A small country located between India and China, Nepal is probably most well-known for Mt. Everest, which is found inside its northern border. According to the World Factbook, Nepal is one of the least developed and poorest countries in the world, over thirty percent of its population live below the poverty line, and it has experienced much internal struggle due to the Maoist insurgency movement which began in 1996.
In 2015, a 7.9 earthquake hit Nepal, and surrounding areas. This enormous natural disaster affected millions of people and resulted in around 10,000 deaths and injuries. For a nation already struggling with poverty and development, there are no words to describe the effects of the destruction. Although surrounding nations sent immediate help and support, Nepal has continued to struggle to repair the damage.
Nepal was the world’s only Hindu kingdom, and for many years was closed off to other religions. Only in the last 50 years or so has a small amount of religious freedom been allowed. There are about 1,000,000 orphans in Nepal, according to UNICEF. Causes for abandonment are death of parents due to the Maoist militancy movement, sickness, natural disasters, and/or difficult living conditions. An aid worker, referring to a remote village in Nepal, said, “Very tender children are dying here, uncared for, unlooked after – orphaned by the untimely death of their parents. You can see hundreds of real orphans here…those who don’t have a father or a mother.”
Kidstown has been able to be involved with various orphanages in Nepal since 2007. We now are connected with fifteen homes that are making a difference in countless children’s lives. Despite the many geographical, political, and social struggles, the forgotten children are being reached, and hope is being restored.