During my trekkings through the mountains of Nepal we stayed in simple lodges. I noticed very young children are working here. They gather dead wood for fire, haul heavy backpacks en carry heavy baskets.
I asked my guide about this and he replied: "Many parents are too poor to take care of their children, so they make them work in the lodges in exchange for food and shelter." This matches with my observations that Nepali are always taking care of each other.
When I met a very bright kid I realized the downside of this behavior. This boy works all day to take care of the tourists: he caries their backpacks, gathers wood for the fireplace, cleans the rooms where the tourists stay and takes care of food and drinks. In his "spare" time he talks to tourists. This helps him to learn to speak English and some basic arithmetic. Without any extra help this boy will have to work hard his entire life, without any hope of creating a better future for himself.
I talked to my guide about the situation these kids are in. He understands exactly what I mean because he comes from a similar background. But he was fortunate enough to be able to attend school, because he received a scholarship. One of the teachers saw his potential and stimulated him to go to university. The doorway to a better future was opened. He now attends a university in Kathmandu, working many hours every day to pay for his study, working as a guide during trekkings and is initiator of Nepali Children. Together we make plans for the children and he, Ram Prashad Sedhain, is arranging the Nepali side of the foundation. And I arrange the Dutch part.
Ram is the creator and motivator of Nepali Children foundation. Coming from a similar background he understands the importance for children to get a chance for education so they can improve their lives. Ram is very motivated to make Nepali Children a success. He is involved in Nepali Children in many ways:
Right now is he also studies financial economics at university. He wants to become a social worker in his birthplace Madanpur.
The goal of the foundation is to help disadvantaged children by offering them a safe place to stay, enable them to receive an education so they are able to create a better future. Another goal is to invole local Nepali people in helping them to maintain the foundation without any financial support from the west.