JANUARY 30th 2018:  Ramesh (14) diagnosed with 60% hearing loss, had his ear surgery yesterday and is now recovering at the orphanage, thanks to Dr. Milan Maharjan and her charity Ear Care Nepal. If all goes well with the graft his hearing will be much improved, and later she will operate on his other ear. Ear Care Nepal makes no charge for treating underprivileged children, and my role was simply to ask if any child at the orphanage had an untreated health condition…and then bringing them together. Positive change can be brought about by simply being present, taking an interest and doing what you can!

Meanwhile, I am in the process of formally registering my charity, and planning my next humanitarian trip to Nepal in February. I hope to increase the number of rescued children at the Golden Angel Emergency Home, and improve the living conditions at the HCC Orphanage, among other things. 

The orphanage is a caring environment but some of the children appear undernourished, and I would love to be able to sponsor a healthier diet for its 22 young residents. During one of my mealtime visits I discovered there were no vegetables in their rice and vegetable stew! Perhaps you would like to donate a sack of rice or vegetables, a tray of eggs or a bag of fruit? Five or ten pounds goes a long way in Nepal.

All donations, however small, make a significant difference to a child’s life in Nepal, and in some cases relieves real suffering. Thank you. Fred. 

 

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JANUARY 11th 2018 - The Golden Angel Emergency Home has just taken in a 16 year old and her 3-year-old daughter.

They were found wandering the streets of Kathmandu looking for work and somewhere to stay…a near impossibility considering the circumstances. She lost contact with her own family after marriage, but her husband soon abandoned her, and the physical and mental torture she suffered daily from her in-laws prompted her to run away. If we had not rescued them they would have been sleeping rough in freezing temperatures, and were clearly at risk of abuse and exploitation. Other recent admissions to the Emergency Shelter include a 12 year old subjected to sexual abuse by a relative, and the 13-year-old daughter of a sex worker. 

Unfortunately the Emergency Home has limited space and can only offer temporary shelter for a month, but at least these children are safe for now while we try to find possible ways forward. Your donations are helping to sponsor this much-needed emergency shelter, so thank you for your support. Love, Fred

 


JANUARY 2018: In theory the Golden Angel Emergency Home should provide shelter for a minimum of 6 rescued girls for up to a month, a total of 72 children per year. In practice, the number of exploited girls we have rescued in our first year is around half of that because we struggle to find long-term care homes willing or able to accommodate them when they leave, due in part to their past lives in the so-called ‘adult entertainment’ sector.  A few rescued children are successfully reunited with their families if they were not complicit in their abuse or sale, and some are found placements or alternative employment. But many have nowhere to go when their month is up, and therefore tend to overstay in the shelter. This rather defeats its purpose as a short-term emergency safe house for some of the thousands of exploited children in desperate need, especially the minors.

We need to do more to publicise and promote the unique character of the Golden Angel Emergency Home, the first of its kind in Nepal, and encourage more NGOs to admit our children into long-term care.  Part of the solution would be to pay for foster-carers, and provide vocational and life-skill training over several months for some of the older girls, but this would entail additional accommodation and expense well beyond the means of this small charity.

Meanwhile, in order to accommodate a few residents for a longer period I plan to convert the counselling room into a second bedroom and move the supervising psychologist to the office on the roof. This will increase the number of residents in the home at any one time to 9 but will require the purchase of extra beds and bedding, food and clothing etc.

The photo (left) shows 5 of our current 6 rescued girls drawing and studying in the sitting room. The 6th girl was successfully attending an interview for para-legal secretarial training, and will move into the additional longer-term accommodation mentioned above when it is ready. Looking at this innocent picture of teenage girls studying it is hard to imagine the terrible abuse they have been subjected to. Their faces are concealed to prevent identification.

I plan to return to Nepal at the end of February or beginning of March and hope to make some improvements to the lives of the 22 children at the impoverished HCC orphanage in Kathmandu if funds permit. Fred (January 2018)

 


NEPAL UPDATE – NOVEMBER 2017:  I returned to Nepal to participate in the appointment of a replacement live-in warden at my Golden Angel Emergency Home for rescued trafficked and sexually exploited girls, and to catch up with other humanitarian work. The Emergency Home has already rescued around 30 girls, many of them minors.

One Golden Angel is desperate for some help with fund-raising as donations have tailed off 2 years after Maureen’s passing, and it falls to me to personally make up any shortfall. It’s quite a struggle, especially as I already cover all my own travelling and living expenses in Nepal, but so worthwhile, and I don’t like to let anyone down. Part of the problem stems from the random acts of kindness that I hastily committed to in Maureen’s memory before opening the permanent Golden Angel Emergency Shelter in January this year, including paying school and university fees for orphans, and skin-graft surgery and physiotherapy for earthquake victims.  A little goes a long way in Nepal and any help is much appreciated. 

I am very grateful to my artist friend Sam Vado for paying the second year university fees of Roshani and Rabina (right), both long-term former residents at the People In Need Home in Kathmandu until it suddenly closed in June after losing its sponsor. They have somehow managed to support themselves independently but were unable to pay their university fees, and without Sam's generosity would have had to abandon their studies.  

I am still short of funds to pay some school fees, stationery and school meals.  Much love, Fred

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22nd June 2017

FINALLY some news about Surendra, now 5, whose leg was terribly burned when he rolled into the fire aged 6 months and received nothing but a dressing. He was 4 when I met him, and after seeing his open wounds, and hearing that he cried in pain each night, I decided to pay for his surgery with money from the One Golden Angel charity. Surgery was postponed due to family illness and the remoteness of his mountain village, and further delayed by a lack of an adult to accompany him during his lengthy stay in a city hospital. But Paul has just visited his village and seen him, and has confirmed that the operation was successful and Surendra is now walking and running around. He has no pain and is clearly a much happier little boy. However, he would benefit from some physiotherapy, and possibly a skin graft. I will try to visit him in July. Surgery to date has cost £775 and regrettably no more funds are available for further treatment.

SEWING MACHINE DONATION: Last year One Golden Angel bought treadle sewing machines to help two impoverished widows living in a remote village to support their families, and one of them has since opened a little sewing shop in the village square. A treadle sewing machine, costing between £80 and £100, will support an entire family.

EARTHQUAKE VICTIM (19): One Golden Angel is already paying for Ram Laxmi’s daily physiotherapy, but she needs another operation on her damaged hand and arm to improve function and lessen pain, and 1GA has promised to pay for this. Her arm was crushed in the earthquake that destroyed her home and buried her for 10 hours, killing her father and her best friend. 

NEXT VISIT TO NEPAL: I return to Nepal on 10th July for 3 weeks to continue developing the Golden Angel Emergency Home for rescued trafficked and exploited children and young women. It will be my third trip this year, at my own expense, but charity funds are at an all time low. Your donations, however small, will make a real difference with 100% of money received going directly to the relief of suffering.

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 7th APRIL 2017

A day of mixed blessings at the Emergency Shelter

Yesterday I visited The Golden Angel Emergency Home and saw my colleagues and partners from the CAP-Nepal team. We had a very informative and productive meeting and I am pleased to report that the home is running well and has already helped 13 children. I was delighted to learn that one of our first emergency residents has been successfully retrained, and has now left the adult entertainment sector and the shelter to live independently after successfully securing alternative lucrative employment. 

But this was also a deeply upsetting day. I met 3 young sisters with shattered hopeless lives and a heart-rending story, and I cannot describe the sadness and helplessness I felt in their presence. Naturally I cannot reveal their identities or publish photos, but I feel their plight neatly illustrates the need for the Golden Angel Emergency Home and the importance of the wonderful work of the local CAP-Nepal NGO in providing free health checks, counselling and support to young victims of sexual abuse.

The girls were invited to visit the Golden Angel Emergency Home to discuss their futures after the eldest, aged 18 and servicing clients in a massage parlour for £13.50 ($17) a week, attended a Mobile Counselling Camp for workers in the so-called Adult Entertainment Sector. She arrived at the shelter with her two sisters aged 16 and 9. The 16 year old earns a weekly wage of £11.50 ($14) as an office cleaner. The 9 year old doesn’t attend school, but instead accompanies her older sister to the massage parlour and is clearly at risk. The sisters live together in a rented room and struggle to survive. Their pain and despair is self evident and pitiful.

The plan was to immediately take the 9 year old into the emergency home, and to discuss ways to help the older girl to leave the massage parlour, which she hates, and support her and her 16 year old sibling whilst retraining her for decent alternative and better paid employment. Ideally all 3 sisters would initially be accommodated in the emergency shelter whilst a plan for their future was formulated. Sadly their dreadful circumstances militated against this and they felt unable to leave their current employment.

Their father had long abandoned them and most of the girls income is sent to their village to support a forth sibling and to service a massive debt incurred by the mother who also abandoned them for another man, never to be seen again. Before running off she borrowed £1,550 ($1,940) from money sharks (now risen to £2,350/$2,940 with interest), all of which her children must repay or they will never be able to return to their home. I understand that the high interest rate assures that they are effectively debt-bonded for eternity, and it is this that has given rise to their present dire situation. Half of their £100 ($125) monthly joint income goes to the loan sharks, another £15 supports the 14 year old village sibling, leaving a woefully inadequate £35 ($44) a month for their rent and keep in Kathmandu. They took the only work they could find, and now the 14 year old is planning to join her sister at the massage parlour.

Tragically, at the end of the day, the 9 year old was so traumatised by the prospect of leaving her sisters and entering the care of the Emergency Home, that she ran off, hotly pursued by her older siblings. It would have been easier if one of her sisters had been able to stay overnight with her for a couple of days, but neither girl was able to take leave for fear of losing their jobs.

PS. The youngster has since returned and is settling in nicely, and we are hoping to provide vocational training for her sisters.


 

BANK TRANSFERS: Charity Account Name: W. F. Wilkinson.   Account Number: 45166226.   Sort Code: 52-41-31
IBAN: GB06NWBK52413145166226.  
BIC: NWBKGB2L