Fighting for Childhood Freedom
In 1999 The Esther Benjamins Trust was set up by Philip Holmes in memory of his late wife. The charity was
known by this name until it was changed, with the support of Esther’s
family, to Child Rescue Nepal with the aim of clearly
communicating their work. Philip is no longer involved with Child Rescue
Nepal but continues to work in Nepal through his charity Chorachori.
In 2016, having reviewed progress, the group set an exciting new ambition:
To end all child trafficking in Nepal. With a renewed focus on rescues, they won’t stop until every child in Nepal is free.
A Report to Namaste UK and friends by Child Rescue Nepal: August 2023
Project: Bursary Support To remove one of the barriers that prevent disadvantaged students attending rural schools in Nepal
Why are bursaries needed?
Bursaries play an important role in keeping children safe at school. Children from the poorest families are unable to buy uniforms, shoes, and stationery, putting them at risk of dropping out of school due to the shame they feel at being dressed differently from other children or having nothing to write with. We provide the poorest children with one-year bursaries for essentials such as uniforms, bags, exercise books and pencils. Child Rescue Nepal has been providing bursary support to the neediest students in Makwanpur district for a long time.
The neediest students (economically poor, orphans or children at risk of dropping out) are selected by the School Management Committee and teachers. In some schools, the majority of parents work as labourers for daily cash wages and it is very hard for them to afford the equipment needed for their children to attend school.
Uniform: Trousers or skirt, shirt, jumper, socks and shoes
School kit: Exercise books, pens, pencils, erasers, calculator, sharpener and bag
Primary School bursary cost: £40
Secondary School bursary cost: £60
26 x Primary School bursaries @£40 = £1,040
24 x Secondary School bursaries @£60 = £1,440
Total cost: £2,480
Case study: Dream of Education
Mahesh (name changed) is a grade ten student at Shree Rashtriya Secondary School in Manahari-6, Makwanpur district, and he is 18 years old. His father died six years ago due to a chronic illness. Mahesh's mother was the only person caring for him and his sister. It was very difficult for his mother to fulfil the family’s basic needs as well as their educational costs. Therefore, to find better opportunities, the whole family migrated from Rakshirang Rural Municipality to Manahri Rural Municipality.
Although Mahesh and his sister were enrolled at Shree Rashtriya Secondary School, they did not attend regularly. Mahesh had to work to pay for his sister’s school equipment as their mother couldn't afford the cost of it. He used to purchase stationary for himself and his sister by loading and unloading sand from a tractor. He often missed school because he was working.
One day, the head teacher at the school called Mahesh and asked why he wasn't attending class on a regular basis. He told the headmaster about himself and his home situation. After having a detailed conversation, the head teacher told him not to worry about the bursary and advised him to attend school regularly together with his sister. The head teacher sent Child Rescue Nepal an update about Mahesh and other pupils who have similar problems of not being able to attend school regularly and asked for bursary support for the fifty most needy students at this school. The students were jointly selected by the school management committee and teachers. (It is a large school that covers all ages and has a total of 731 students.)
His class teacher says, "Mahesh is a young man who is incredibly earnest and diligent. When Mahesh was irregular in class, we were concerned about him and his future. We are very happy that he is getting bursary support from Namaste UK, and he is now regular in school and performing well. We are very much thankful for this amazing support. Thank you so much for your love and support to children studying at this school”.
Mahesh says, "When I got this information, I thought I was dreaming because that was a surprise for me! I was so happy and shared with my mother that I and sister are getting bursary support from an organisation called Namaste. When she heard that she was happy and crying. I told to my mother, I do not need to work anymore, and now I can concentrate on my study. I am focusing and doing hard work on my study. Therefore, I would like to thank the organisation for their wonderful support to make our dream to go to school regularly come true.”
Thank you to all at Namaste UK for making these children’s dreams come true. You have helped 50 children to stay in school and get an education.