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MIRROR STORY: Child traffickers preying on earthquake orphans left to fend for themselves in Nepal

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Charity workers are picking up the pieces in the stricken country in a bid to rescue kids as young as three from the vile exploitation trades

Our-Sansar-temporary-villageChildren as young as three are still wandering alone and fending for themselves in earthquake-ravaged Nepal.

In heartbreaking scenes, the youngsters have been scavenging through the rubble and the tent cities in the region during the three months since it was shaken by two devastating tremors.

Some have been orphaned, some abandoned – and many have been picked up by people traffickers and sold into work or the sex industry.

Others have been rounded up and live in tents guarded by police to protect them from the vile trades.

Julia Krepska, director of charity Our Sansar, is still working in some of the most remote areas to find such victims. The charity hopes to help 500 children over the next year – just a tiny portion of those affected.

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Speaking from the Dhading district in the centre of the country, Julia said: “We know there are more children in isolated villages and ­trafficking has increased since the quakes, so we are preparing to care for more children.

“They are the forgotten children of Nepal but we are here for them.”

Our Sansar aims to rebuild villages and find permanent homes for the youngsters.

Workers have been to four tent cities in the area, each housing as many as 400 children who need help.

Lila, three, was found severely malnourished and wandering alone next to a creek in Nepal’s Dhading Besi.

She was abandoned because her mother remarried and the new husband did not want her child around.

Julia says Lila appears unaware of her predicament as she runs between the grown-ups’ legs.

Julia said: “We couldn’t really believe her story at first.

“She is not really in our age range of what we provide for but there was nowhere else for her to go. We are the only ones doing this here.

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“Now, she bounds around the bamboo huts we have built into a home, keeping staff busy with games, punctuated by her loud laugh and infectious smile.

“These children, in desperate situations, have been found by local authorities and brought here to be rehomed.

To read the full article please see: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/child-traffickers-preying-earthquake-orphans-6242777

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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

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/

Update from Our Sansar’s Nepal team

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From our UK team, Julia and Clint had already planned to visit the Nepal team, but the earthquake gave them all the more reason to. The Our Sansar team has been in Dhading for less than 2 weeks and already we are seeing vast improvements in the area, thanks to everyone’s donations.11430147_10155638901500004_5728746996450415628_o

The team have utilised bamboo delivered from India to create bamboo houses in Bhanu Park (a park which was dedicated to a famous Nepalese poet: Aadikabi Bhanu Bhakta Acharya) – just before the monsoon season is the begin!

Bhanu Park is very green and leafy, but importantly gated and secure for the children to stay. The park will be used as a hub for children to be educated and provide support from losing parents and loved ones from the earthquake. Before the bamboo houses were built, the residents were forced to stay in tents which have become uninhabitable due to build up of garbage and infestation of vermin and snakes.

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Thankfully ,the schools in Dhading were not too affected by the earthquake and already open for children to continue learning! Generally working the authorities has been pleasant and they have been supportive in getting children the help they need and the work our team is doing to get the children this help. Our Sansar has an proper agreement directly with the government to implement our project in Dhading, which really solidifies the support and dedication we are getting. _DSC0420

If you would like to assist with our project in Dhading, please donate use our Global Giving page: http://www.globalgiving.co.uk/projects/urgent-appeal-nepal-earthquake-relief/ We will be updating our blog with more updates from the work we are doing in Nepal! Thank you all so much for your donations so far!

“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.

Interested in becoming an Our Sansar volunteer?

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Our Sansar relies on dedicated volunteers to keep our organisation running the best it can. Regardless of the motivation, what unites all of the volunteers here, is that we all find it both challenging and rewarding! Volunteering at Our Sansar can help gain new skills or knowledge, or develop your current skills. It is also a great way to use your professional skills to benefit others and really make a difference to the lives of the children at our home and assist in our other projects.

10344324_10152568064927642_4977179224587547130_oWe’re looking for a passionate, committed Volunteer Business Support Officer to assist our growing Social Enterprise in its next stage of development! This exciting opportunity will provide you with valuable experience to assist our growing Social Enterprise in its next stage of development. Our Sansar has become an emerging leader in sustainable recycling and the position involves assisting in our strategy to continue sustainable development for the organisation. It’s the perfect opportunity to get an insight into the third sector and to gain valuable skills and experience. For more information on this role or to apply please email sean@oursansar.org with your CV and a short cover letter.

521804_434468963273587_604359584_nWe are also looking for someone to assist with our events and challenges. Previously, we have had many people help fundraise for Our Sansar by completing various challenges and holding events, such as the London to Brighton Cycle Ride. We are currently looking for someone to help recruit participants for the challenges and help organise the structure of these events. This is a great opportunity for someone to gain experience in events and recruitment! For more information or to apply, please email jen@oursansar.org.

Both roles are flexible in terms of how and when you can work. We are looking for those committed and enthusiastic about volunteering whilst having a genuine interest in the position.

Volunteering at Our Sansar, comes with great support from the entire team! If you would like more information on fundraising or have any other ideas regarding fundraising, events or anything else, please email info@oursansar.org.

Second Earthquake Hits Nepal

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We are devastated by the news that a second earthquake, measuring 7.3 in magnitude, has hit Nepal just weeks after over 8,000 people were killed in the biggest earthquake to strike the country in over 80 years.

Seventy-six people are known to have died but the figure is expected to rise. Hundreds of thousands of people slept outside last night, either because their homes had been destroyed or because they were simply too terrified to reenter buildings in case of aftershocks or a fresh earthquake.

We are very thankful that, once again, the children and staff at our children’s home are safe; unfortunately so many others have not been so lucky. Just a day before our new emergency shelter was due to open in Gorkha district, we have been forced to seek an alternative building as the one we had hoped to use was too badly damaged in Tuesday’s earthquake.

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Millions of children have been affected by the earthquake

We will be taking in orphaned and traumatised children ASAP, and will provide them with food, shelter, education and counselling. We have managed to obtain basic supplies but we still need help to make sure we can give the best care to these children. For the next 7 hours (until 12am EDT or 5am GMT), Global Giving are matching a percentage of every donation made to live projects. Please give what you can and help us give hope and comfort to the children who have been devastated by this tragedy.

Here are some examples of how your donation will help:

  • £7 could buy a mattress for 1 child
  • £16 could buy a pillow, bedding, set of clothes and shoes for 1 child
  • £55 could buy rice for 30 children for 1 month
  • £182 could pay for the social worker and trauma expert for 1 month
  • £195 could buy other food for 30 children for one month
  • £344 could pay for medicines, tables, chairs and other kitchen equipment

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