In 2009, a ragtag group of travellers – all long past their youthful backpacking days – headed up Yala peak in Nepal. Seeing the faces of smiling yet poverty-stricken children was a bittersweet experience.

These kids have no material goods and limited opportunities, yet still embrace the joy of life. Our intrepid explorers felt a strong need to give something back.

Back home in Perth, they joined forces with Sunrise Children’s Association Incorporated (SCAI). The result was Kathmandu Kids and a series of successful fundraising events. Every cent raised has gone towards improving the lives of children in Nepal. So far over $336,000 has been raised.

Initially our focus was the Kalimati slum area of Kathmandu. In recent years, the programme has expanded out to also provide education for children in the Jhapa and Nuwakot areas as well.

How your money has helped

Over the past seven years, the money raised has gone towards:

  • School fees for approx. 375children !!!!
  • Trans­port to and from school
  • Uniforms, shoes, bags, books and stationery for the students
  • Devel­op­ment, rebuild­ing and oper­a­tion of a pre-primary class­room to intro­duce the kids and their par­ents to the ben­e­fits of education
  • 400 track­suits to protect the chil­dren from the win­ter cold
  • Assist­ing a slum fam­ily rebuild their ‘home’ that was burnt to the ground
  • Breast cancer treat­ment for a young mother of two
  • Estab­lish­ment of a train­ing cen­tre to teach the par­ents can­dle mak­ing, sewing and Eng­lish. Over 50 women grad­u­ated from the sewing class and most are now employed using these skills.
  • Buying of a fleet of bicycles in the Jhapa region to diminish the 90 minute walk (each way) for some of the kids. This also reduces the risk to the kids from animals and human predators.
  • Establishing a goat breeding programme in Jhapa to help the families become self-sufficent.

About Sunrise Children’s Association

The Char­ity we have cho­sen to sup­port is Aus­tralian based and accred­ited both here and in Nepal. They have many pro­grammes to assist Nepalese chil­dren. It is headed by Emma Taylor who was this year awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for her contributions to the children of Nepal.

Sun­rise Children’s Asso­ci­a­tion have been work­ing with the peo­ple from Kali­mati, a slum area in Kath­mandu, for over 8 years. The con­di­tions in which they live are appalling, with many liv­ing in makeshift homes on the edge of a filthy dirty river bed, some made of only a bam­boo and plas­tic. Most of the par­ents are unem­ployed and sur­viv­ing through beg­ging on the streets. Some are for­tu­nate enough to earn a very basic salary (approx $30-$40 per month) through man­ual labour work and jobs such as tai­lor­ing – how­ever it is not suf­fi­cient to send their chil­dren to school and in some cases barely enough to feed the chil­dren properly.

There are over 384 homes in this cramped area. Over 2250 peo­ple, includ­ing 475 chil­dren live here.

In our first seven years, Kath­mandu Kids, on behalf of SCIA, raised over $336,000 for the fur­ther edu­ca­tion of these chil­dren. This money was used to expand out the over­all edu­ca­tion pro­grammes avail­able to the chil­dren and par­ents of the com­mu­nity. Every sin­gle cent that is raised goes directly to Sun­rise Children’s Asso­ci­a­tion to fund the Kali­mati Slum programme.

Sun­rise Chil­drens Asso­ci­a­tion holds reg­u­lar counselling ses­sions with both the chil­dren and guardians of the Kali­mati Com­mu­nity. All the par­ents seem very devoted to pro­vid­ing their chil­dren with oppor­tu­ni­ties to become edu­cated, inde­pen­dent and self reliant mem­bers of the com­mu­nity. Sun­rise Chil­drens Asso­ci­a­tion have put in place con­tracts that all guardians and the school needed to sign to ensure they take respon­si­bil­ity for things like their child’s reg­u­lar atten­dance, health, hygiene and the like.

The money we raise goes towards admis­sion fees, exam fees, uni­forms, shoes, bags, books, sta­tion­ery, work­books and the bus to and from school.

In 2013, we added the impov­er­ished area of Jhapa to our list of ben­e­fi­cia­ries. We are proud to now be assist­ing approx. 100 chil­dren receive an edu­ca­tion in Jhapa.

In 2016 we added 100 children in Nuwakot, an area badly affected by the 2015 Nepal Earthquake as well.

As of 2017 we now have 375 children in the programme!

Thanks to the sup­port of our fan­tas­tic spon­sors and the gen­er­ous peo­ple who have attended the fundraiser, we have been suc­cess­ful in rais­ing this money for :

  • The devel­op­ment, rebuild­ing and oper­a­tion of a class­room on site at the Kalimati slum to intro­duce the kids and their par­ents to the ben­e­fits of education
  • The buy­ing of 400 track­suits for all the slum chil­dren to pro­tect them from the win­ter cold
  • Assist­ing a slum fam­ily rebuild their ‘home’ that was burnt to the ground
  • The treat­ment for a young mother of two for breast cancer.
  • Estab­lish­ment of a train­ing cen­tre to teach the par­ents can­dle mak­ing, sewing and Eng­lish. By 2012, over 50 women had grad­u­ated from the sewing class and most are now employed using these skills.
  • A goat husbandry programme in Jhapa to help the families towards self-sufficiency.

Sun­rise Chil­drens Asso­ci­a­tion also take a group of teenage chil­dren from Sun­rise Orphan­age to the slums on a monthly or bi-monthly basis to learn about Social Work. The Sun­rise “Out­reach Team” talk to the chil­dren in the slums about their fam­ily sit­u­a­tion, issues they face both in daily life and at school, and try and encour­age and help them where pos­si­ble. The Sun­rise chil­dren also ben­e­fit greatly from the pro­gram, and it makes them appre­ci­ate how lucky they are to be at Sun­rise even more.

In July of each year, we begin our fundrais­ing efforts. This is done com­pletely through the SCAI. If you would like to book a ticket, fol­low the links from the cock­tail night page. If you would like to just make a dona­tion email mike.dworkin@mepau.com.au or offer some level of spon­sor­ship, please con­tact Paul Cum­ming at paul@phenomenon.com.au

Tax deductable sta­tus has been granted to SCAI by the Aus­tralian Tax Office. Any dona­tions of $5 or more will receive a claimable receipt.

On top of the cause taken on by Kath­mandu Kids, Sun­rise Chil­drens Orphan­age has many more wor­thy fundrais­ing needs.

Thank you in advance for your very gen­er­ous sup­port! We look for­ward to work­ing together to bring these chil­dren a brighter future.