(January 2012)

Umbrella works tirelessly to give our kids a stable, supportive and fun environment here in our homes in Kathmandu. However, for the children, life has not always been that way.

Devendra – 13 years old

Umbrella has taken in 360+ children since its inception in 2005. The vast majority came within the first two years when we, with the co-operation of the Nepal Social Welfare Board, closed down seven corrupt children’s homes and took those children under our care. Since then, we have unfortunately only been able to take in children under exceptional circumstances due to our stretched financial position. One such exceptional case was that of Devendra, a 13 year old boy who has been living under Umbrella’s care since December 2010.

Devendra’s parents and younger brother had died of HIV the previous year, and although he was lucky to have not been infected, he was now living with his elderly grandfather, who had taken him out of school in order for him to farm their field and cook and look after him. The grandfather was a laborer on the local roads, like so many of his generation not having the luxury of a pension or social welfare system, and an alcoholic, again something quite common for his generation living in very harsh conditions.

As with any rescue, in order for us to be completely sure that we are caring for genuinely needy children, we send in a social worker to make a full assessment of the situation. On this occasion our family reintegration partners Next Generation Nepal (NGN) carried out the investigation for us and fully agreed that he was in need of help.

After this assessment and the completion of appropriate documentation, Devendra was able to join his new family, the 21 boys in our ‘Manaslu’ House, where he is now thriving. There were obviously huge challenges for Devendra in leaving everything behind in a rural village and coming to a city like Kathmandu, so our house parents kept an extra eye on him.

Reports from the beginning however have been very positive and with the help of his new brothers, Devendra has done brilliantly! Both his English and football skills have come on hugely, and while of course he misses family terribly, like any child would, being around boys from similar background in a healthy environment has been very good for him.

While Devendra faces many more struggles in his life, Umbrella will see that he completes his schooling, grows up in a stable environment and then support him in terms of further education to help give him the best chance of having a brighter future!

Devendra is just one example of the 360+ children from all over Nepal that Umbrella has rescued since its foundation. Umbrella does not receive any government or corporate assistance – all of this has been made possible with the help of individuals form across the world.

So, if you haven’t already, please consider supporting our work by volunteering, sending a donation, sponsoring a child or holding a fundraiser. We need all the support we can get. Many thanks!!