Nepal

A poem from an Our Sansar volunteer

Posted on Updated on

We hope you all had a lovely Christmas and your New Years is just as great! One of our volunteers, Belinda, has been creatively inspired by the work she and other volunteers in Nepal are doing in Nepal. We wanted to show you the poem as we really believe it represents Our Sansar’s values and gives you an insight into what volunteering in an Our Sansar home actually entails:

Our Sansar
a home for you and me
Sarita’s in the kitchen
making sweet chai tea
A game of inside outside
keeps us entertained
noise and personality
not contained
Strength and bravery
a regular sight
There’s plenty of rice
no need to fight
Today we dig the veg patch
expecting greens to hatch
Paint the walls with words
And make origami birds
Children will come and go
as the staff retain their flow
Emotions run high
when it’s time to say goodbye
Connections with each other
Powerful to one another
Our Sansar
expect no less
The idea is
that each child will progress
They will go to school
and know that school is cool
They will be with their families wherever possible
From adult to child
there is a lot to learn
From child to adult
in return
Forgive and forget
don’t regret
Think big, aim high
and don’t be shy.

We all love Belinda’s poem and believe it really embodies the hope we have for all the children within the home.

Don’t forget to check out and donate our Winter Woolies campaign! We’re hoping to raise money for coats and other winter supplies to help keep our kids warm! Find out more here: https://www.globalgiving.co.uk/projects/winter-woolies-keep-street-kids-cosy/

We would like to thank everyone for their help and donations and hope everyone has a happy holiday season!

Winter Woolies

Posted on Updated on

2015 has been a challenging year for the whole of Nepal. The devastating earthquakes, the new constitution, aggressive protests and the blockade at the border of Nepal has left the country in a vulnerable position. The entire nation has a lack of supplies being delivered, and with winters getting colder (the lowest temperature at higher altitudes being -2°C in December 2014)* the people of Nepal are completely unprepared.

12301747_10153774513548615_1710510877085283314_n

Petrol stations are closed nationally, creating a black market for the product with un-affordable prices. Gas supplies are no longer available and electric cuts are far more frequent than usual. This means that gas heaters and cooking appliances are no longer available and electrical items are less reliable for their users. The lack of gas has resulted in an increase in wood fires for both cooking and heating purposes, making even this resource very difficult to obtain.

We are therefore determined to assist the children in any way that we can. We have already bought an insulating foam for the walls and are making curtains to cover the walls in order to provide an extra layer for warmth. Daylight provides sufficient warmth for the children, however the days are becoming very short and the days becoming colder and colder. The lack of heating options available means we are reliant on warm clothing. The children wear their winter jackets all day and put on even more layers to stay warm.

The children need as many warm clothing as they can. We are therefore determined to provide more coats, trousers and warm pyjamas for the children! We are also aiming to get electrical heaters, which are able to use and store electrical energy. So when power-cuts occur, rooms can still be heated using the stored energy. We will ensure that all the children we are helping stay warm and healthy during this winter. We also need to buy carpets to keep the floors warm in order for the children to be able to study in comfortable conditions. And, of course, there are many more street children in need – we want to provide blankets and warm clothes through our outreach support.

giving_tuesday_countdown-12.png

Our Winter Woolies campaign is committed to help the children keep warm this winter! Please support our Winter Woolies campaign and help us keep the kids who have already been through a lot, warm this December and January.

From December 1st to December 31st, GlobalGiving will be matching ALL monthly donations! For every new monthly donation that is set up on the GlobalGiving.co.uk website, we will receive an equal donation from GlobalGiving! Please visit our winter campaign page here: http://www.globalgiving.co.uk/projects/winter-woolies-keep-street-kids-cosy/

From all of us at Our Sansar, a massive thank you in advance for all your help!

*Information taken from: http://www.visitnepal.com/travelers_guide/when_to_come.php

 

Nepal Constitution: Violence & shortages affect our work

Posted on

Fuel shortages and political violence following a two-week blockade on the Indian border are making providing aid and charitable support to local communities increasingly difficult for our team in Nepal.

In the southern Terai region, necessities such as medicine are not making their way into Nepal and there is widespread worry about possible food shortages as trucks sit stationary, choking supplies.

 

Birgunj5The recent adoption of a new constitution by Nepal’s Government has led to violence around the country and at least 40 people have been killed in clashes during the past month, while thousands of protesters have blocked the border.

Many border regions have become too violent to work in, preventing help from reaching the area’s most vulnerable, while there are reports of street children being used in clashes with police and others seeking refuge in India.

Street children in Birgunj, where the Our Sansar children’s home is situated, are being used by Madhesi parties to throw stones and attack vehicles.

“We can’t even reach out to them to try and help them due to safety reasons,” Our Sansar director Julia Krepska said.

“People in Raxaul – a town in India on the border – are providing food to the protesters as they are supporting the protests against the constitution, and now many street children from Nepal are going across the border and get fed there.”

The situation has become critical.

Birgunj4“We are still provided with some supplies – we just need to call the shop owners and then they provide us with food – but we don’t know how long this will last for, and the supplies will end at some point,” Julia said.

“We cannot visit our projects easily, children don’t go to school, many shops are closed.”

Strikes and protests have also affected public services and children have been out of school for nearly two months – while around the country, all non-emergency transport has been halted.

“The schools have been now closed for about 50 days, before then they were closed due to the earthquake, then summer holidays – so children in the Birgunj area this year have hardly had any classes,” Julia said.

“Our project manager, Ayush, can’t even refill his motorbike to visit and reach out to children in more remote villages, which is an essential part of our work.”

Nepal is still reeling from a devastating earthquake which killed more than 8,700 people in April and the unrest is now pushing up prices for necessities for those who could least afford them.

Birgunj6“Because of the fuel shortage, people can’t get to work, factories are shut, there is no milk,” Julia said.

The situation in the border towns is also affecting Our Sansar’s work for child survivors of the earthquakes in Dhading.

“We can’t send some of the Dhading children to their families due to the lack of transport – we’re all pretty much stuck where we are,” Julia said.

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

Posted on Updated on

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.

Our-Sansar-temporary-village (1)

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.

Our-Sansar-founder-Julia-Krepska

“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

Update from Our Sansar’s Nepal team

Posted on Updated on

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.

_DSC0332

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

Posted on Updated on

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.

Second Earthquake Hits Nepal

Posted on

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.

Nepal_Gorkha
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/