Namaste! Happy Dashain and Happy Tihar!
The children are enjoying their long break from school over this annual festival and holiday period. Some children have returned to villages, others have visited their parent in prison and most have stayed at home in Sankhu playing with the goats, tending to the garden and playing outside.
It is at this time of year that we celebrate our amazing staff, who finally get a few days off! What an incredible team we have here at our Firefly home. Now with 9 permanent staff and 7 teachers at our onsite school, they are delivering happiness in plenty of ways to our Fireflies. With 100 children it may not seem like a lot of staff, but the home operates like a fine-tuned village. All the groups of children understand who to look out for. As with the cultural norms of a Nepalese village, the older ones enjoy taking the younger ones under their wings. I cannot thank the staff enough for the daily encouragement and ongoing work they put into our children.
We have a hard time turning away more children, who desperately need a loving home and an education. But with our team in Kathmandu working hard behind the scenes to locate family members, the reintegration process is working well. This year we have been able to slowly reintegrate about 8 children.
The process involves ensuring that the parent (recently released from prison) or relation has a place to live and employment to support the child. If the parent is unable to pay for education, we pledge to support the child attending school in their local village. We have always viewed education as the key to a bright future and we don’t want to send them off to a life void of schooling.
We have had the pleasure of hosting a few volunteer groups who came with a strong purpose. One of the groups; nurses and doctors from the UK, gave our staff and older children a first aid workshop. They were empowered to learn how to treat minor accidents and injuries, as there are often a lot as these children grow and play outside.
Medically, we have had an eventful year with about five of our children needing hospital attention including surgery, blood transfusion and long courses of antibiotic treatment. We are ever so grateful to our donors for the money to meet these medical costs.
Indira, our director, has recently been on a busy overseas trip to speak about our work in Nepal helping women and children. These trips encourage people to get behind us and support what we do. She also works tirelessly in Nepal as she faces the country’s discriminatory social structure and norms against women.
Thank you everyone for your help as we continue to advocate for these gorgeous children.