Ending Child Labor in the Brick Kilns of Nepal Through Education

Vision & Beneficiaries

Vision

CONCERN Nepal mapThis campaign seeks to end the dangerous and illegal employment of children like Tila, pictured below, in seven brick factories near Kathmandu, Nepal. This, we hope, will trigger a larger reform in the brick industry, which employs many thousands of children.

Our Nepali partner CONCERN hopes to place 210 children from the seven factories in school for at least three years. The campaign has already enrolled 50 children in school since June 2015, with help from the Global Fund for Children, and most are thriving. They are profiled under the Rescued tab.

Tila carries bricks from the field to the kiln. She is paid $2.9 for every 1000 bricks.

Some of the 210 children will be enrolled where they live, in the mountainous district of Ramechhap, thus ensuring that they never set foot in a factory. CONCERN may provide some families with goats as an incentive for parents to remain home with their child.

The remaining children will, as usual, accompany their parents to factories in the Kathmandu Valley when the brick season begins. But instead of working, they will be enrolled at one of three government schools. CONCERN will follow up to make sure that they are not turning (“flipping”) bricks before or after school, to the detriment of their education. We will also provide extra tuition in the schools, to help them with homework.

The campaign will work with the factory owners, who have pledged to end all child labor. They will be asked to improve living conditions, which are often appalling and affect the academic performance of children who live in their factories. This will not be easy, but CONCERN has shown the way by funding water tanks, toilets, and day care centers for the infants of working parents.

The final component of the campaign will be advocacy. In Nepal, CONCERN will urge factory owners to stop offering their workers an advance at high rates of interest – a form of bonded labor.

From Washington, AP will reach out to American students and schools and encourage debate about child labor. We will also continue to send Peace Fellows to work at CONCERN and raise funds for individual families. Donations can be made through Global Giving or by clicking at the top right of this page. Thank you! (December 2016)

Meet Some of Our Beneficiaries

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Asmita Manandhar, 7

Asmita is one of 13 children who is going to school in their home village, high in the mountains of Ramechhap, instead of working in the brick kilns as a result of this campaign. In 2015 Asmita made the long journey from Ramechhap to the Kathmandu valley, where she helped her father and oldest brother to make bricks. But this year she has been able to remain in the Panchakanya village school with her mother and siblings. Asmita wants to be a teacher and enjoys learning Nepali. AP is seeking $150 to enable Asmita to remain in school in 2017.

 

Panchakalya school principal and his horse shettrismall

Hari Bahadur Kanaka

Hari is headmaster of the Panchakanya village school in Ramechhap district, one of four community schools that collaborate with CONCERN. Hari is an enthusiastic supporter of the campaign because it enables 13 children from poor families to attend his school instead of going down to a brick factory with their parents. He works hard at his job and spends two and a half hours a day traveling to school on his horse, Shettri. AP hopes that all 13 children will continue their studies in 2017.

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Buddhi Ram Pariyar, 8, and Manisha Nepali, 11

Budhhi Ram and Manisha used to work in bricks. They now attend the Suryodaya school near Kathmandu, with funding provided by the Global Fund for Children. Buddhi Ram lives in a brick factory and is under constant pressure to help his widowed mother by flipping bricks but Manisha has been completely freed from bricks by the campaign. When AP met her in July 2016 she was working in bricks for five hours a day. By November, her family had moved out of the factory. As a result, Manisha’s attendance and grades at school have improved, to the delight of her teachers. AP is seeking $300 to keep Buddhi Ram and Manisha in school in 2017

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Puja Khati

Puja is one of several children who attend school with funding from the Global Fund for Children but are still under pressure to help their parents work in bricks before and after school. Puja is Dalit and her parents are significantly poorer than other families. This shows in her uniform, which needs mending. Teachers at the Faidoka school, where she studies, say that Puja loves school but struggles to complete her homework, which is common for children who live in a factory. CONCERN is seeking funds to provide extra tuition at the school for Puja and other brick children. AP is seeking $150 to keep Puja in school in 2017.

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Sanu Nepali, 11

Sanu met with AP and CONCERN in the tiny jhyauli (dwelling) where he lives with four other family members on the grounds of a brick factory. Sanu attends the Suryodaya school, with funding provided by the Global Fund for Children, but he helps his father by flipping bricks before going to school and sometimes starts as early as 4 am. His teachers say he is smart but that his grades and attendance suffer because of the work. Sanu is a strong argument for sustained education support over 5 years and AP is seeking $150 to cover his schooling next year. But the campaign will also try and raise money to pay for extra tuition at the school and persuade Sanu’s parents to keep him out of bricks altogether.

Meet the children who have been freed from slavery with your help under the Rescued tab.

Background

Background

The little boy pictured on the left was working in the Shiva brick factory in Tulsipor, western Nepal when The Advocacy Project met him in 2012. He and his older sister described a life of incredible hardship. The family had trekked from their village in the hills to make and carry bricks. They worked 11 hours a day, six days a week over six months, and earned the equivalent of $1.84 for every 1,000 bricks they hauled. They did not get paid for bricks that were ruined by the rain.

These two children could have been describing slavery.

AP has joined a prominent advocate, CONCERN for Children and Environment Nepal (CONCERN), to campaign for an end to child labor in brick factories. Founded in 1993 by Doctor Bijaya Sainju, CONCERN was the first organization to research child labor in stone quarries. It then moved to other sectors that employ children.

2016 Peace Fellow Lauren Purnell seen here in a child-friendly room installed by CONCERN has raised over $2,000 for the campaign.

CONCERN began working with brick factories in 2011. Using funds from Save the Children (Korea), CONCERN placed child workers in school, provided services in the factories and opened a dialogue with employers. The program reached over 5,000 working children between 2011 and 2014. Our current campaign follows the same approach.

AP’s interest in child labor in Nepal was sparked by our work in Tulsipor with BASE, a long-time AP partner and Tharu grassroots organization that frees girl domestic workers (known as kamlaris). We also visited the Shiva factory and took this video footage, which shows how dangerous brickwork can be for women and children.

In 2014 AP sent two Peace Fellows – Katerina Canyon and Gisele Bolton – to support CONCERN’s work with brick children in the Kathmandu valley. The following year, 2015, we launched an appeal for CONCERN which raised around $5,000 and placed 25 children in school. Of this, $1,000 came from our 2015 Peace Fellow Joti Sohi, and $600 was raised by students in Washington. Iain Guest from AP and Joti visited schools in the district of Ramechhap, which exports families to the kilns, and in the Kathmandu valley. Joti produced profiles on all 25 children.

The campaign intensified in 2016. CONCERN identified the seven factories where it will work and in Washington, AP encouraged the Global Fund for Children to invest $5,000 in the program. Peace Fellow Lauren Purnell raised another $2,100 through crowdfunding.

As a result of these efforts, 50 children have been placed in a school for at least one year by this campaign. We will continue to seek funding for these 50 families while helping CONCERN to campaign for the complete elimination of child labor from the seven factories.

Challenge

Challenge

Night work: KB started to make bricks at 1.30 am and expected to continue until 5 pm. 24,000 children work in 190 factories in the Kathmandu Valley.

Hunched up against the cold and dark, KB slapped mud into the mold and produced a brick with the practiced ease of a veteran. He gave his age as 15 but was probably 13. Both ages would violate Nepali law, which forbids dangerous work by children under sixteen. Later, with the daylight, more young workers arrived to “flip” (turn) and carry bricks to the kilns. They received 320 rupees ($2.9) for every thousand bricks they carried. Back injuries and respiratory problems are common among young and old alike.

Such was the scene that greeted an early morning visit last December by The Advocacy Project and CONCERN to one of the seven brick factories outside Kathmandu that are targeted by this campaign. The seven owners have all made a commitment to abolish child labor, but children are still working in their factories. Why?

The main reason is poverty. Most workers migrate to the factories from distant, mountainous districts like Ramechhap where the soil is thin. Many also lost homes to the earthquake last year. But the owners also add to the problem by sending brokers (known as naike) to offer an advance at high rates of interest. This leaves the family with a debt before its members even start working – a form of debt bondage.

As a result, entire families arrive in the factories when the brick season begins in October under enormous pressure to earn as much as they can from bricks. The pressure increases because they are paid by the number of bricks they produce. This naturally becomes a family affair.

Children play an important role because their small fingers can get between the rows and flip the bricks as seen in this video. Children can also step on and around bricks without breaking them. Even infants are sucked into the work because their parents cannot afford daycare. Rupesh, 5, told AP in 2015 how he started flipping bricks at the age of three. His mother sheepishly explained that Rupesh liked to play in the mud and had to be kept busy while she did a back-breaking 17 hours of work. (Rupesh has been placed in the school by this campaign).

Cramped and unhealthy: Six family members live for six months in this brick dwelling or jhyauli.

Living conditions are atrocious. Families are given a pile of bricks when they arrive and expected to construct a dwelling (known as a jhyauli) that will last for the six months, but many jhyaulis have collapsed during earthquake after-shocks and caused serious injuries. Most toilets in the factories are foul and drinking water is hauled from deep wells, which means more backbreaking work. Cooking, bathing, and toilets are usually shared between hundreds of workers and their families. This can lead to sexual abuse against children.

School can rescue children from this nightmare, but school is simply not an option for children like Govindra, 13, who works in the factory to support his three younger siblings. Govindra works to stay alive. Even children who attend school will find it hard to resist being sucked into brickwork before they leave for school or when they return home.

Such cases call into question a pledge by the owners to ban child labor, but Ram Lal Maharjan, a factory manager, said he could not force children like Govindra to stop working. Another owner agreed and when asked said he would never ask families to leave children behind when they migrate down to the factory. “That would be inhumane,” he said without conviction.

Owners hold the key to change. Most have little interest in the welfare of their workers, but even they can see change coming. Nepal’s government, which is led by a Maoist, has imposed a tax on bricks and environmentalists have begun to protest the pollution caused by the chimneys and the vast amount of agricultural soil that is used to make bricks.

As a result, CONCERN hopes that the employers may be more inclined to cooperate over child labor. How can they be persuaded? Read the next tab to find out.

Watch our exclusive video of work and life in the brick factories of Kathmandu by clicking on the video tab!

Response

CONCERN’s Approach

Bijaya Sainju, CONCERN’s founder and director

This campaign will place 210 children in school for at least 4 years, and in so doing rescue them from work in the brick factories. This page explains how it will be done. Many of the techniques and approaches have been perfected by CONCERN during six years of hands-on work in the factories and schools.

We will start by targeting seven brick factories in the Kathmandu Valley. Over 2,000 children may be working in these factories and by placing 210 of them in school we hope to show other parents that there can be a better life for their children. A growing number already agree, to judge from surging enrollment at the local schools.

Beneficiaries: We will target all children under the age of sixteen who are exposed to brickwork, starting with infants who accompany their parents to work every day. CONCERN has funded several preschool centers in the past and we hope to revive these in the seven factories. We will profile all children who benefit from this campaign (with the permission of their parents) and follow their progress through school. These are people, not statistics.

Prevention: CONCERN will address the poverty that drives families to work in bricks by offering goats to vulnerable families that agree to keep their children in their home village in Ramechhap, instead of taking them down to the factories. CONCERN will also reach out to the middle-men (naikes) who lure poor villagers in Ramechhap to work in the factories with high-interest loans.

Model student: Manisha right, has stopped working in the brick factory and is getting good grades at the Suryodaya High School

Education: By placing brick children in school the campaign will respect their right to education while also taking them out of bricks. Some have asked why this will cost money, given that schooling in Nepal is free. The answer is that parents have to cover the cost of an admission fee, exam fees, a uniform, books and school supplies, which amounts to around $140 a year

We will work in four schools: Panchakanya (in Ramechhap district); Faidhoka and Dattatraya (in Bhaktapur); and Suryodaya School in Lalitpur. Our priority for 2017 is to ensure that the 50 children currently in school remain there for this year.

The campaign has already done much good. A monitoring mission by AP and CONCERN in December 2016 met with 15 of the 50 current beneficiaries and found that 12 were no longer working in bricks. Manisha, at the Suroydaya school, had expected to work 5 hours a day in bricks – but here she was full-time in school and her class work was improving. Nabina and Rojina, at the Faidhoka school, had the best grades in their class. They wore their uniforms with pride and beamed as their teachers praised them.

Responsible owner: Hari Khakke, left, has built a dormitory for his workers at the BM factory with encouragement from Prakash Basi of CONCERN.

Still, school is not the whole story. These twelve children are lucky to live outside the factories with their parents. But three of the other beneficiaries live in the factories and were still putting in several hours of brick-making with their parents before or after school. They were also living in cramped and unhealthy brick huts which made homework nearly impossible. As a result, the campaign will fund extra tuition at the schools for brick kids who are falling behind. This will not eliminate all of the pressure on the families – but it will enrich the quality of education.

Living conditions: CONCERN has in the past worked through donors like Rotary International and Save the Children (Korea) to introduce water tanks, toilets and health care, but such interventions should come from the owners. At the urging of CONCERN, one owner, Hari Lal from the BM factory, has built a dormitory, daycare center and toilets and in the process earned the loyalty of his workers.

Working with owners: Employers hold the key to improvement, as we have seen. When faced with evidence of child labor, they either shrug it off, dispute the numbers or insist that the decision belongs to the families. But they also understand that their reputations will gain from being seen to obey the law and have promised to eliminate child labor completely from their kilns. This must translate into concrete measures to improve living conditions and promote education as an alternative to work. The owners could also meet regularly with parents and support the local schools, for example by paying for lunch. One factory owner is a member of parliament and well placed to take the lead.

Monitoring: The campaign has set clear goals and this will help CONCERN and AP to measure results (which will be summarized on our websites.) Operating in Ramechhap and from Kathmandu, field officers like Sundar Kumal (photo below) will follow up with all of the students and report back to donors. They will be helped by at least one Peace Fellow from AP in the US.

Checking in: Sundar Kumal (rear) from CONCERN wants to know why Ram is working in bricks.

Advocacy: The campaign’s main goal is to persuade families that do not receive education support to place children in school. This is best done through schools, and the three headmasters have all agreed to hold monthly meetings to explain the benefits of education. The campaign may also lobby owners to end the system of early recruitment through the association of brick owners. CONCERN would certainly like to see the official age of a child raised to 18, and more government inspectors into labor conditions.

Advancing this ambitious agenda for social change can only be done by working with others and CONCERN will reach out to the government – Ministry of Education, education officers and child welfare boards – and to other NGOs that support innovative approaches like Better Brick Nepal. As the campaign gathers momentum we hope to identify new funding from embassies, international agencies, and foundations.

International outreach: From Washington, AP will promote the campaign at the UN and in American schools, where there is a hunger to learn about the world. This has already generated one inspiring initiative by Grace McGuire, 12, who launched her own website (Bricks2books) in Washington and raised over $500, much of it in pennies. Children can be powerful advocates for other children.

The best advocates for this campaign are, of course, the children themselves. We hope that their stories – and their resolve – come through loud and clear on these pages! We invite your feedback!

Rescued

Rescued

The fifty children profiled on these pages would almost certainly have worked in the brick kilns if they had not been enrolled in school by this campaign. Funding was provided through The Advocacy Project (AP) in 2015 and 2016, and through the Global Fund for Children (GFC) in 2016. CONCERN placed the children in school and follows up to ensure that they do not slip back into bricks.

The best solution, clearly, is for children to remain in their village year round instead of going to live with their families in the brick factories. This means that they will never be exposed to bricks and that their studies will be uninterrupted. The campaign has placed several such children in their local school in Ramechhap district.

Most of the children moved down to the Kathmandu Valley with their families and have been placed in one of three schools near the factories that cooperate with the campaign. In principle, children can also transfer without cost from one school to another.

Once a child is selected CONCERN makes every effort to ensure that he or she remains in school for at least 3-4 years. This is the best guarantee that they will never work in bricks. Unfortunately, some children have only been supported for one year because they moved to a new school or could not be located by CONCERN during follow up.

The profiles below are presented chronologically and start with children who never leave their homes. We note their age and class at the time of selection. Photos and names are used with the permission of parents or teachers. The profiles were written by Peace Fellows Joti Sohi (2015) and Lauren Purnell (2016).

These children remained at home in 2015 and did not travel with their parents to the kilns:

Sarita Manandharsmall

Sarita Manandhar, 13, class 7

(Supported by AP in 2015 and 2016). Sarita started working in the kilns when she was six before enrolling in the Panchakanya School in Ramechhap district at the age of 9. The campaign has covered the costs of her education since 2015. In addition, CONCERN has given the family some goats. This means that Sarita and mother can remain at home in Ramechhap all the year round, instead of heading to the brick kilns each October. However, her father is closely tied to the world of bricks. Not only does he work in the kilns – but he also serves as a broker (naike) and recruits other workers. Back in Ramechhap, Sarita helps her mother by cutting grass for the goats, cleaning, and cooking, but this is much safer than the work she used to do in the brick factories. Sarita hopes to become a teacher. She enjoys Nepali but struggles with English. Her older brothers are 19 and 21 and help her study. (Lauren Purnell)

sumina manandhar

Sumina Manandhar, 10, class 4

(Supported by AP in 2015 and 2016). The campaign has enabled Sumina to stay home in Ramechhap district and attend the Panchakanya School instead of leaving for the kilns in November, but this has not lightened the load on her parents. They farm during the monsoon season but cannot earn enough from farming to support the family year round. As a result, they have worked in the brick kilns during the dry season for the past three years. Sumina used to go with them, but now she stays home in the village with relatives. Her favorite subject is math, but she struggles with English, as do most students in Ramechhap because of a shortage of good English instructors. The 2016 school year is Sumina’s second year of being sponsored.  (Lauren Purnell)

laxim manandhar

Laxmi Manandhar, 10, class 4

(Supported by AP in 2015 and 2016). The campaign allows Laxmi to remain home in Ramechhap district and attend the Panchakanya School instead of working in bricks. This represents a significant change in her life because her parents have worked in the brick kilns for 22 years and Laxmi also worked in bricks when she was small. Now she only helps with household chores. Laxmi gave a shy but eager smile when she told us that she wants to be a doctor when she grows up and that her favorite subject is science. Thanks to CONCERN, she is much closer to reaching her goal than when she was working in the brick factory. (Lauren Purnell)

Sarita Manandhar

Sarita Manandhar, 11, class 3

(Supported by AP in 2015 and 2016). The campaign has made it possible for Sarita to remain home in Ramechhap and attend the Panchakanya School instead of leaving for the kilns where she started work at the age of six. Sarita now attends school full-time and stays in the village with her mother, while her father works in the kilns in Bhaktapur. Sarita’s favorite subject is math and she hopes to one day become a professor. (Lauren Purnell)

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Bikram Manandhar, 11, class 4

(Supported by AP in 2015 and 2016). The campaign has enabled Bikram to remain home in Ramechhap and attend the Panchakanya School year round. CONCERN has also helped Bikram’s to reduce their dependency on bricks by purchasing goats, which are managed by Bikram’s mother while Bikram goes to school. Bickram’s father, however, remains quite committed to brickwork.  He leaves the village to work in Bhaktapur during the brick season and would like Bikram to join him. Bikram himself wants to continue studying and would like to become a teacher. His older sister, 15, did not receive the same support and dropped out of school when she was Bikram’s age. (Lauren Purnell)

Bishal Manandhar

Bishal Manandhar, 12, class 5

(Supported by AP in 2015). The campaign covered the cost of Bishal’s education in 2015 and enabled him to remain home in Ramechhap instead of working in the kilns. Bishal does not have strong feelings about bricks, like many of the other sponsored children. He began going to the kilns at the age of 3 and says that he enjoyed making the journey with his parents. At the age of 9 he was enrolled in the Panchakanya village school and while this helps his schooling it also means he is separated from his parents for five months while they work in the factories. Bishal’s favorite subjects in school are science and the Nepali language. He hopes to one day be a teacher. (Joti Sohi)

Indra Manandhar

Indra Manandhar, 11, class 5

(Supported by AP in 2015 and 2016). The campaign supported Indra’s education at the Panchakanya School in Ramechhap for a year. This was his first year in school and it also took him out of the bricks, where he worked in 2014. Indra remembers the kilns as being a very hard place to work and he told AP that he enjoyed being in Ramechhap. It is unfortunate that the campaign was unable to support Indra for more than a year. (Joti Sohi)

Sagar Badahur Manander

Sagar Bahadur Manandhar, 13, class 7

(Supported by AP in 2015). The campaign enabled Sagar to remain home in Ramechhap and attend the Panchakanya School in 2015 instead of leaving for the kilns in November, but unfortunately, the support only lasted for a year. Sagar is tall, like his father. He began accompanying his parents to the kilns when he was very young but never actually worked there. Sagar’s favorite subject in school is math, but he does not know what he wants to do when he grows up. (Joti Sohi)

Pasho Manandhar

Pasho Manandhar, 11, class 5

(Supported by AP in 2015). The campaign enabled Pasho to remain home in Ramechhap and attend the Panchakanya School for a year instead of working in bricks. He first experienced bricks at the age of 4 and he remembers the factory as a very difficult place. During the 2015 brick season, he stayed with his grandmother and two younger siblings while his parents and two older brothers worked in the kilns in Bhaktapur. Pasho’s favorite subjects in school are math and Nepali. He hopes to become a doctor. (Joti Sohi)

Rama Manandhar

Rama Manandhar, 13, class 8

(Supported by AP in 2015). Rama is a 13-years old girl enrolled at Gyan Bijaya school in Bhaktapur who is supported jointly by CONCERN and AP since 2015. She started working in a brick factory when she was 10 years old, helping her parents during seasonal time. Rama only lives in the brick factory during dry season, but does not like it because she has no time to study then. She wakes up very early, because she has to work from 1 to 8 am before going to school. She told us that it is very difficult to make bricks at night when it is all dark. Her tasks are also to flip and pile bricks, and to clean the factory. After school, Rama works again from 4 to 7pm. On Saturdays and public holidays, she also barely has time to sleep, because she works from 1 to 10am, then cooks for her family, and works again up to 7pm. She told us that she does not like the hard work of the factory and also dislikes living in its dirty rooms. At school her favourite subject is English and she would like to become an English teacher. She has always been a very good and concentrated student her teacher said, and always does her homework. In low season, when Rama’s parents are traveling back to their village, Rama stays in Bhaktapur to avoid missing school during half a year. Her teacher added that they are helping her with sponsoring copies because her family can’t afford it. Rama told us that she likes studying and playing badminton, and her biggest wish is to protect her family, keep them happy and spend time with her older sisters. Her older brother (22) on his side, has also been sponsored by another organisation and is now working in the medicine sector. Her sisters have not been that lucky because despite having been at school, they still continue to work in the brick kilns.(Lara Cerosky)

These children traveled down to the kilns with their parents in 2015 but went to school instead of working in a brick factory: 

Rupesh Shrestha small

Rupesh Shrestha, 5, class 1

(Supported by AP in 2015 and 2016). The campaign has helped Rupesh to avoid work in the kilns and attend the Dattatraya Lower Secondary School in Bhaktapur, but this does not mean his life is easy or completely free of bricks. Rupesh was born in Bhaktapur and began to work in bricks at the age of three. He even showed us how he flipped bricks, but his mother Urmila insisted this was not “child labor.” She explained that Rupesh would never make more than two to three bricks in a day and that “he liked playing in the mud,” and this was the only way she could keep an eye on him. You hear this argument a lot when people talk of very young children working in bricks, and it is certainly what the factory owners would like us to believe! During the brick-making season, Rupesh lives with his parents but this means he has to look after his six-month-old brother when his parents go to work in the early hours and before he goes to school. Rupesh says he does not enjoy living in the kilns, as it is “very smoky.” It takes him one hour to walk to school. Indeed, life remains very difficult for young children like Rupesh. His favorite subject is math, and he tells us that he wants to be a father when he grows up.  (Iain Guest)

Manju Tamang

Manju Tamang, 13, class 4

(Supported by AP in 2015 and 2016). Manju accompanies her parents to the kilns at the beginning of the brick season. Once there she attends the Dattatraya Lower Secondary School in Bhaktapur while her parents work in the kilns. Her family seems to be constantly on the move. At the beginning of the dry season, they move to the brick kilns, but once the monsoon season begins they must find other work. This year (2016), they have opened a small tea shop. Manju occasionally helps in the shop but only on holidays. She remembers the brick kilns very clearly. The work was hard and it was also very difficult to live in one small room in the kilns. Manju’s favorite subject in school is Nepali, and she hopes to become a nurse one day.  The 2016 school year is Manju’s second year of being sponsored.   (Lauren Purnell)

alna tamang small

Alina Tamang (sister to Yamraj Tamang) 6, Class 2

(Supported by AP in 2015 and 2016). Alina and her brother Yamraj study at the Dattatraya Lower Secondary School in Bhaktapur while their parents work in the kilns. Alina was born in Ramechhap and the family moved down to Bhaktapur to work in the kilns when she was 2 years old. While the children now go to school, they have not completely stopped working in the kilns. Alina says that she and her brother work short shifts, flipping and making bricks. They treat it like a game and say that they have enough time to study and play, but they also describe life in the kilns as very difficult. It is very cold in the winter and they do not have enough blankets or warm clothing. Their parents are illiterate and unable to help them with school work. Despite these challenges, Yamraj is at the top of his class and even helps Alina with her home work. The 2016 school year was the second year that Yamraj and Alina have been sponsored.  (Joti Sohi and Lauren Purnell)

Yamraj Tamang

Yamraj Tamang (Brother to Alina Tamang) 5, Class 1

(Supported by AP in 2015 and 2016). Yamraj was born in Ramachhap and the family moved down to Bhaktapur to work in the kilns when he was one. Like his sister Alina, he studies at the Dattatraya Lower Secondary School in Bhaktapur, but this has not totally rescued them from the kilns. Both work short shifts even on school days, flipping and making bricks. They treat it like a game and say that they have enough time to study and play. But they also describe the kilns as very difficult. It is very cold in the winter and they do not have enough blankets or warm clothing. Their parents are illiterate and unable to help them with their school work. Despite these challenges, Yamraj is at the top of his class and even helps Alina at school. The 2016 school year is the second year that Yamraj and Alina have been sponsored. (Joti Sohi and Lauren Purnell)

Roji-Tamang-small

Roji Tamang, 13, class 6

(Supported by AP in 2015 and 2016). Roji was born in Bhaktapur and her parents have worked in the brick factories for as long as she can remember. Roji also worked in the factory for a few years, but today she attends the Dattatraya Lower Secondary School in Bhaktapur while her parents work. After school Roji helps out with cooking, cleaning, and laundry. She says that living in the kilns is difficult. It is especially scary to use the toilets at night because they are quite far from her dwelling in the factory. Roji’s favorite subjects are English and Math. Roji wants to help the poor and dreams of becoming a doctor one day. (Joti Sohi)

Kumari Tamang

Kumari Tamang, 9, class 3

(Supported by AP in 2015 and 2016). Kumari studies at the Dattatraya Lower Secondary School in Bhaktapur. More important still, her entire family has broken with bricks in just two years. In 2015 Kumari told Peace Fellow Joti Sohi that her parents were working in the kilns and that she also “piled bricks before school.” One year later, in 2016, however, she told Peace Fellow Lauren Purnell that her father had left bricks to work as a driver, while her mother was now employed in the carpet factory (although this industry is also known to take advantage of child labor). After school, Kumari helps her mother with cleaning and other domestic chores. Kumari has two younger sisters, aged nine and three. This family seems especially deserving of support, not just because they have taken such a strong stand against bricks but because their house was destroyed in the 2015 earthquake – and this could put added pressure on Kumari to start work before she completes her education. Kumari’s favorite subject in school is English and she hopes to become a teacher when she grows up. (Lauren Purnell)

Sanjib Tamang

Sanjib Tamang, 9, class 2

(Supported by AP in 2015 and 2016). Sanjib studies at the Dattatraya Lower Secondary School in Bhaktapur, but it has not been easy for him to avoid work in the brick factory. He was born in Bhaktapur and worked in the brick kilns full-time from the age of six. Even after he entered school in 2015, he continued to help his parents with brick-making after school until nightfall. He told Peace Fellow Joti Sohi that this left him with little time to study and that he did his homework every morning. Sanjip was still fighting to stay in school in 2016, a year later, when he met with Peace Fellow Lauren Purnell. He was very determined and said that he wanted to follow the example of his brother Pasang, 16, who had just finished his SLC exam. But the pressure was mounting. Sanjip’s other older brother, 17, dropped out of school after making it to Class 8 because the family could no longer afford to pay for his schooling. Sanjib himself was still under pressure to work during the day before and after school – helping his mother to weave and do domestic chores. But at least his brother Pasang was helping him with his studies – something his parents are unable to do because of their own lack of education. (Lauren Purnell and Joti Sohi)

Muskan Tamang

Muskan Tamang, 12, class 6

(Supported by AP in 2015 and 2016). Until 2010, Muskan’s parents used to be farmers. They were then persuaded by a broker (naike) to work in bricks and began the annual journey down from the hills of Ramechhap to Bhaktapur every November. Muskan went with them. Today she studies at the Dattatraya Lower Secondary School in Bhaktapur and lives with her parents in the factory. Life became a lot harder for this family after the house was destroyed in the 2015 earthquake. Muskan’s father went to Bahrain to work for a year and decided to stay for at least another year, splitting up the family. During his absence, Muskan’s mother has continued to work in the brick factory in the dry season. While Muskan herself does not work in the kilns, she does cook meals for the family and takes care of her two younger sisters. Muskan says it is very difficult to find clean water in the kilns and that she feels “suffocated” living there. But she still has enough time to study. Her aim is to be a nurse. The 2016 school year is Muskan’s second year being sponsored.  (Joti Sohi and Lauren Purnell )

Roj Tamang

Roj Tamang, 8, class 3

(Supported by AP in 2015 and 2016). Roj lives with his mother and older sister, 10, in the brick factory while attending the Dattatraya Lower Secondary School in Bhaktapur. In spite of his young age, Roj has been the man of the house since his father left to work in Saudi Arabia. His father rarely sends remittances, either because he doesn’t trust Roj’s mother or because of the difficulty of transferring money. Roj’s family is healthy and he has time to study (with help from his older sister) and to play hide and seek. But he has not escaped from bricks completely and told Peace Fellow Joti Sohi in 2015 that he helped his mother pile bricks for 2 hours after school. Roj’s favorite subject in school is science and he hopes to become a pilot when he grows up. (Joti Sohi and Lauren Purnell )

Laxmi Kunwar

Laxmi Kunwar, 10, class 5

(Supported by AP in 2015). After her father passed away two years ago, Laxmi’s aunt insisted that the family move to Bhaktapur. The campaign covered the cost of her schooling at the Shree Hansabahini Primary School but was unable to continue support in 2016. This is unfortunate because her teachers and principal describe her as a very bright student. Laxmi always scored top marks in all of her subjects. Her favorite subject is English, and she hopes to become a nurse one day. Her mother is also fiercely opposed to bricks. She expects Laxmi to help out with chores around the house is determined that Laxmi will never make bricks. (Joti Sohi )

Bishal Manandhar 11

Bishal Manandhar, 11, class 5

(Supported by AP in 2015 and 2016). Bishal’s family moved to Bhaktapur shortly after he was born. He worked in the brick kilns until the age of 7, when he enrolled in the Bigeshori Higher Secondary School. The campaign pays for his schooling and that of his younger sister Srijana but the two are still deeply involved in making bricks – perhaps more so than any other sponsored children. In 2016, Bishal told Peace Fellow Lauren Purnell that he and his sister Srijana work for 10 hours a day during holidays and Saturdays, waking up at midnight to make bricks. Adding to the pressure, the family home in Ramechhap was destroyed by the earthquake, putting more pressure on the children to contribute to the family income. CONCERN has tried to convince the parents to take Bishal and Srijana out of bricks, but so far without success – perhaps because they do not understand the value of educating their children. At least Bishal says he is happier because he can also attend school. His favorite subject is social science, and he hopes to one day become a doctor. (Joti Sohi and Lauren Purnell)

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Srijana Manandhar, 7, class 1

(Supported by AP in 2015 and 2016). Srijana’s’s family moved to Bhaktapur before she was born. Today she attends the Bigeshori Higher Secondary School in Bhaktapur, like her brother Bishal. When she met with Peace Fellow Joti Sohi in 2015, Srijana’s family was living in temporary housing because of the 2015 earthquake. The family planned to move back to the kilns once the factory re-opened after the monsoon in October. Even though she attends school in Bhaktapur, Srijana also works in the kilns flipping bricks, often with her brother Bishal. Srijana’s favorite subjects in school are math and Nepali.  She hopes to become a teacher when she grows up. (Joti Sohi )

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Asmita Bisunke, 13, class 5

(Supported by AP in 2015). Asmita and her family moved to Patan when she was an infant. Two years ago, her family was recruited to work in the kilns by brokers (naike) and received an advance payment that has made it very difficult to escape brickwork. Her father expressed some frustration at this, but he has few other opportunities to work. Asmita attended the Suryodaya Primary School (in Lalitpur district) in 2015 with support from the campaign. As she says, “school is tough, but I manage.” With no extra tutoring in school and her parents both illiterate, Asmita has to do everything herself. Her favorite subject in school is English, and she hopes to one day become a doctor. It is particularly unfortunate that the campaign was not able to support this determined young woman for a second year. (Lauren Purnell )

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Ram Rai, 12, class 5

(Supported by AP in 2015). Ram’s family moved to Bhaktapur when he was an infant. Today, both parents work in the brick factory and live in the kiln year round. Even though Ram is enrolled at the Suryodaya Primary School (Lalitpur district), he continues to work in the kilns in the mornings and after school. Ram is also one of the many unfortunate children who suffered an injury while working in the kilns. He says that he does not enjoy making bricks, as it gives him less time to finish his homework, but he also understands that he has to help his family. Ram is the treasurer in the school’s child club, loves English, and hopes to become a driver. (Joti Sohi )

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Sabina Pariyar, 12, class 6

(Supported by AP in 2015). Sabina’s mother is the second wife of the house, which means that she lives separately from her father and his first family. Her mother also works in the kilns, where she and Sabina live. Sabina is enrolled at the Suryodaya Primary School in Lalitpur and the campaign covers the cost. Even though it is tough most days, Sabina’s mother is adamant that her daughter not quit school and Sabina also understands that she needs to study hard if she is to get a good job and help her family. Her favorite subject in school is Nepali, and she hopes to become a nurse when she grows up. (Joti Sohi )

Balram Shrestha

Balram Shreshtha, 10, class 5

(Supported by AP in 2015 and 2016). Balram is from Ramechhap. His parents are farmers but for the past three years, they have been moving to Bhaktapur to work in the brick kilns during the dry season.  Balram attends the Dattatraya Lower School in Bhaktapur with help from the campaign and his parents also help him with his school work. Balram has never worked in the factories himself, but he says he has seen the kilns and the work the children do there and describes such work as “very sad.” He does not like it at all.  Balram’s favorite subject in school is English and he hopes to one day become a teacher. (Joti Sohi and Lauren Purnell)

These children remained at home in 2016 and did not travel with their parents to the kilns: 

ashnita Manandhar

Asmita Manandhar, 8, class 3

(Supported by AP in 2016). Last year, Asmita lived in the brick factory, but this year most of the family will stay in Ramechhap district so as not to disrupt her education at the Panchakanya village school. This family has made a big commitment to education, even though it is not easy. Asmita’s father still works in the brick kilns, as does her older brother, aged 21. But Asmita’s mother remains at home with Asmita, two sisters (aged 13 and 18) and a brother (9). The oldest sister dropped out of school in ninth grade, but the second sister is still in school. Asmita’s brother is also studying in class 4. Asmita would like to be a teacher and enjoys learning Nepali. (Lauren Purnell)

Yamuna manandhar

Yamuna Manandhar, 9, class 4

(Supported by AP in 2016). Both of Yamuna’s parents work in the brick factory during the dry season, and until this year she traveled with them. But today she lives at home in the village of Kanyapani (Ramechhap) with relatives and her siblings. This allows her to attend the Panchakanya village school. It shows how much her parents appreciate the value of her education. (Lauren Purnell)

Dev Mananadhar

Dev Mananadhar, 7, class 3

(Supported by AP in 2016). Dev’s family is working hard to better their economic circumstances and CONCERN is glad to help. Dev himself attends the Panchakanya village school in Ramechhap and his mother is taking adult education classes so that she can find a better job. Dev’s father has been working abroad in Malaysia for the past two years. The separation is difficult, but his father is able to send money home regularly. (Lauren Purnell)

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Asmita Manandhar (left), 10, class 5

(Supported by AP in 2016). During the brick season, Asmita lives in Ramechhap and goes to school in the village of Panchakanya, Ramechhap while her parents work in the brick kilns of Bhaktapur as they have done for more than 20 years. Asmita has two younger sisters – Monita, who is 5, and Surita, 9. They stay with their uncle who also raises goats that were provided by CONCERN. Asmita plans to accompany her parents next season to live in the brick factories, while her younger siblings stay behind. She will help her parents by cooking, but also hopes that she will be able to continue attending school. CONCERN will do its best to ensure that she does. (Lauren Purnell)

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Sabina Manandhar, 9, class 4

(Supported by GFC in 2016). Both of Sabina’s parents work in the brick kilns during the season, but Sabina remains behind with relatives in the village of Ramechhap, where she attends the Panchakanya School with help from the campaign. Sabina wants to be a teacher and loves learning Nepali. (Lauren Purnell)

Puskar Manandhar

Puskar Manandhar, 9, class 2

(Supported by GFC in 2016). Puskar is the youngest child of his family by at least a decade.  He remains at home in Ramechhap throughout the year and attends the Panchakanya with help from the campaign. CONCERN hopes that this will create a demand for education in the family and keep Puskar out of the bricks permanently, but there are certainly pressures in the other direction. Puskar’s four older siblings, aged between 20 and 32, are all married and all four work in bricks in Bhaktapur during the season. His father and mother stay home because his father broke a leg working in the brick factory. But when Puskar is older, there is a good chance that one of his siblings might ask Puskar to join them working in the kilns. CONCERN is hoping that school will prevent this from happening.

These children traveled to the kilns in 2016 but went to school instead of working in factories:

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Sarmila Manandhar, 11, class 3

(Supported by GFC in 2016). Sarmila spends half the year in Ramechhap district, where the campaign supports her studies at the Panchakanya School, and the second half in Bhaktapur where she lives with her parents while they work in the kilns. Sarmila does not work in bricks herself but instead takes care of household chores like washing dishes – the sort of work that will help her family and could not be considered exploitative. After the monsoon begins, and the brick factories close down in April, Sarmila and her family will return home and tend to their eight. She has a younger brother, Sarah, who has just started school. ( Lauren Purnell)

rahul manandharsmall

Rahul Manandhar, 6, class 1

(Supported by GFC in 2016). Rahul has entered school at the earliest possible age – six – and this suggests a serious commitment by his family to education. He attends the Panchakanya village school in Ramechhap between April and October, and while at school he also watches over the family’s goat. He expects to leave for Bhaktapur with his family when the brick season begins although AP was not able to ascertain whether he will work in the brick kilns alongside his older siblings, Swostica and Jayaram, or continue in school. Overall the family seems committed to education and Rahul is lucky in that his older siblings help him study, because both of his parents are illiterate.

Priti Manandhar

Priti Manandhar, 9, class 4

(Supported by GFC in 2016). Priti lives in the village of Ramechhap and attends the Panchakanya School during the monsoon season, with help from the campaign. She then travels with her parents to Bhaktapur during the brick season and goes to school while they work. Priti’s two older sisters, 12 and 19, also work in the brick factories. This family is forced by poverty to work in bricks. They have nine goats in Ramechhap but this does not provide enough money to sustain the family year round. In addition, their house in Ramechhap was partially destroyed by the earthquake in April 2015, putting them under additional economic pressure. While in Ramechhap, Priti helps her mother cook and looks after the goats. Her older sister helps her study but she still has trouble with math. ( Lauren Purnell)

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Budhi Ram Pariyar, 8

(Supported by GFC in 2016). At the age of eight, Budhi already has more work experience than many college students in the U.S. He worked for three years in the kilns before the campaign began sponsoring his education at the Suryodaya Balbikas Primary School in Lalitpur district. Buddhi takes his 2-year-old sister with him to school so that she will not be in the way of her parents while they work in the kilns. His favorite subject is English, and after a fellow student said that he wanted to be a pilot, Buddhi sweetly agreed.  (Lauren Purnell)

Sanu

Sanu Nepali, 11, class 5

(Supported by GFC in 2016). Sanu is the youngest member of a big family. He has three older sisters and one older brother and speaks fondly of them all. When he tells us that his father won a prize for carrying the most bricks last season, the pride shows on his face. Indeed, he is all smiles until he notices the camera pointed in his direction, at which point he switches to the subdued expression seen in his photo. Given his history, one might expect him to be serious. Although only 11 years old, he worked in the brick factory for three years before the campaign enabled him to attend the Suryodaya Balbikas Primary School in Lalitpur. He wants to be a pilot. ( Lauren Purnell)

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Aashish Thing, 6

(Supported by GFC in 2016). The campaign is helping Aashish to attend the Suryodaya Balbikas Primary School in Lalitpur, even though her family does not work in the kilns. The principal of the school made a special appeal to CONCERN because Aashish’s father has deserted her family, leaving her mother to care for Aashish and Aashish’s older sister, who is handicapped. As well as helping a family in great need, CONCERN’s support may also prevent Aashish from entering brickwork when she is older.

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Manisha Nepali, 11

(Supported by GFC in 2016). Manisha worked in the KKM brick factory for five years before entering the Suryodaya Balbikas Primary School in Lalitpur with help from the campaign. Her parents continue to work in the factory and we are disturbed to learn that Manisha also works five hours a day in the brick kiln during the dry season. During the monsoon season, the family returns to the village, where they keep two goats and one cow. Most of what they produce is for their own consumption and not sold. Manisha’s uncle tends the animals while the family leaves for the brick-making season. It is harder for this family to avoid working in bricks because their house was destroyed in the 2015 earthquake.

Pariyar Brothers

Bir Bahadur Pariyar, 10 (class 1), Prakash Pariyar, 8 (nursery) and Santosh Pariyar, 6 (nursery)

(Supported by GFC in 2016). The three Pariyar brothers pictured in this photo – Bir Bahadur, Prakash, and Santosh – moved down to Patan at the start of the brick season with their father and older brother so that they could all work in the brick factory. CONCERN then enrolled them at the Suryodaya Balbikas Primary School in Lalitpur, which undoubtedly rescued them from bricks. But challenges remain. The boys are Dalit – from the lowest caste in Nepal. This puts them at an economic disadvantage even though caste has formally been abolished in Nepal. They are all in a lower grade than is usual for boys of their age and the grade they were in their village school  (Dang-Nai Gua). The reason is that their English was poor.  In addition, their mother ran away with another man two years ago, abandoning her husband and sons. Their oldest brother, Gribada, 12, made it to Class 3 before dropping out and will now work full-time in the kilns with his father while his brothers are at school. The brothers have promised not to work in the kilns and CONCERN will try to make sure they keep their promise!  ( Lauren Purnell)

Tamang Family

Mixan Tamang, 8, class 2

(Supported by GFC in 2016). Mixan has been living in Kathmandu for a year with his older brother, 10, and sister, 13. Mixan’s father Chari. seen in the photo with Mixan, traveled to Qatar three years ago to work on a gas line but became seriously ill because of the fumes and was forced to leave after fulfilling only part of his contract. This has left him deeply in debt and he arrived home on April 18, 2015, one week before the earthquake hit his district and displaced the family. Chari now plans to work in the brick kilns in the fall. He says that his children will be living and working in the brick kilns but has also received funds from the campaign to put Mixan through school. CONCERN will work with the family to ensure that Mixan does not slip back into doing brickwork. ( Lauren Purnell)

nisal sunarasmall

Nisal Sunuwar, 9

(Supported by GFC in 2016). Nisal has worked in the brick factory for the past two years with his parents. In the offseason, they work in construction. Nisal helps his family by looking after his one-year-old brother. He hopes to be a policeman when he grows up so he can catch thieves. ( Lauren Purnell)

Bishal Rokka

Bishal Rokka, 12

(Supported by GFC in 2016). Bishal and his family came originally from a small village in Ramechhap to Patan to work in the brick factory, so CONCERN was pleased to enroll him at the Suryodaya Balbikas Primary School in Lalitpur district in 2016. The family lives outside the brick factory (where living conditions are terrible) and this helps Bishal avoid work in the kilns. Sadly, however, their family home back in the village was damaged in the 2015 earthquake. Bishal has two younger siblings and is nearing the age where he could be drawn into working in the kilns alongside his parents, but he is an active participant in CONCERN’s program, serving as a treasurer for the child club. CONCERN is sponsoring Bishal’s education so that he can continue to be a leader in the community and set a good example to fellow students. He dreams of being a doctor and loves mathematics. ( Lauren Purnell)

Rojina Manandhar

Rojina Manandhar, 11, class 7

(Supported by GFC in 2016). Rojina Manandhar and her sister Garima moved from Ramechhap to Bhaktapur with their parents to work in the kilns seven months ago after their home was destroyed in the earthquake. Their father currently works in construction, but when the brick factories reopen both parents will work in the kilns. CONCERN has enrolled the sisters in the Faidhoka School in Bhaktapur, but it is not clear whether they expect to work in bricks while also attending school. They will help their mother with household chores like cooking and washing dishes. But the sisters also told Peace Fellow Lauren Purnell that they wake at three in the morning to work in bricks during the season. CONCERN will follow up and try to keep them completely focused on school. Regardless of bricks, the sisters still feel life in Bhaktapur is not as difficult as it was in Ramechhap, where they had to work in the fields. Also, the sisters feel that they are receiving a better education in Bhaktapur because the teachers are more knowledgeable than those back in their village. At school, Rojina enjoys her science classes and has the most difficulty with social sciences. It is interesting that while Rojina and her sister attend a public school Bhaktapur, their six-year-old brother attends an expensive boarding school. The education of sons is often valued more highly in Nepal than that of daughters. (Lauren Purnell)

Garima Manandhar

Garima Manandhar, 13, class 7

(Supported by GFC in 2016). Garima Manandhar and her sister Rojina moved from Ramechhap to Bhaktapur with their parents to work in the kilns seven months ago after their home was destroyed in the earthquake. Their father currently works in construction, but when the brick factories reopen both parents will work in the kilns. CONCERN has enrolled the sisters in the Faidhoka School in Bhaktapur, but it is not clear whether they expect to work in bricks while also attending school. They will help their mother with household chores like cooking and washing dishes but they also told Peace Fellow Lauren Purnell that they wake at three in the morning to work in bricks during the season. CONCERN will follow up and try to ensure that they are completely committed to their school work. Regardless of bricks, the sisters still feel life in Bhaktapur is not as difficult as living in Ramechhap, where they had to work in the fields. Also, the sisters feel that they are receiving a better education in Bhaktapur because the teachers are more knowledgeable than the ones in their village. Garima’s favorite subject in school is computer science, something she would have never been able to take in the village. Garima also loves dancing. It is interesting that while Rojina and her sister attend a public school Bhaktapur, their six-year-old brother attends an expensive boarding school. The education of sons is often valued more highly in Nepal than that of daughters. ( Lauren Purnell)

Samita Koju

Samita Koju, 15, class 7

(Supported by GFC in 2016). Samita has had a very difficult life. When she was ten, she dropped out of school to help her mother take care of her infant siblings. Her mother had just had twins and she needed extra help at home. For some, this may have marked the end of school, but Samita was determined to stay in school as long as possible. She re-enrolled at thirteen, even though she was forced to continue working in the brick kilns during the season. CONCERN then enrolled her again at the Faidhka School in Bhaktapur in 2016. When Samita met with Peace Fellow Lauren Purnell in August, she said that her home life is troubled and that she felt unwanted. She doesn’t know how much longer she will be able to stay at home. CONCERN is watching her situation carefully and wants to do all it can to help Samita finish her secondary education. ( Lauren Purnell)

Rojina Mihemhphuki

Rojina Nhemhpuki, 12, class 7

(Supported by GFC in 2016). Rojina lives in Bhaktapur where she and her eight-year-old brother have been helping their family make bricks during the dry season for many years. In spite of her young age, Rojina has many other responsibilities in her household where she washes dishes, cooks food, and looks after her younger brother. Her mother manages the house while her father works in the kilns. CONCERN has enrolled Rojina in the Faidhoka School in Bhaktapur. She hopes to stay in school and become a teacher. Her favorite subject is Nepali. ( Lauren Purnell)

Debaki Bhujel

Debaki Bhujel, 10, class 6

(Supported by GFC in 2016). Debaki lives in Bhaktapur with her parents, her 4-year-old brother and her 2-year-old sister. She and her brother go to the same school in Bhaktapur and she told Peace Fellow Lauren Purnell that she joins her parents in making bricks during the dry season. CONCERN has enrolled her at the Faidhoka School in Bhaktapur for the Fall of 2016 and hopes to dissuade her completely from making bricks. Debaki loves her native language, Nepali, and hopes to be able to teach it someday. ( Lauren Purnell)

Haris Nehaphuki

Haris Nhemhphuki, 10, class 5

(Supported by GFC in 2016). Haris lives with his parents and sister, 9, in Bhaktapur. When he met with Peace Fellow Lauren Purnell in August 2016, Haris and his sister were attending the Devi School. His favorite subjects were English and computers. His parents work in the brick kilns during the dry season and Haris helps them for four hours a day making bricks, carrying mud and flipping bricks. His sister is luckier – she only has to help with domestic chores like cooking. CONCERN certainly hopes that enrolment at Faidhoka will take Haris out of bricks completely. Haris and his sister have a good relationship. They play together and help each other study. Haris loves football. ( Lauren Purnell)

Puja Khali

Puja Khati, 10 years old

(Supported by GFC in 2016). Puja Khati’s family is originally from Sarlahi. They now live in Bhaktapur and CONCERN has enrolled her in the Faidhoka School. Her family is from the lowest caste in Nepal, the Dalit, and this creates difficulties for Puja. She doesn’t always have enough supplies for school as is perhaps clear from her photo – Puja’s clothes were more worn-out than those of the other sponsored students. Puja would like to stay in school, and not drop out like her older sister, who ran away to get married at 14 (quite common for young girls from lower castes, who see marriage as a way out of poverty). Although Puja’s home life is difficult, she has friends at school, and her best friend Nabina helps her study. Puja has domestic chores during the offseason and says that when the kilns reopen she will need to help her parents make bricks. CONCERN will try and dissuade her and her parents. ( Lauren Purnell)

Deepak

Deepak Budha Magar, 10 years old

(Supported by GFC in 2016). Deepak is a very serious 10-year-old. He has spent half of his short life working alongside his mother in the brick factory and helping her in the house. His father was killed in Nepal’s conflict, which ended in 2006. Deepak has no siblings which put more of a load on him that other children his age. CONCERN has enrolled Deepak at the Suryodaya Balbikas Primary School in Lalitpur. His aim in life is to become a driver and to earn money, which most of the sponsored children seem to dream of! His favorite subject in school is Nepali. ( Lauren Purnell)

Nabina Shretha

Nabina Shrestha, 12 years old 

(Supported by GFC in 2016). Nabina Shrestha is originally from Ramechhap. She has two older brothers and all three help their parents in the kilns where they work for about an hour a day. While this may not seem like a long time Nabina has already been injured working in bricks. The family house in Bhaktapur was partially destroyed by the 2015 earthquake. CONCERN has enrolled Nabina at the Faidhoka School in Bhaktapur, where she studies in Class 5 and is first in her class. This is partly due to her brothers, who help Nabina with her studies. Although Nabina, like most Nepalis, chooses not to smile in her pictures, she had a sweet smile on her face when she told us that she aspired to be a doctor. When Nabina has time to play, she likes to play badminton and play with her friend Ramita. Nabina is really fond of her grandparents and goes to meet them quite often. ( Lauren Purnell)

These children traveled with their parents to the kilns and some of them worked in the kilns

Rojina Nemaphuki

Rojina Nemaphuki, 14, class 9

(Supported by AP in 2017). Rojina is a 14-years old enrolled at Bagiswori school in Bhaktapur who is supported jointly by CONCERN and AP since 2017. She helps her parents in the brick factory from October to May, and in rainy season her parents work as farmers. However, she never lived inside the factory, because her family has a own house nearby. Back from school, she is first cooking for her family, studies and then goes to work in the kilns for one hour. Rojina is collecting dried bricks, piles them and also cleans the production areas within the factory. However, she does not make bricks by herself. On Saturdays and public holidays, Rojina works from 10am to 4pm and sometimes she gets help from her younger brother (10). Rojina told us that she started working about 4 years ago when she was in class 5. At school, Rojina’s favourite subject is Nepali and she would like to become a Nepali teacher. Her teacher told us that she has a very poor school level, having no basic skills, not listening in class and barely doing her homework. Her teacher added that Rojina did not improve since she is enrolled in Bagiswori school, but that she behaves good and respects teachers. Rojina likes to help her parents and her biggest wish is to travel.(Lara Cerosky)

Garima Manandhar

Garima Manandhar, 15, class 9

(Supported by AP in 2017). Garima is a 15-years old girl enrolled at Bagiswori school in Bhaktapur who is supported jointly by CONCERN and AP since 2017. Both her parents work in the Shreebattha brick factory and she helps with producing and flipping bricks in seasonal time. She said that it takes 10 seconds to make one brick, while someone unexperienced will take 5 minutes. In dry season, Garima is working from 3 to 4am, then sleeps and takes her meal before going to school. After school, she first cooks for her family, before going to work for one hour in the kilns. With her younger sister Rojina, that is also supported by CONCERN since 2017, she is working on Saturdays and public holidays and said that she started working in the brick factory 7 years ago, adding that her younger brother (8) will also start soon to work with his siblings. Garima lives in the factory since a long time. According to her teacher, she has a very poor school level. He did not see any improvement, and added that her homework is barely done and that Garima has concentration problems, even though she tries her best. Garima told us that she likes studying and that her favorite subject is Nepali.(Lara Cerosky)

Rojina Manandhar

Rojina Manandhar, 13, class 8

(Supported by AP in 2017). Rojina is a 13-years old girl enrolled at Bagiswori school in Bhaktapur who is supported jointly by CONCERN and AP since 2017. She lives in a brick factory all year long, even though her parents are working there only in seasonal time. When she comes back from school, Rojina first cleans the house and then works in the brick factory for more or less one hour with her older sister Garima, supported by CONCERN since 2017. On Saturdays and public holidays, Rojina is also making bricks, flipping them, carrying them on her back and cleaning the kilns. Rojina told us that she is working in the kilns since being enrolled in nursery and considers it as very difficult. Her teacher said that she is doing good at school and  is never absent. Rojina dislikes working in the brick factory and wishes to go to her village in Ramechhap. Rojina added that her favourite subject is Nepali and she hopes to be a nurse as a grown up.(Lara Cerosky)

Aashish Thing

Aashish Thing, 6, class 2

(Supported by AP in 2017). Aashish is a 6-years old boy enrolled at Dattatraya school in Bhaktapur who is supported jointly by CONCERN and AP since 2017. He never worked or lived in a brick factory. Aashish told us that his father is a driver, but according to his teacher, his father is absent, because he remarried and does not care about his children. His mother is working as a construction laborer. His teacher added that Aashish and his older sister (8), that is disabled, get help from their maternal grandparents. Aashish is an excellent student but only does his homework sometimes and misses class 4 to 5 weeks a year when his mother is sick or when he goes to his village. His teacher said that Aashish could not take the last exam because his mother was suffering from tuberculosis. Aashish told us that his favourite subject is Nepali and that he likes playing with a ball, but dislikes fighting. He also wishes to become driver as a grown-up.(Lara Cerosky)

Harish Nemaphuki

Harish Nemaphuki, 13, class 7

(Supported by AP in 2017). Harish is a 13-year old boy enrolled at Phaidhoka school (Bhaktapur valley), who is supported jointly by CONCERN and AP since 2017. Today, Harish is not making bricks anymore. His situation is a bit different to that of other children, because Harish’s parents were producing their own bricks that they were then selling to the BTM brick factory. He made bricks from age 8 to 11, from October to May, and stopped working last year when his mother found a job as a cleaner in a hospital with a higher income. When he was working, Harish also helped with flipping and sometimes with collecting mud and bricks with his father. During the dry season, he flipped bricks after school until the factory truck came and collected the daily produced bricks. On Saturdays, Harish worked for one hour around noon. Harish’s favourite subject is English and his teacher said that Harish is doing good at school, but that his level is unstable. His parents are aware about the importance to send Harish to school to ensure a better future for himself. Before and after going to school, he plays football – Messi is his model – and his mother forces him to do his homework properly. Nowadays, he goes with his father to a construction site during the rainy season and helps him with light work for more or less two hours. He likes doing that because, otherwise he is bored to stay at home. Harish told us that he is painting elephants and portraits at home and he is dreaming about becoming an artist.(Lara Cerosky)

Puja Khati

Puja Khati, 13, class 7

(Supported by AP in 2017). Puja is a 13-years old girl enrolled at Phaidhoka school (Bhaktapur valley), who is supported jointly by CONCERN and AP since 2017. Both her parents are working in BM factory during seasonal time and are construction labourers in the rainy season. Puja doesn’t like living in the factory during the dry season, since her clothes get dirty very quickly because of the dust. Puja started to help her parents in the kilns, in class 5, when she was 10 years of age. Her younger brother Sanjo (6) does not work now but will definitely later. She helps her parents with flipping bricks, but does not know how to make bricks. For her, the most difficult is to carry and pile them. Before school, Puja works from 6 to 10am when she is flipping the bricks that her parents made at night. During that time, she also takes a break to cook a meal for her family. Back from school, Puja first has tiffin and then flips and piles bricks again until 6pm before cooking dinner. If the work is not over, she has to go back to the kilns after, and tries to do her homework at 7:30pm. Saturday, her family is resting, but she works on public holidays, from 10am to 6:30pm. In between she has tiffin and washes dishes. According to her teacher, her parents do not care about her education and only send her to school because it is the law, but do not control their homework and attendance. She misses class 4/5 days a month and has a very poor school level. Even though Puja has always been weak at her studies, she is now improving. Her teacher added that despite the school’s attempts to alarm Puja’s parents about her difficulties at school, they do not react. On her way back home, Puja carries a 15 litre jar on her back, like her classmate Nabina. She loves reading books that she borrows from the school library (10 books a month!) and would like to be a nurse. (Lara Cerosky)

Manisha Nepali

Manisha Nepali, 12, class 5

(Supported by AP in 2017). Manisha is a 12-years old girl enrolled at Suryodaya school in Imadol (Lalitpur), who is supported jointly by CONCERN and AP since 2017. She never lived in a brick factory but works in the kilns during the dry season. On Saturdays and public holidays, her main tasks are to flip bricks and to put these into piles. Manisha started helping her mother in the kilns two years ago. Manisha is doing very good at school and her teacher considers her to be able to achieve her dream of being a nurse if she continues to be as hardworking. She added that Manisha’s household is difficult because of an alcoholic and violent father. However, she takes refuge in her studies that she loves to pursue, especially sciences. She dislikes working in the kitchen and washing dishes, and prefers to dance and hopes to purchase a lehenga (long embroidered traditional dress from the Indian subcontinent) and go to a fun park one day. (Lara Cerosky)

Puja Thakur

Puja Thakur, 9, class 2

(Supported by AP in 2017). Puja is a 9-year old girl enrolled at Suryodaya school in Imadol (Lalitpur), who is supported jointly by CONCERN and AP since 2017. Puja and her two younger brothers never worked or lived in a brick factory, because both her parents are not employed in the brick sector. All year long, her mother works in another house and her father works in the tile industry. According to her teacher, Puja’s parents care about her education and Puja’s mother brings her to school everyday. Her teacher added, that even though Puja has comprehension problems at school – because her mother tongue is Hindi – she is constantly improving since nursery and rarely misses class. At school, Puja’s favourite subject is English and she would like to become a teacher. Puja likes reading, writing and playing Bharakuti. (a typical Nepali game).(Lara Cerosky)

Jeena Tamang

Jeena Tamang, 14, class 6

(Supported by AP in 2018). Jeena is a 14-years old student enrolled at Dattatraya school in Bhaktapur who is supported jointly by CONCERN and AP since 2018. During seasonal time, Jeena lives and works with her family in a brick factory, where she started helping her parents at age 9. With her two older sisters and her younger brother (12), she is mixing mud for the bricks and is carrying on her back. She told us that the most difficult task is to make bricks because it requires sitting for hours which is very painful for the knees. Jeena explained that one brick produced brings 1 rupee in, and that her family makes between 3 and 4.000 bricks a day. During the 6 months of high season, Jeena wakes up in the middle of the night in order to work from 1 to 3 am.Her teacher told us that Jeena is an average student that has no problems with concentration or homework. The teacher added that Jeena misses 10-12 days a year because of household problems, and at least 2 days when heavy rain falls, because then the damaged bricks need to be made again. However, Jeena is a motivated and curious student who is supported by her parents, but she needs to improve to become a nurse as she would like. Jeena said that she liked badminton and that her wish is to make her parents happy. (Lara Cerosky)

Samir Lama

Samir Lama, 12, class 5

(Supported by AP 2018). Samir is a 12-years old boy enrolled at Dattatraya school in Bhaktapur who is supported jointly by CONCERN and AP since 2018. His parents work in the brick kilns during the dry, and in rainy season. With his older sister (16) and his younger brother (10), he helps his parents making bricks, flipping them, cleaning the factory, piling bricks and carrying them by hand. Samir works before school, producing bricks from 3 to 7am. After school and once his taekwondo class is over, Sunil goes to the kilns and works from 7 to 8pm. On Saturdays and holidays, he works from 4 to 7am. In the afternoon, once lunch has been taken, Samir works until 2pm and stops when the factory owner distributes the salaries. According to his teachers, he is an excellent student, when not the best from the entire school. They praise him for being sensitive, clever, polite and sincere, while participating in extra activities where he is also doing well. However, they are not able to measure his improvement since he has been newly enrolled in Dattatraya school. Samir told us that he would like to be a scientist and that he likes to study Nepali and English grammar. His biggest wish is to have a bicycle (Lara Cerosky)

Khusi Tamang

Khusi Tamang, 9, class 3

(Supported by AP 2018). Khusi is a 9-years old girl enrolled at Dattatraya school in Bhaktapur who is supported jointly by CONCERN and AP since 2018. She lives with her aunt in Bhaktapur and helps her in the brick factory during the dry season. Her parents stay in their village with her four sisters and sent Khusi to live with her aunt when she was an infant. From that time, she also started to help her aunt in the kilns in making bricks, flipping and piling them, carrying 2 or 3 by hand and cleaning the places where bricks have been produced. Khusi works after school until the night is dark. She is not working on Saturdays due to household chores. According to her teacher, Khusi is a concentrated student who is progressing since nursery, and rarely misses school. She does her homework regularly and gets help from her cousin that is in class 9. Her favourite subject is Nepali and she would like to become a nurse. (Lara Cerosky)

Khusi Tamang

Icchya Sakhakarmi, 6, class 1

(Supported by AP in 2018). Icchya is a 6-years old student enrolled at Phaidhoka school (Bhaktapur valley), who is supported jointly by CONCERN and AP since 2018. During the dry season, Icchya lives with her family in the BM brick factory, where her parents work. With her younger brother Issan (5), she helps her parents with flipping bricks. She works after school from 3 to 5pm. Icchya is not only flipping bricks, but also sweeping and cleaning the factory. She works on Saturdays and public holidays for around 4 hours. She told us that she started working in the kilns one year ago, at age 5. Icchya added that she loves to study and read Nepali books. According to her teacher, Icchya is an average student that is attending class regularly. Her teacher added that Icchya’s parents are very concerned about her school enrollment and bring her to school everyday.(Lara Cerosky)

Roman Lakhemaru

Roman Lakhemaru, 5, LKG

(Supported by AP in 2018). Roman is a 5-years old boy enrolled at Phaidhoka school (Bhaktapur valley), who is supported jointly by CONCERN and AP since 2018. He told us that he is not living in a brick factory even though his mother works there all year round, from 6am to 7pm. Roman sometimes goes with his mother to Swet Bhaitan factory but is not helping her. As a single mother that raises her child alone, since Roman’s father passed away two years ago, CONCERN’s support is of great help. Roman is an average student that almost never misses school, but according to his teacher, his previous physical condition could have prevented him from improving. He loves to go to school and dislikes Saturdays because it is a school-free day in Nepal. He hopes to study forever “ABCD” songs in English, and dreams about riding a motorcycle. When Roman comes back from school he likes to eat coconut and to play with worn down household appliance, especially an old cooker. (Lara Cerosky)

Yunisha Bhujel

Yunisha Bhujel, 4, LKG

(Supported by AP in 2018).Yunisha is a 4-years old student enrolled at Phaidhoka school (Bhaktapur valley), who is supported jointly by CONCERN and AP since 2018. She is one of the two youngest children of the 50 Children Program. During the dry season, her parents both work in Swet Bhairat brick factory. They are very concerned by her education. Yunisha told us that she knew how to flip bricks. She shares a room with her didi (older sister) that is not situated inside the factory because there are “shops and ducks” outside. It is also her didi (older sister) that brings her to school in the morning. According to the teacher, Yunisha is doing well in LKG where she enjoys singing “ABCD” songs in English. She attends class regularly Returning from school, Yunisha has tea and biscuits before doing her homework. She likes playing with a ball, her dolls or with her friends.(Lara Cerosky)

Pranisha Tamang

Pranisha Tamang, 9, class 3

(Supported by AP in 2018).Pranisha is a 9-years old student enrolled at Suryodaya school in Imadol (Lalitpur), who is supported jointly by CONCERN and AP since 2018. Her mother works in a brick factory and her father as a construction labourer, but Pranisha has never worked or lived in a brick factory until now. On the question if she is working, Pranisha answered “no, because I am looking after my little brother”. She is doing good at school and is also constantly improving according to her teacher, despite being absent around 5 days a month. Pranisha’s parents are very supportive towards her education. She likes reading and singing but dislikes cooking. Her favourite subject at school is physics. Pranisha’s biggest wish is to watch a movie in a cinema hall and to eat ice-cream. On the question what she would like to be when she grows up, she said that she first wants to be “a good girl” and later a teacher.(Lara Cerosky)

Sunil Lama

Sunil Lama, 10, class 4

(Supported by AP in 2018).Sunil is a 10-years old boy enrolled at Suryodaya school in Imadol (Lalitpur), who is supported jointly by CONCERN and AP since 2018. Both of his parents are working all year long as construction labourers. Accordingly, he is not working in brick kilns and does not live in a brick factory either. He is doing good at school and his teacher praised his constant improvement. Despite having concentration problems in class, he is always doing his homework well. According to his teacher, Sunil’s parents are very concerned about him and his three siblings to receive a good education. Sunil likes reading and playing football – what he always does when he comes back from school before doing his homework – but dislikes washing his clothes. He told us that his biggest wish is to have a ball, and on the question what he would like to be when he grew up, he answered confidently that he wants to work for the police.(Lara Cerosky)

Rupak Bisunkhe

Rupak Bisunkhe, 8, class 2

(Supported by AP in 2018).Rupak is an 8-years old student enrolled at Suryodaya school in Imadol (Lalitpur), who is supported jointly by CONCERN and AP since 2018. His father is a dockyard worker and a driver. Rupak is not working in a brick factory and does not live there either. The principal of Suryodaya school chose him and his younger brother Raghav to be supported by CONCERN this year, because they are considered both brothers as being in a very vulnerable situation. According to his teacher, Rupak has an average level and concentration problems, but he has potential to realise, if he received more attention. His teacher added that Rupak attends school more regularly than his younger brother Raghav. Rupak told us that he is not doing his homework, but added that his favourite subject is maths. Rupak likes eating mangoes and soja beans and his biggest wish is to visit a zoo and eat ice-cream. His ambition is to become a movie hero.(Lara Cerosky)

Raghav Bisunkhe

Raghav Bisunkhe, 4, Playgroup

(Supported by AP in 2018).Raghav is a 4-years old young boy enrolled at Suryodaya school in Imadol (Lalitpur), who is supported jointly by CONCERN and AP since 2018. He does not work in a brick factory and also does not live there, but he knows where the brick factory is situated because “there are a lot of cars stationed at the entrance”. His older brother Rupak and him are supported by CONCERN this year because Suryodaya School’s principal considered them to be particularly vulnerable. Raghav’s mother ran away and his father remarried with a woman that does not care about the children. Raghav and Rupak often have to go to their grandparents’ house to get food, medicine and attention. According to the teachers, Raghav is doing very well in the playgroup and already knows how to read and write. His teacher considered him to be talented and wish he could get more attention and support from his family. When Raghav is at home, he likes to play with his car and to draw the pictures of the books he reads.He dreams about riding a bicycle and hopes that his father with take him abroad. When he grows up, Raghav would like to be Spiderman.(Lara Cerosky)

Sabin Khadka

Sabin Khadka, 6, class 1

(Supported by AP in 2018).Sabin is a 6-years old student enrolled at Suryodaya school in Imadol (Lalitpur), who is supported jointly by CONCERN and AP since 2018. His mother is working as a construction labourer and has no father. He never worked or lived in a brick factory. At school, Sabin’s favorite subject is Nepali. According to his teacher, Sabin is an average student but his level improved since last year. Sabin only misses class 3 or 4 times a month when he is sick. His teacher added that Sabin is a clever boy that knows all the answers, even though he is not doing his homework because his mother is too busy to look after him and his two younger brother. Sabin has been chosen by Suryodaya school’s principal to be supported by CONCERN this year because he considers Sabin as growing up in a vulnerable family. The school teacher considers that Sabin’s level will quickly improve if he gets more support from his family. When he is at home, Sabin likes watching TV and playing football and like many other children he is scared by snakes and ghosts.(Lara Cerosky)

Kamala Rokka

Kamala Rokka, 6, class 1

(Supported by AP in 2018).Kamala is a 6-year old girl enrolled at Suryodaya school in Imadol (Lalitpur), who is supported jointly by CONCERN and AP since 2018. Her mother works in a brick factory and her father is employed in the labor sector. Kamala never lived in a brick factory but she helps her mom in seasonal time when she is mixing mud all day on Saturdays. Her teacher said that Kamala is an average student, but that she is slowly improving since 3 years ago when she was first enrolled at school. However, she is barely doing her homework and also misses school twice a week. Her teacher added that Kamala’s parents do not care about her and her school education, and that they really need counselling about the importance of going to school. Her older brother Bishal was supported by CONCERN in 2017. His sister,Kamala, is now supported by CONCERN. Kamala likes going to school, and would like to become a writer. (Lara Cerosky)

Supporters

Supporters

With many thanks to…

2016 Supporters:

Helen Smith, Takahiro Inoue, Charles Fay, Yves Albert Mathilda Vervecken, Karina Kristiansen, Jess Freestone, Helen Lightner Smith, Tom Ross, and Leslie Ekings

2017 Supporters:

Christina Wagner, Martha Randell, Castillo Vianney, Julia Mascioli, Carol Yanisch, Wojciech Komor, Fergus Anderson, Kelsey R Fausett, Catherine Mathieu, Gitanjali Gnanadesikan, Elina Kahkonen, Abhijit Kulkarni, Priyankara Sanjaya, Anastasios Coulaloglou, Neil Tetkowski, Jason Gomory, William Spencer, Megan Keeling, Racquel J King, William Scott Jr., Sharon Fischer, Peter Titelman, Jiri Stavovcik, Suzanne Kay Murray, Sujita Basnet, Anna Bliss, Dan England, Rayah Al-Farah, Tanumaleu Peleti, Karin Orr, Amanda Quesada, Ashley A Kosiewicz, Devin Greenleaf, Maria Aldrina Z. Territo, Anthony H Bliss, Lisa S Bliss, Scott Allen, Sara Allen, Tara Libert, Herbert Parsons, Alison Soldano, Tim Riley, Kanako Y Allen, Cristy West, Katharine Baker, Lauren Purnell, Wendy Reeve, Ida Thyregod, Paul Smyke, Anna McGuire, Dorothy Craven, Matthew McGuire, Sarah Craven, Trevor Lee Wilson , Martha Randall, James Soldano, Richard Newton, Roy Alan Goldman, Heather Dolstra, Mary E. Bittner, H E Bittner, Kelsey Tuttle, Jennifer A Wolfe, Art Tolsma, Mollie Galioto, Tonya Tolsma, Areal Tolsma, Melissa Majano, Rita Lo, David Burton Perry, Stephanie Reid, Jocelyn Bishop, Erika Jason, Anthony Nicholson, William Lorie, Emily Stapp, Micaela Hagstrom, James R. Steadman, Jefferson Yarborough, Nola Tolsma, Iain Guest, Angelique Palomar, Kim Ingeneri, Katherine Wagner, P A Bliss Guest, Lawrence Ingeneri, Jennifer Guest, Margaret Harvey, Sara McCracken, Jiahui Soh, William Valentine, Low Hock Soon, Sara Al-Thani, Susan McDermott, Zarghona Nawaz, Amelia Lacobelli, Rosa Morales, Olivia Kugiya, Naga Ran Cherukuwada, Noga Bracha, Srinivasa Meka, Lucile Weigel, Syed Ibrahim Habeeb Mohamed, Rosa Vidarte, Joan and Danny, Diego Villalobos, Martin Boruchowicz, Victoria Valente, Marisol Rodriguez Chatruc, Maria Tavella, Carolina Boruchowicz, Sergio Pinto, Marisol Rodriguez Chatruc, Maria Tavella, Carolina Boruchowicz, Sergio Pinto, Melissa Tooley, Elvira Velasco de Rivarola, Lauren Purnell, Nora Boruchowicz, Cynthia Boruchowicz, Bijaya P. Sainju, Maria Poggio Monteverde, Pablo Boruchowicz, Tomas Damerau, Linlang He, Pablo Boruchowicz, Cesar Bouillon, Alejo Czerwonko, Holti Banka, Jorge G., Navjot Sohi, Nathan Wineinger, Lina Salazar, Daniela Sol Perez Mayo, Renate Schambock, and Paola Andrea Leiva Saldivia

GSSC Logo Global Song Song Couple (GSSC) unites the international fans of two Korean superstars, Song Joong Ki, and Song Hye Kyo. Their goal is to improve the lives of the less fortunate through charitable efforts.  GSSC kindly raised $1,300 for CONCERN’s campaign in 2016.  
gfc-logo-smal The Global Fund for Children envisions a world where all children have the opportunity to grow, learn, and thrive.  The Fund donated $5,000 to CONCERN’s campaign in 2016.
Grace, Jack, and penny friends Grace McGuire, a 12-year-old student in Washington DC, mobilized her friends and created an online site Bricks2Books to raise funds for the campaign. Grace raised $519, much of it in pennies. This was enough to take four children out of brick factories and place them in school.
joty-kids Joty Sohi served as a 2015 Peace fellow at CONCERN and raised $1,000 for the campaign through GoFundMe.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Lauren Purnell, from Johns Hopkins University, served as a Peace Fellow at CONCERN in 2015 and raised $3,000 for the campaign through Global Giving.

Resources

AP News Bulletins: 

Computers, Cows, and Child Labor: From the Blogs of the 2018 Advocacy Project Peace Fellows July 13, 2018

Civil Society Drives Earthquake Reconstruction in Nepal April 24, 2017

Schools Rescue Children from Work in the Brick Kilns of Nepal December 12, 2016

Schools Rescue Children from Brick Bondage in Nepal September 3, 2015

Nepal Update: Pennies Help to Turn Bricks to Books June 17, 2015

Rebuilding Nepal- How You Can Help April 29, 2015

Peace Fellows Blogs:

Lara Cerosky

“How to make sure existing laws get implemented? How to dialogue with people who are part of the child labor industry? How to control persons, infrastructures to make sure they aren’t employing children anymore?”, I kept asking myself. I hope finding answers about this crucial issue during the next few weeks and hope to be able to figure out which challenges need to be overcome to protect children effectively.”

Click here to see Lara’s photos

Cynthia Borichowicz

“And finally, the most rewarding experience of all: interviewing children, parents, and teachers. I have to say I enjoyed every moment related to this activity. From making the questionnaires, trying to be sure to include all the indicators that we wanted to track (family structure and problems, health, education, employment, self-esteem, characteristics of the dwelling, etc.), to preparing the databases where the information gathered on the field is kept, to doing the interviews and coding the data. And of course, preparing a report with the results!”

Click here to see Cynthia’s photos

Lauren Purnell

“Our first interview of the day was with Muskan Tamang. She gave the impression of a quiet and serious young girl. Eventually, it became apparent that most students 12 or older tended to have a more serious attitude given that as they transitioned into their teenage years their families seemed to expect more of them as well. This transition from childhood to adulthood is something we all expect, but the timing can vary greatly between countries or economic circumstances…They call this period “emerging adulthood” and it generally occurs in the late teens through the twenties. For me, this is such a stark contrast to the pre-teens I’ve interviewed who are already expected to take on adult work in their families.”

Click here to see Lauren’s photos

Joty Sohi

“All the questions and answers began mixing into one and the same; the thought of another interview seemed almost too much to handle. That is until Rupesh walked into the room with poise, swag, and a demeanor about him that pulled you in. He was the polar opposite of every other child we had met with that day, he came into the room with a certain confidence, not an ounce of fear in this boy. Such a personality for such a young age, he was only 5 years old. He brought me to a state of complete wonder, in a point of the day I needed it the most.”

Click here to see Joty’s photos

Katerina Canyon

“During this conference, Bijaya announced the partnership between The Advocacy Project and told the journalists that I am in Nepal to stand as a witness to Nepal’s actions. He essentially called the government, politicians, and media to task and said that Nepal has a responsibility to eliminate child labor in its country. Dr. Sainju pointed out that as a signatory of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child treaty, Nepal has a moral obligation to end child labor.”

Click here to see Katerina’s photos

Gisele Bolton

“There are approximately 65 families – 550 people, around 200 of them are children – all sharing one outdoor shower and a toilet facility located behind the office of the kiln. With the smoke, dust-filled air and their home surrounded by ditches filled with water to make the clay Gurans worries immensely for her son’s health and safety. She then looks around and points to the floor and walls made of bricks with large gaps between them – it is impossible to stay warm in here.”

Click here to see Gisele’s photos

Videos:

Clearing the ground: Agricultural land is cleared where rice paddy once grew. This will provide space for the bricks to be made.
Making bricks: The mud for bricks is mixed on the site, and then inserted into a mold to produce a finished brick. Many workers have been coming to the same factory for years and experienced workers can produce up to 1,000 bricks a day. They will be paid around one rupee for each brick. This worker begins at one o’clock in the morning and works until 5 pm.
Infants and bricks: Most families are too poor to provide for childcare and are forced to keep infants at their side while they work. This exposes children to bricks at a very early age and increases the likelihood that they will start turning bricks before the age of 5 when primary school begins. CONCERN hopes to install a daycare center in all 7 factories.
Flipping bricks: After the bricks are made, they are left out to harden for three days. During this time they are regularly turned or “flipped.” Children are good at flipping bricks because they have small fingers and nimble feet, which can navigate between the rows and tread on bricks without breaking them. Children would not be needed if the rows were made wider, but this would reduce the number of bricks that are made – and the family’s income.
Night work: Workers begin making bricks as early as one o’clock in the morning. This young worker gave his age as 15 but was probably nearer 13. Either would be illegal under Nepali law. Night work is particularly unpleasant in the winter and cold.
Stacking and carrying: Once the bricks are hard, they are stacked and carried to the kiln, where they will cook for several weeks.
Carrying bricks: Workers carry 25 bricks at a time, from the stacks to the kilns. They get paid 320 rupees ($3.00) for every 1,000 bricks they carry and hurry to get in as many loads as possible. Back injuries are common, particularly among elderly women.
Entering the kilns: Once at the kilns, the bricks have to be carried up the stairs and into a narrow space where they will be stacked.
Heating the furnace: The kilns comprise one or more chimneys, which are heated from the ground by coal. This work is tiring and also generates carbon gases. As a result, the brick industry has been harshly criticized by Nepali environmentalists. Some owners have responded by putting filters in their chimney stacks.
Cooking the bricks: Bricks are stacked in the kiln, above the furnace where they will cook for several weeks until they become red and hard. Many factories produced large quantities in 2015, expecting that demand would grow following the earthquake. But the pace of reconstruction has been very slow and most factories are stocking many more bricks than they can sell. In spite of this over-supply, most factories are producing at the same rate as in 2015, because they fear to lose their workers.