Bridge to Nepal Blog

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Tikapur Children’s Home: by Jason Corbin

When you think about the country of Nepal one’s mind is usually whisked away in a day dream that typically includes adventurous hikes in the Himalayas, breath taking glimpses of Mt. Everest, or perhaps even an escape to find one’s spirituality among the beautiful villages, loving people and Buddhist temples of Nepal.

While much of this can be true if you are paying for the “Deluxe Nepal Tourist Package” there is unfortunately a sadder, darker, less attractive Nepal that is almost too hard to believe.

Nepal may not be on the Top 10, or even 20 poorest nations list, but it does have a significant portion of its population that is below the worldwide recognized poverty level of $1.25 USD per day of income. On top of this, income distribution is extremely uneven. In other words there are major gaps between the classes.

The issues for Nepal have been compounded by the fact that over the last decade the country has been ravaged by civil war, also referred to as “The Peoples War”. The war received this nick name due to the impact that it has had on the hundreds of thousands of Nepali people who lost their homes, wives who lost their husbands and the tens of thousands of orphaned children that it has created.

For many families, every day is a fight to stay alive. Unfortunately, in some cases families have to take drastic measures to ensure that they can feed their family that can often consists of 4-5 children. Sometimes this even includes the selling of one their children for as little as 25 dollars as an indentured servant (soft slave) in order to get the money to feed the rest of the family.

Schematic for the New Tikapur Children's Home
The purpose of the Tikapur Children’s Home is to provide a home to children whose’ families can no longer care of them. Children come to the home due to a variety of circumstances. Some are at risk of being sold by their family, some have loving families that can not afford to feed them or pay for the fees to send them to school. Some have been abandoned or orphaned.

For over a decade the home has provided hundreds of children with place to call home, a place to be apart of a loving family, and a place to get a proper education.

The home would not be possible if it were not for a local Nepali family who had a heart for the poor children in their community and outlying villages and wanted to provide children in need with a home and an education.

For years they have cared for these children. Not being a family of much means themselves there were often times that they went into debt themselves trying to care for up to twenty children.

Bridge to Nepal began getting involved with this children's home four years ago. First by sharing their story back in the US and finding sponsors to help offset the costs of caring for the children. Currently we are also working on expanding the home by building a new home. The children live in a very small home that is not sufficient for the number of children that need to be cared for.

The goal of the new home is to provide a safe, and secure home for up to forty children as well as caretakers.

Beyond these costs however there are the on-going operational costs of the home that will include caretaker costs, additional tutoring costs, utilities and maintenance.

Ground-breaking ceremony on the land -February 2013
There is also the opportunity to sponsor and child and provide food, health care costs, clothing school supplies and school fees. Currently ten children are sponsored and we need many more sponsors to help cover the expected increase in the number of children that will be cared for.

Our vision is that this new home is just the beginning. Every year 5000 to 10000 children are trafficked from Nepal to surrounding countries as servants or to be sold into prostitution. Homes such as these not only provide a home and education to children in need, but they serve to change generations. By changing one child’s life, we potentially stop one family’s cycle of poverty and develop a future teacher, leader or business owner, a contributing member to Nepal or the world’s community.

If you would like to partner with us in changing the lives of children and future generations please donate to the building of the new home or sponsor a child. Click here to donate online  All donations are tax-deductible.
If you have questions regarding the Tikapur Children’s home please contact Jason Corbin at corbinj123@gmail.com.