Staff member Tulsi Mainali with some of the children at Sunrise.
Sunrise Residential Child Care Home
This was our first project in Nepal, established in July 2005, in response to a need for a safe, loving, home for many orphaned, abandoned and trafficked children who were living in corrupt and abusive orphanages or other institutions in Kathmandu. Many of the children in these orphanages were not orphaned but had either been enticed by traffickers or willingly sent away by their families to Kathmandu to escape the maoist conflict in their villages or simply in the hope of a better life and education.
With children that have come to Sunrise from orphanages and other institutions through emergency rescues by the Nepal government, and have families that could potentially care for them, we firstly aim to re-connect them with their families. The next step is to try and re-integrate them fully and as part of this process, we agree to provide ongoing support for their education through our Community Education Scholarship Programs.
So far we have re-connected nearly all of the children living at Sunrise with relatives. We encourage regular phone contact and visits to their villages to re-establish relationships, and over time and when in the best interest of the child, re-integrate them back to their families or communities.
In addition, almost 50% of the children Sunrise has cared for have been successfully re-integrated with their families.
The Central Child Welfare Board of Nepal estimates there are still almost 200 orphanages where children are living in far less than satisfactory conditions and that over 85% of children are not real orphans. The child authorities are still in the process of rescuing children from these types of institutions, with the hope of placing them in temporary care and where ever possible, returning them to their families.
SCAI works hard to follow the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child and ensure that we meet the Government of Nepal’s Standards for the Operation and Management of Child Care Residential Homes, UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children and the Save the Children’s Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children.
SCAI believes that children rescued should be housed separately in a transit home while every effort is made to trace their families, then only after exhausting options for safe re-integration with their families, move them into long term care at our loving, supportive residential child care home which as closely as possible resembles a natural family environment.
SCAI works hard to follow the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child and ensure that we meet the Government of Nepal’s Standards for the Operation and Management of Child Care Residential Homes, UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children and the Save the Children’s Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children.Our residential child care home provides children with the following care, facilities and opportunities:
- Secure, spacious accommodation in an eco-friendly, self contained flat of maximum 10 children and 2 live-in care-givers, located in a beautiful, clean, healthy, natural village setting
- Siblings stay together wherever possible, with separate floors for males and females
- We encourage the children to give their bedrooms their own personal touch, and allow them their own personal space and privacy
- We allow the children to actively participate in general household chores that resemble a typical Nepalese family home. The kitchen, in particular, is very much a family place where children and adults spend time talking, sharing and forming close relationships
- We encourage relatives to call and visit as often as possible. Some children, for example, may have grandparents, aunts, uncles or elder siblings who they are in contact with but may be unable to care for them properly on a full time basis
- Opportunity to move into the ‘Transition home for College Kids’ on completion of their SLC
Some of the children at their new Sunrise home.
We also provide all children with the following facilities, which in combination with the above, will give them every opportunity to reach their full potential and turn their dreams into their reality:Basic care
- A nutritious and well-balanced diet and sufficient clean drinking water.
- Regular health checks and treatments, including dental checkups and immunizations.
- Appropriate clothing.
- Personal privacy, freedom of expression and opportunities to build their knowledge and form their own views, opinions and beliefs.
- Psychological care and counselling and rehabilitation therapy.
Education and Training
- A broad education covering such things as local culture, English and Nepali.
- Facilities and activities including an in-house library, arts and crafts, various sports, public speaking, cultural programs and competitions, educational field trips, picnics and child rights training, specifically on the UN Declaration on the Rights of the Child.
- Development of basic life skills including training in housekeeping, basic hygiene, health treatment, nutrition, first aid, basic safety and emergency training such as earthquake training.
- Vocational and skills development training in computing, music, singing, dancing, sewing, knitting and arts and crafts.
- Income generating programs such as traditional Tibetan thanka painting. These paintings which are made by the children are then sold in Australia and the money is deposited in the child’s personal bank account.
- Social work and outreach programs where youth from Sunrise volunteer their time visiting other welfare projects and needy children and people to learn about social work, share their knowledge and experience and learn from others.
To help transition the youths into an independent life after attaining their School Leaving Certificate (SLC i.e. year 10), we aim to provide them with three levels of assistance;
- College support - The youth are encouraged to go on to college (year 11 and 12) or other further education with the financial support from SCAI
- Practical work experience - We help organize practical work experience in their desired field to help prepare them for their future careers and to develop connections within the local community that may provide potential employment opportunities.
- Traineeships - We help place the youth in paid trainee jobs in their chosen field. This may be on a full time basis or on a part time basis in conjunction with their college studies.