Sarah F via Crowdrise
July 19, 2011
BENEFITING: KIWANIS CLUB OF CONCORD NH CHARITABLE FOUNDATION
HOURS PLEDGED: 50
Between 50 and 100 children in Nepal live inside jail cells, but not because they are violent, angry or a threat to society in any way. These children are incredibly loving, ambitious, and warm-hearted; they would do anything for an education or the chance to lead a normal life with their family.
They are imprisoned because their mothers have been convicted of a crime, and no other relatives are able to take care of the children while she is in jail for an indetermined length of time. They accompany their mothers to prison as trials drag on or are forgotten entirely. Many women are in prison for defending themselvse against abusive husbands or relatives.
These children are not allowed to attend school. They are surrounded by violence inside the prisons, crime, poverty and filth, denied access to proper medical treatment, nutrition, and the basic necessities of early childhood development. Nepal's prison conditions are some of the worst in the world. The children are not provided their own food ration or warm clothes in the winter. They have no defenses against falling into their own life of crime and poverty when they leave the prisons uneducated, unskilled, carrying the social stigma of living in a jail cell, and without any resources for building an honest life.
The children are incredibly bright and talented. One older girl, Laxmi, is a fan of Abraham Lincoln and science. She says that without education, "man would be like animal." Many children aspire to go into the police or army forces because to them, that is the only way of getting the power to have their mothers released from jail. To most of them, their mothers are the only thing they think of. If they aspire to be lawyers, it is so they can defend their mothers in court. If they want to be soldiers, it is for the same reason.
The Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC) could change all of this. ECDC offers a residential home for children over the age of 5 and a daycare center for babies. Kids are given education, food, and security. ECDC is registered as a non-profit in Nepal, but desperately needs funding. They are hoping to build a permanent facility where the 40+ children who have already been taken out of jail can live, as they face constant evictions in Kathmandu because tenants are not protected against arbitrary eviction. They hope to pay for children to attend college when they graduate from the local school.
All money raised on CrowdRise or at fundraisers on college campuses through our student organization, Babies Behind Bars, will go directly towards constructing a new residential home in Kathmandu to stop the cycle of evictions and uncertainty. The children deserve a safe and secure place to grow up outside the confines and dangers of a jail cell.