HIMALAYAN LIFE’s purpose is to protect, nurture and educate the children in the Himalayas, so much so they have a fair shot at life.


Slave Children

Slave Children

Check out our short film about the Nepalese migrants/slaves in the Himalayas, titled THE DREAM THEY CARRY

More than 20,000 Nepalese migrant laborers work in the Himalayan district of Ladakh, North India, mostly in house and road construction. They have migrated from Nepal to India for reasons of economic hardship. Many of them were, in fact, sold into a situation of bonded labor—the modern form of slavery. Their hardships are numerous: displaced from their homes, families and communities in Nepal, despised by the indigenous Ladakhis, exposed to the many dangers of working at high altitude, they work incredibly hard and continue to live in extreme poverty. What’s more, the nature of their work demands a high degree of mobility. Particularly those working in road construction usually live in tents on the roadside, moving along with their work, without permanent or proper housing.

Many of the Nepalese migrant laborers are not just individuals, but families with children. Often, the mobility of their parents’ work doesn’t allow for the children to go to school. As a result, children as little as eight year old simply join their parents’ hard labor at the dusty road construction sites in the Himalayas. Needless to say that their future looks extremely bleak. Without education, they are set to become the same as their parents—slaves.

HIMALAYAN LIFE is standing in the gap for these slave children by way of providing a home and boarding school facilities in Leh, Ladakh. Presently, 61 children are being cared for holistically by our loving staff at the  “Himalayan Friendship Home”. Rather than growing up in laborer camps, the children are provided a safe environment, receiving nurture and education.

The hostel strives to help the children develop their potential, as well as meet the children’s social, physical, intellectual, emotional, creative and spiritual needs. The hostel’s location in Leh, the central township of Ladakh, allows for the families to stay in fairly close contact with their children.

The project at a glance…

  • Home and schooling for Nepalese slave children in Ladakh, India.
  • Located in Leh at 12,000ft altitude
  • Presently 61 kids enrolled
  • Capacity currently being expanded to 100 kids
  • 8 staff / care-givers
  • adult literacy classes for parents and other Nepalese migrant laborers
  • annual budget (2013):  $ 88,400.-

Abandoned Children

Abandoned Children

Check out our short film about abandoned kids and street kids in the Himalayas, titled HOME

In some ethnicities in Nepal, the concept of family is extremely fluid. Couples drift together and asunder with seeming ease. However, when parents enter into a new relationship, children from previous marriages are oftentimes left behind, and in fact left to fend for themselves.

You will find such abandoned children in every village of Nepal. They form the backbone of the domestic labour force at the village-level. For sheer survival, these kids work unbelievable hours in the fields and houses of wealthier village and town folks – simply in exchange for a place to sleep and (oftentimes insufficient) food to eat – without the benefit of schooling, sufficient protection or nurture.

HIMALAYAN LIFE is standing in the gap for the abandoned childern of the vicinity of Ulleri, Wet-Nepal, by way of providing a home and schooling in the village. Presently 15 children have found a new home and family at the ULLERI CHILDREN’s HOME.  They are cared for and loved by our dedicated staff of two, supported further by a local supervising committee.

The Project at a glance:

  • Home for Abandoned Children in Ulleri, a village in the Annapurna Range of Nepal
  • Presently home to 13 children, (being expanded in 2013 to 25 kids)
  • 2 fantastic care-givers
  • children enrolled at the local village school for formal education
  • local supervising committee
  • annual budget 2013: $ 17’000.-

Street Children

Street Children

The word in the Nepalese language for street-children is ‘kaaThe’. It is a word that expresses disgust and even hatred. No one likes the dirty gangs of glue-sniffing kids who roam the streets in search of edibles and ‘kapaDi’ – anything that can be recycled and fetches a price…

Oftentimes, the street kids are formerly abandoned children who have migrated from the villages to the city, in an effort to escape their predicament of domestic servanthood in the village. Once in the city, they find their hopes shattered in the blink of an eye: Instead of  making a quick buck, the sad circumstances of their lives are quickly compounded by the issues such as survival by scavenging, subject to police brutality, public hatred, gang pecking, ill-health, sexual exploitation,  addiction to glue-sniffing, and so on.

HIMALAYAN LIFE is standing in the gap for the street children with a DAY-DROP-IN-CENTER. Some 50 street kids show up on a regular basis at the center, located at the Pokhara bus park. Our highly dedicated staff  are serving them a warm meal. There is time for stories and singing. Once a month we organize whole-day programs for the kids – a day away from their usual lives which revolves around getting food and fending for themselves…

Street Children Ministry at a glance:

  • Kiz-center providing food, clothing, shelter for up to 100 kids
  • educational programs
  • Detox
  • Councelling for overcoming trauma
  • Vocational training opportunities in the field of plastics recycling and manufacturing
  • Safe environment for street kids
  • Turned around lives! 
  • annual budget (2013): $ 40,600.-

Community Children

Community Children

Nepal’s cities are among the fast growing cities in the world. Growing from 80,000 to over 300,000 inhabitants, the city of Pokhara, for example, has more than quadrupled in population over the past 15 years.

It is of little surprise, then, that the infrastructures in these cities are lacking left, centre and right. Drinking water supply, public health, electricity, schools, garbage disposal – just about every single one of these and other services is lagging badly behind the ever increasing demand…

Likewise lacking is the availability of meaningful leisure activities for children. With schools focusing very narrowly on the intellectual development of the children, their social, communal, creative and emotional capabilities remain untapped and underdeveloped. Kids across the board – rich and poor, educated and uneducated, high and low caste alike – struggle to find formative programs which help them growing to be responsible citizens who will contribute to the community.

HIMALAYAN LIFE is standing in the gap for Nepal’s community children with a wide range of age-appropriate programs, ranging from weekly brownies to vacation camps and sports programs. Literally Thousands of children have over the past 10 years been reached out to and touched by these programs. Staff and voluntary leaders embrace the responsibility of helping the kids develop their potential.

Street Children Ministry at a glance:

  • Community center for kids, teens and youths in Pokhara, Nepal.
  • various scout-type programs in multiple locations
  • summer camps
  • Sports programs in schools (floor hockey etc)
  • 12 committed staff
  • 46 volunteer leaders
  • Opportunities for internships
  • Safe environment for the kids
  • scholarship program for kids in poverty (current enrollment of 18 students)
  • annual budget (2013): $ 63,200.-

Adult Literacy Program

Adult Literacy Program

Most of the Nepalese migrant workers and slaves in Northern India never had the chance to go to school. They needed to join the work force at a very early age, simply to make ends meet. They have missed out on education, and as a result, their children’s education is oftentimes beyond the scope of their imagination and plans.

However, educated parents bring up their children differently. In fact, experts in the field of international development are agreed on the fact that particularly women’s education is one of the key factors for lasting change and development of a community.

HIMALALAYAN LIFE is standing in the gap with adult literacy programs, designed specifically for the Nepalese migrant workers in Ladakh, India. Throughout the harsh Himalayan winter, when construction work comes to a grinding halt due to the immense cold, literacy classes are being held in various locations on a daily basis. Over the last 3 years, a number of Nepalese instructors have been trained to run these classes. In the winter 2012/13 we are planning for 10 classes with 5 to 15 students each.