Namaste from The Umbrella Foundation!
Since 2005, we at Umbrella have been providing invaluable support to vulnerable children in Nepal, many of which were rescued from corrupt children’s homes operating in Kathmandu that neglected their most basic rights. Many of the children in these homes were taken from remote and isolated communities by traffickers promising good education and future wealth, with families sometimes selling all their belongings to pay the traffickers.
We are a non-profit INGO and registered charity in many countries around the world and over the last 10 years, our main focus has been on reintegration, successfully reuniting over 400 children with their families and communities. Our hard-working reintegration officers have travelled to the most remote regions in Nepal to find the families of our children, as we firmly believe the best place for a child to develop is with their family and community. Our reintegration officers continually monitor the health and education of the children we have reunited with their families, sometimes traveling for days to remote districts such as Humla and Sirkhet.
The earthquake in 2015 was a traumatic experience for our Umbrella community and the people of Nepal, but within 24 hours Umbrella and GOAL (Ireland’s leading humanitarian organisation) teamed up to provide resources and shelter to the districts most affected. In the district of Rasuwa (where Umbrella has reintegrated 59 children) we helped GOAL support 1,200 households in rebuilding their homes, providing quality materials, cash and training, and supporting local farmers. The day after the earthquake, our staff members travelled to their home villages to supply materials such as emergency shelters, then travelled to help the families of our children by providing cash and materials so they could build temporary shelters.
We have also been working alongside UNICEF to develop child-friendly spaces in the Nuwakot and Rasuwa districts, and we are proud to say that we are the only international organisation that UNICEF works with in the child protection field in Nepal. Overall, we helped more than 3,500 children and their families during this difficult time by providing necessary healthcare, temporary shelter, educational materials and food. This would not have been possible without the generous support of our donors.
Access to poor healthcare and good education is a large factor in why families want to send their children to cities such as Kathmandu, making them more susceptible to trafficking and displacement. Because of this, Umbrella has been providing support to rural schools in districts such as Nuwakot, Dhading, Rasuwa and Sinhupalchowk. This has included sending resources and teaching assistants to help local teachers with English and other subjects, in the hope that families will keep their children in the local schools. The child-friendly spaces built in these areas with the help of UNICEF have also provided a clean and safe environment for children to play in when they are not in school.
Our Umbrella children and youths are inspirations to us all. They work hard in their studies and interests and we are proud to see them grow and develop into kind and generous young adults. They love dancing and watching movies, but also dedicate their free time to helping the local community through activities such as picking up rubbish and keeping Bagmati River clean in Kathmandu.
Recently we conducted a full-day workshop in which some of our past Umbrella children came and spoke about their careers, hoping to inspire our current children and Youth to follow their dreams and work hard. From trekking guides to international flight attendants, entrepreneurs to lab assistants, all the speakers were inspirational and spoke candidly about the trials and challenges they have experienced thus far on their journey.
We are very grateful to have received so much international support over the last 10 years, allowing the Umbrella Foundation to continually grow and nurture long-lasting relationships with other organisations, the Government of Nepal and the local communities we support.