A Global Conversation: Ending Poverty
It is both daunting and encouraging to know that we are part of a global movement. Daunting because we realize that there are so many children around the world like the ones we serve in Nepal. Encouraging because it reveals the reality that there are thousands of people working to better their own nations and the nations of others.
Being reminded of this global perspective shows us that we are not alone in our pursuit to protect, nurture and educate. Even from the small communities we work in, we are addressing some of the world’s greatest challenges.
UN Sustainable Development Goals
One of the ways the world is currently attempting to solve the intense, pressing issues of our time is through the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). If you haven’t heard of these goals, give them a read here. In short, a bunch of world leaders got together in 2015 and adopted 17 goals to pursue by 2030. These goals aim to eradicate poverty, inequality and improve sustainability all while protecting the planet.
Himalayan Life plays a part in addressing these goals. In the coming weeks, we are going to highlight projects that are making strides towards them!
This week we are looking at Goal 1: End All Poverty through the context of our Street-2-School homes. The UN’s definition of poverty goes beyond the traditional focus on hunger and malnutrition to include a lack of education and the existence of intense social discrimination. When quantified, this SDG aims to eradicate extreme poverty, which is measured as someone living below $1.25 a day.
How is Himalayan Life Addressing This Goal?
In the same way as the UN, Himalayan Life seeks to address poverty in a holistic way through the care of material, emotional, and spiritual needs. All of our programs aim to not just feed or house but to create community and opportunity. In this, our homes and hostel’s work to break the cyclical nature of poverty through care.
At the beginning of the year, we housed over 261 children in Ladakh, Pokhara and Ulleri. Children come into our care for many different reasons. Many of the kids we serve have grown up in families with a long history of poverty. Socioeconomic status, addiction, disease, and the lingering caste system are just some of the many barriers that these families face from getting out of the vicious cycle of poverty. It is barriers like these that prevent children from attending school and dreaming of a brighter future.
During COVID, our two Street-2-School (S2S) homes in Pokhara have been busy creating and carrying out daily programs and activities for the 48 children that remained at these homes. With the absence of school due to the pandemic, our staff have begun to carry out educational support over the last few weeks. Education is extremely important for the children. We see it as a vital pillar in developing young people into equipped, mature, and caring adults. Our staff are incredible at valuing education and caring for kids with abounding kindness and compassion. They have worked hard to run education programming from 8 am – 4 pm each day. Along with educational support, the S2S Homes has been a shelter and refuge for the children in the stress and unknown that this season has brought to Nepal. At the S2S Homes, they are surrounded consistently with love and care from the staff.