and discipline of formal education and become frustrated that the topics taught are irrelevant to
their lives. They can experience discrimination in class for being behind their peers and having limited family support means that they fail to do homework or be presentable for school. As a result they cannot simply enrol in formal education and benefit from it – the highest numbers of school drop-outs are street children. Programmes run by Governments or big
international institutions/NGOs are usually unsuitable for street children as they also do not provide a tailored approach. Street children need specialised interventions that can respond to and address the complexity of the issues they face.

Find the myth buster here: CSC_Myth Busters_Day version_FINAL