As Christmas approaches, we are taking what, for Kidasha, is an unusual step in writing to our friends and supporters both past and present, to directly ask for contributions to support our much needed work in Pokhara. Since the devastating earthquake in April 2015, life for the very poorest children in Nepal has become even worse, such that many are like refugees in their own country but their plight, rather than being transitory, is sadly permanent. Neglected, working illegally, physically and sexually abused or even sold into modern day slavery - that's the fate of some of the most deprived and marginalised children in Nepal, one of the poorest countries in the world.
For some of them, living on the street is a temporary or longer term means of escape and survival. Our shelter for street boys, the only one of its kind in Pokhara, provides such children with the basic services they need, including healthcare, non-formal education, support to get back into school, life skills and employment related training. We also run a transit and rehabilitation home for girls who are victims of sexual abuse. These facilities offer children a safe refuge while we help them to rebuild their lives.
Both of these projects were funded by a four-year institutional grant which is due to finish shortly. We therefore urgently need your help to raise the £80,000 per annum we need to sustain them going forward. Any donation you can make will be warmly appreciated. Perhaps you might consider setting up a monthly donation, so we know that we can count on your support, both now and in the future.
Finally, we would love to share with you the success of Arjun, a boy who began living on the street when he was only 8 years old. He came to Pokhara in search of work, but ended up being abused, sniffing glue to stave off hunger, sleeping on the street, and stealing food just to survive. Because of our drop-in centre, he has had access to medical care, education, food and, when he wants, a safe place to sleep. Without the support of our centre, he states that he would be dead or in jail. Now 14 years old, he has turned his life around: he’s an apprentice metal welder and has gone back to live with his family. He even has his own bank account and has started to save. Arjun features in our film - https://www.kidasha.org/our-films/
and is a shining example of the success of our work.
Thank you for taking the time to read this email.
With all good wishes for Christmas and the New Year.