Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Poverty, Child Slaves, Education

Poverty....It's an ugly word. Nepal is no stranger to it as it ranks in the top 15 poorest countries in the world.
Everyday I'm reminded of the poverty here in Nepal. In the mornings I sometimes go to roof top and gaze the landscape around me. Women and children walk down the dirt path with empty plastic bottles in each hand to go gather water. They wait in line as other people are using that same watering spot as a shower/laundromat. Everyday the power goes out for a total of 4hrs. Soon it will get into the double digits. 37.7% of the people spend about 1 dollar a day, while only 35% have use of adequate sanitation facilities. Out of 1,000 kids 75 don't get to the age of 5. Health is a big issue for Nepal.
There are very kind generous people here, but there are also very corrupt people here in Nepal. They will do anything for money it. There are people who will go to rural villages and tell families their child can go to school and be taken care of. The parents not being able to take care of the child want the best for the child and accept. They sign a paper not knowing what it says because they can't read. What ends up happening is the "home" that the man works for puts the kid up for adoption. He can do this because the mother/father signed their kid away and didn't even know it. A wealthy family for the west adopts the kid for up to 25,000 dollars. When the parents find out its too late and can do nothing about it.
This leads to the literacy rate. 48.6% of the total population can read, while only 34.9% of women can read in Nepal. This has to change. In Nepal women are thought as a burden. Families rather have boys and if the mother has a girl she is considered bad luck or its her fault. The women do all of the work. I see this everyday with my own eyes. When I walk outside my door I see women cleaning the dishes or getting the water. The men in the meantime are playing games or just sitting drinking tea.
If a family is really poor and needs money they usually sell the girls. Women are promised sometimes better futures, money, and schooling by people. These people trick them and take them to brothels to become prostitutes. They are trafficked all over the world. To India all the way over to the middle east over to eastern China. When they go to other countries they can't escape because they can't read or know anything about the place. Also the people who are holding them there say they will go to jail cause they are there illegally.
These girls are as young as 9 years old. They work 7 days a week and have maybe up to 11 "clients" a day. There are estimated around 200,000 women and girls as sex slaves in India. Police are paid off by the brothels to not do anything. In the world its said that every minute 2 children are sold. The girls are usually set free when they either contract HIV or some other STD. They can not return to their homes after because they are not allowed back. They usually stay in the business and become recruiters for new girls.
There is a vicious cycle, but it can be broken. Education can fix the problem I believe. Kids should be able to go to school, learn and laugh. Be able to write and read. Be taught about the dangers that are out there and how to stop them. There are many problems in Nepal these are just some of them. Hopefully the children of the future will see the change soon...

1 comment:

  1. I belive that you can help them change brother sam! you have the right spirit!
    Lots of hugs from England, and Sweden