Children of the Mekong has been supporting the centre for children with disabilities in Bhairahawa in Nepal since September 2017.
The centre is run by six sisters of the Congregation of the Cross of Chavanod, which originated in France. They are all Indian nationals and have all been in Nepal for several years. The school is located in Bhairahawa in southern Nepal, five kilometres from the border with India. The 45 pupils, who are aged between six and 35, have learning disabilities.
The school’s mission is to make the pupils feel welcome, to teach them some basics, and to equip them with skills like cooking, sewing and needlework. Disability is not well accepted in Nepal and is often even thought of as “a parent’s burden”. Specialist education is not widespread and parents can be reluctant to spend money educating a child who they consider is “going to be good for nothing”.
How does it make a difference?
The centre’s main objectives are to educate children who have learning disabilities and to facilitate their integration into society. The steady increase in the number of pupils has meant a division of the centre into two sections: a junior section (the children’s centre) which caters for the younger ones, and a senior section (the education and rehabilitation centre) which is for the older pupils.
The children's centre helps 17 children who are all under the age of 13 to become more independent in their daily life and to maintain a good level of physical and mental health. The centre has a family atmosphere. The pupils sing, dance and play. Little by little they also learn some basic literacy and numeracy.
The education and rehabilitation centre takes care of 28 pupils aged 13 and above. On top of the grounding provided by the children’s centre, pupils receive training in skills like sewing, needlework, arts and crafts, candle making and so on. The young people are encouraged to become as expert as possible in a particular skill. In addition, they are given responsibility for some simple tasks involved in the upkeep of the centre to enable them to make a contribution to family life when they return home.
How is my donation used ?
Donations are used to fund part of the salaries of the seven teachers. In the near future, the sisters would also like to replace the school bus which picks up pupils living as far as 20 kilometres away from the centre as it often breaks down. Your contribution will help them to do this and to ensure the wellbeing of all the pupils.