Since the start of the project in January 2019, through our partners on the ground – Forget Me Not (FMN) and The Himalayan Innovative Society (THIS) – we have reintegrated 101 children from the Asha Orphanage and have worked in partnership with the National Child Rights Council (NCRC) by taking referrals of children removed from illegal and/or abusive institutions in the Kathmandu Valley, resulting in the closure of 5 institutions, the reintegration of 52 children by our project and the reintegration of a further 115 children by the government and other agencies.
The ‘Change Agents’ programme, which involves community-based awareness-raising in nine municipalities, has been operating at full scale since 2020 and to-date 11,662 community leaders, parents and children have been reached with information on the harms of institutionalisation, and where and how to access alternative support.
379 children have benefitted from support to prevent family separation. The project had developed a stronger modality for facilitating the capacity-building of gatekeeping provision by local authorities and has provided initial training to 7 municipalities on child rights, the Children’s Act, provisions and responsibilities for the oversight of Child Care Homes (CCHs), as well as the harms of institutionalisation.
287 professionals have been trained.
Through a workshop conducted by HHC with the NCRC in 2019, the project contributed to a fundamental expansion in the NCRC’s scope from ‘rescues’ in illegal and/or abusive Child Care Homes (CCHs) to the prevention of institutionalisation, to the realisation of the inherent harms of institutionalisation. Tangibly the Ministry of Women, Children & Senior Citizens and the NCRC have for the first-time allocated a budget for 2020 fiscal year to support the reintegration of children from CCHs, as well as budget for provision of support to enable ‘orphans’ to be supported to live in their communities within kinship care. Since then, the NCRC has announced plans to reduce the number of registered CCHs (currently c.450) by 100 each year. It has selected THIS as a national partner for provision of transit care and reintegration services for children removed from CCHs. An informal group of CSOs working on child protection and DI has been established and is now meeting regular to address issues related to care reform and it is anticipated that this group will formalise into a network or working group in 2021.