Discovering the Orphanage – 2005

I found about thirty people living in the house pictured here; all but a few were children. There was no running water. A well that was often too low to yield was outside the house where the children would pump up life's most required element through rusted and tainted pipes. The only toilet was an afterthought without a door on the other side of the house from the well. It consisted of a hole in the ground. A low wall with broken glass embedded into the top was a stark symbol of the quality of life found here, a wide broken gate tilted on one hinge, useless and ignored. The name on the sign was "Humanity Concern Center"; the irony of that remains a bitterness still.

Nepal is a poor country and has been embroiled in a civil war for the past ten years. Other nations have been very generous with their contributions, but for some reason the flow of money never quite reaches the many people in need.

A report read some months ago stated that 90% of the hundreds of orphanages found in Kathmandu needed to have the children rescued from them, but they aren't. The war has made homeless thousands of woman and children, and they still are. It's a vast country and everyone looks out for themselves, and many of the homeless lack the ability to rise above the steep walls separating them from any footholds into bettering their situation.

Most of the 90% mentioned are homes started by unscrupulous people, people who think that they will better their own financial lot by hosting a bunch of homeless and parentless children. But usually they simply make matters worse, pocketing whatever money they can separate from kind tourists and often abandoning the children once enough has been acquired. All too often they make the children in their homes beg on the street for them, all with an eye out for tourists that they can compel to come and see the wretched conditions in which they live.  They are operators, smooth-talking, soft-voiced thieves using children for their own gain.

Such was the case with the home that I found. Fortunately the family that ran the home had long ago slipped away in the night.

What we have now is a testament to what can and should be done to help the children of Nepal. In the village we help families on an individual basis as the need arises. We are helping to build a community by example, with your support. One hundred pennies of every dollar supports Nepalese children in our home and community. The cost of my living here, which is minimal, is separated from any donation. We have a lot of plans, and from a carefully built foundation we have the capacity to really change the lives of thousands, but only as funds allow.