Street Children

A poem from an Our Sansar volunteer

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

It’s nearly game time for #TeamOurSansar! Meet our bowlers!

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It’s nearly time for our kids to start competing in the tournament! The competition officially starts on Saturday the 4th of April, and we all couldn’t be more excited. Today, we are introducing you to more of our team! Nikhil, Ryan and Sajan are the official Team Our Sansar’s bowlers, and they are all confident the team will do brilliantly. Remember to donate to Our Sansar, so all the boys can not only to continue enjoying themselves playing cricket but live a life off the street. Find out more at: http://www.globalgiving.co.uk/projects/cricket-for-street-children/


NikhilNAME: Nikhil “Warne”
AGE: 7
POSITION: BOWLER


When did you start playing cricket?
I played when I was small.

Have you ever seen a cricket match?
Yes, on TV.

Who is your favourite cricket player?
Shakti Gauchan

What is the best part of playing in a cricket team?
Bowling is the best part of cricket, but I love playing together.

What are your cricket dreams?
I want to be a good cricket player.

How often do you practise cricket now?
Everyday

What do you think will be the most challenging part of the upcoming cricket tournament?
I don’t think we will have challenges!

What do you think will be the most exciting part of the upcoming tournament?
Playing with friends aRyannd enjoying cricket!


NAME: Ryan “Flintoff”
AGE: 13
POSITION: Bowler


Have you ever seen a cricket match?
Yes, only on TV.

Who is your cricket hero?
M. S Dhoni

What do you like best about cricket?
I love when everybody plays in a united way, but I really think bowling is the best part of cricket!

How often do you practise cricket now?
We practice every day. We all really enjoy it!

What do you think will be the most challenging part of the upcoming cricket tournament?
I hope my friends don’t fight. Everybody should be united and play together.

What do you think will be the most exciting part of the upcoming tournament?
I think winning the tournament will be the most exciting part of the tournament.


SajanNAME: Sajan “Akram”
AGE: 14
POSITION: BOWLER


When did you start playing cricket?
I’ve been playing cricket since I came to Our Sansar.

Have you ever seen a cricket match?
Yes. On TV

Who is your cricket hero?
Sachin Tendulkar

What is the best part of playing in a team with your friends?
The best part of cricket is definitely bowling but batting is fun.

What are your cricket dreams?
I want to be the world’s greatest bowler.

What parts of cricket do you not like?
I don’t like it when the wicket keepers don’t stay focused.

When do you think Nepal will play in the world cup?
When I grow old and join the team.

How often do you practise cricket now?
I practice every day after school.

What do you think will be the most challenging part of the upcoming cricket tournament?
I think as a team, we need to improve our bowling.

What do you think will be the most exciting part of the upcoming tournament?
Winning will be the most exciting part.


Cricket Tournament for Street Children: Meet Team Our Sansar

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There are less than three weeks left for the final for our Cricket Tournament for street children and we are all so excited to see how well Team Our Sansar will do! In preparation of the tournament, we thought it would be great to introduce the team to you all! The next few weeks we will be releasing player profiles, so you can get to know the players you’re supporting on the 12th of April! For our first post, we’ll be profiling two players: Vikram and Vishal!



NAME: Vikram “Tendulkar”

AGE: 9
POSITION: All-rounder

How long have you been playing cricket for?
I first started playing cricket after coming to Our Sansar.

Have you ever seen a cricket match?
I have only seen a cricket match in a local field

What is your favourite cricket team?
India!

Who is your cricket hero?
Mahendra Singh Dhoni

What is the best part of playing cricket?
I love cricket as a whole. We learn from each other and have lots of fun. Everything is good about cricket!

What is your biggest cricket dream?
I want to be a great batsman and receive shields/medals from all the future competitions we will win!

How often do you practise cricket now?
We practice every single day. We come back from school, get ready and play.

What do you think will be the most challenging part of the upcoming cricket tournament?
I don’t think there are any challenges that we can’t be handle!

What do you think will be the most exciting part of the upcoming tournament’?
Everybody will do their best and If we win we will celebrate. That is the most exciting part of the upcoming tournament!


NAME: Vishal “Ponting” 

AGE: 12
POSITION: All-rounder

When did you start playing cricket?
I started after coming to Our Sansar.

Have you ever seen a cricket match?
I have only watched cricket on TV

What is your favourite cricket team? Which teams would you like to see play?
India. India should play with Sri Lanka

Who is your cricket hero?
Mahendra Singh Dhoni

What is your cricket dream?
I want to be like Dhoni.

What is the best part of playing cricket?
I love batting! I like to see everybody feeling happy when they are playing.

How often do you practice cricket now?
We play every day after school.

What do you think will be the most exciting part of the upcoming tournament?
Winning matches against other teams and just playing cricket!

Our Sansar staff rescue a young boy from the streets…

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I’m sure you’ll all agree how wonderful it’s been the past few months to see Our Sansar’s Children Home progress and flourish; from seeing the boys excel in class to playing guitar to enjoying helping out with the new chickens! It’s easy to forget how far they’ve come. Settling into a new home is a difficult transition especially for children going into the unknown; introducing a child into the home is always a delicate situation. One of the most delicate introductions the staff at Our Sansar have had took place last Friday…

Our Sansar staff and the District Child Welfare Board had been working together to help rescue a 5 year old boy from the streets of Parsa, Birgunj. The young boy had previously spent his entire life living on the streets with his mother. Harinath Prasad Sha (the police officer who helped lead the rescue), said “We organised this rescue with an aim of providing the boy with some much needed care and education.”

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Local teacher, Sabtiri Banjare noted she once asked the mother to start sending her son to the local school; but the mother refused claiming she was capable of teaching her son herself. Up until this point the young boy has received little, if no form of education.

Police claim the mother arrived in town when the boy was only three months old, and witnesses stated she would often experience strange episodes which resulted in physical abuse towards the young boy. Officers agreed this rescue should have happened a long time ago, and were grateful that Our Sansar were able to step in and help.

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While similar stories to this are no doubt taking place in dozens of locations around the world, Our Sansar is currently the only charity providing this kind of help and support in the region.

We’d therefore like to extend a huge thank all those who’ve helped.

We’ll keep you updated.

To learn more about the work Our Sansar do, or to find out how you can support our cause visit: www.OurSansar.org

Journey Into the Unknown [part 1]

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I know the title sounds ominous but that’s how I felt when I first made my decision to go to Nepal to the Our Sansar children’s home. I was off alone into unchartered territory to spend time with children from a homeless or uncertain background. Then excitement set in and I researched and derived as much information as possible from previous visitors and staff, online articles etc. I wanted to give something of myself to these children that would make them happy…things they had not been exposed too much, arts and crafts,books, fun and ME!

My friend – Manisha decided to join me on my endeavors. Together we gathered items of clothing, football boots, toys and games, books, colouring books and pencils, pens, stationery, chocolates etc, and set up a donation page each. In one month we have raised over £2250 between us, thanks to generous hearts and loving souls who could foresee the difference this would make to the lives of these children.

The first night spent in Kathmandu, filled us with an exhilarated feeling of “yes we have arrived!!” The colours, smells and heat engulfed us. The next morning after a quick breakfast in a local café, we set off for Birgunj in a 4WDdriven by a young driver who spoke not a word of English or Hindi, but smiled at everything. Five hours of a very bumpy car journey saw us arrive in Birgunj at the Our Sansar home, where the children surrounded us and shouted “Namaste aunty”. Some hung back in their shyness whilst others talked away. The staff too, got to know us and made us feel at home.

On the first night and many others after, we helped with homework, and I asked them to show me how they played kabaadi and they obliged.  That night we had difficulty sleeping. Just as shut eye seemed to arrive, the children awoke …5am …get ready, breakfast, school!!  Shouts of “aunty” and chatter vibrated in my ears and then finally subsided into a calm. The children returned at 12.00 changed, ate and became a bit less coy around us.

We lay the table out with all our gifts and supplies and called them. The excitement, sense of curiosity and gratefulness for the items placed before them was a sight to see. Little hands clawed, clasped items feverously. Manisha excited, and I, myself clicking madly away with my camera eager to capture their excited faces. We watched them munching on sweets and playing with balloons, we could never envisage in the U.K that this could offer so much fun.

Gifts

Julia the charity founder had bought the children an inflatable pool, which they splashed in for the remainder of the evening. It even enticed the buffalo to have a drink, but it was shooed away by the children. The pool at some stage converted into a tub, with soapsuds everywhere!! We were never short of entertainment.

On many occasions dinner would be served, and then Mina would indulge us with the children in a spurt of Bollywood dancing. The children were practicing for their forthcoming Children’s day event, where the home played host to other children, VIP’s , MP’s etc.

On one day, we arranged as a treat for the children to go to “Shahid Smarak Memorial Park” in Hetauda. A Day trip…. 9 children and 4 adults piled into one 4WD, singing, talking and laughing all the way to the park. Lucky the pets didn’t join in. Ayush (the home manager) and two of the boys came on a moped with frequent stops, as Karan was consistently travelsick. Sickness ensued after the rides on an antiquated big wheel and carousel, and on the way home, as the children were not used to either.

day trip

We were on one occasion lucky enough (at Julia’s suggestion), to be involved with “the Rice Bucket challenge”. We were able to give a bucket of rice to the two poorest families in the village. The first a family whose crops had failed and the second, where the mother lay ill, feverish, unable to come out to meet us. I did not anticipate that this situation might be a fusion of embarrassment, happiness and shyness for the people involved, as they fell under the eyes of curious onlookers. who in turn wondered why they had not been chosen. When we left our mood was subdued, but we were happy to have contributed in some small way, towards the plight of these families. How many such families exist I pondered?