I'm raising money for Happy Kids Center, an org. I've supported since 2016. HKC has changed the lives of so many children who are close to my heart. Help me help them!
I first arrived in Nepal in 2016, less than two years after the 2015 earthquake that severely damaged the town of Bhaktapur, where Happy Kids Center was later founded. From the first day I arrived and met the children, they stole my heart.
Back in 2016, approximatley 60% of children were out of school, most of whom never attended school in the first place. They instead spent their days engaging in child labor -- walking the city in search of recyclables that their parents could sell to earn ends meat. The families relied on the children to ensure they could put food on the table each morning and evening. The children and their parents longed for an education, but it was out of reach even before the earthquake.
However, thanks to Happy Kids Center's programming, the children's futures have taken a turn for the best. Now, more than 90% of our Happy Kids are now enrolled in school and less than 10% are engaging in child labor with no new children joining the workforce since 2016.
Unfortunately, Covid risks undoing all that we have accomplisehd. For the last two years, all of the children have been out of school due to lockdowns, losing much of the progress they made from 2016 to 2020. Now that most people in Bhaktapur are vaccinated and schools are reopening, we need your help to get the kids back in school and all of our programs back up and running.
Over the six years since Happy Kids Center’s founding, we have developed programs that uniquely meet the needs of our little community, responding to the root causes of poverty and allowing families to lift themselves up and remove themselves from the cycle. Over the last two years, however, our efforts were been redirected. Instead of focusing on getting children off the streets and into school, we had to do just the opposite -- ensuring every child and parent was safe and secure in their homes. We did so by making sure everyone had enough to eat and drink and had access to all the supplies they woudl need protect themselves and their families amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, this Giving Tuesday we are looking forward to brighter days as we begin to relaunch our programs and get back to our mission. We recognize that over the next year we will need to work harder than ever to get our community back on track. According to the World Health Organization, "the COVID-19 pandemic is estimated to disrupt the efforts made so far to end child marriage, and is expected to result in 13 million more girls forced into early marriages between 2020 and 2030." At the same time, with schools closed and extreme poverty on the rise, decades of progress in the work against child labor is being threatened worldwide, according to UNICEF. We refuse to let our community backtrack. We need your help to ensure that when it is safe we will be able to relaunch all of our programs and come back to the fight against child labor and child marriage stronger than ever.
Our Happy Kids and their parents thank you in advance!
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