Katerina Canyon (CONCERN)

Katerina Canyon (CONCERN in Nepal): Prior to her fellowship Katerina obtained a BA in creative writing from Saint Louis University, where she wrote for OneWorld Magazine and University News. She served as an international affairs intern at the Peace Economy Project, where she researched U.S. spending and involvement in military actions. At the time of her fellowship Katerina was studying for an MA in Law and Diplomacy at The Fletcher School, Tufts University. After her fellowship, Katerina wrote: “I look at the world and children differently. I am now starkly aware of the differences between the U.S. and other parts of the world.” kcanyon@advocacynet.org



A Visit to the Brick Factory

11 Jul

Last weekend was a pretty busy weekend for me.  I had the opportunity to visit a brick factory in Lalitpur.  I went there with an image of post-colonial British brick-making in mind, something akin to T.S. Eliot’s The Wasteland.  I expected plumes of smoke and coal-dusted walls and faces, but it was not like that all.  It was quiet.  Most of the factories are closed down for monsoon season.  However, there were still a few people around to visit, and I was able to take quite a number of pictures. 

The factory sat in the midst of large green fields.  At any other time of the year, these fields would be filled with people digging up clay, but the day I visited, they lay empty and quiet.  Some fields were being used as farmland.  Along the perimeter of the land sat several jerry-built brick homes.  Again, because it’s monsoon season, most of the homes were vacant.  The people who remained either had nowhere else to go, or were able to pick up some spare work such as hand-making bricks, or carrying and loading bricks.  

The children I met were not child laborers.  They were part of CONCERN’s rescue and rehabilitation program.  In this program, if parents agree to prevent their children from working in the kilns, the parents receive a goat.  By selling goat meat, the parents can make up for the wages their children would have made.  CONCERN then helps pay for the children’s school material costs. 

I had the opportunity to meet one of these children: Ramesh Gharti Magar.  Ramesh looked to about 17 years old.   CONCERN helped fund a sweet shop to rescue Ramesh from the brick kilns.  He was very happy that he was able to work independently and did not have to work in the kilns any longer.  

After we left the brick factory, we went into the city for a light lunch.  That’s when I met a teenager by the name of Tikaram Pokhrael.  Tikaram also used to work in the brick kilns. CONCERN helped Tikaram fund a fruit stand.  During the day, Tikaram goes to school, and in the afternoons he works at the fruit stand.  He is a very happy young man, and his pineapples and papayas are delicious.  They made a great lunch!

[content-builder]{“id”:1,”version”:”1.0.4″,”nextId”:4,”block”:”root”,”layout”:”12″,”childs”:[{“id”:”3″,”block”:”rte”,”content”:”

<\/span><\/p>

Last weekend was a pretty busy weekend for me.  I had the opportunity to visit a brick factory in Lalitpur.  I went there with an image of post-colonial British brick-making in mind, something akin to T.S. Eliot\u2019s The Wasteland. <\/i> I expected plumes of smoke and coal-dusted walls and faces, but it was not like that all.  It was quiet.  Most of the factories are closed down for monsoon season.  However, there were still a few people around to visit, and I was able to take quite a number of pictures. <\/span><\/p>\n\n

<\/p>

The factory sat in the midst of large green fields.  At any other time of the year, these fields would be filled with people digging up clay, but the day I visited, they lay empty and quiet.  Some fields were being used as farmland.  Along the perimeter of the land sat several jerry-built brick homes.  Again, because it\u2019s monsoon season, most of the homes were vacant.  The people who remained either had nowhere else to go, or were able to pick up some spare work such as hand-making bricks, or carrying and loading bricks.  <\/span><\/p>\n\n

<\/p>

The children I met were not child laborers.  They were part of CONCERN\u2019s rescue and rehabilitation program.  In this program, if parents agree to prevent their children from working in the kilns, the parents receive a goat.  By selling goat meat, the parents can make up for the wages their children would have made.  CONCERN then helps pay for the children\u2019s school material costs. <\/span><\/p>\n\n

<\/p>

I had the opportunity to meet one of these children: Ramesh Gharti Magar.  Ramesh looked to about 17 years old.   CONCERN helped fund a sweet shop to rescue Ramesh from the brick kilns.  He was very happy that he was able to work independently and did not have to work in the kilns any longer.  <\/span><\/p>\n\n

<\/p>

After we left the brick factory, we went into the city for a light lunch.  That\u2019s when I met a teenager by the name of Tikaram Pokhrael.  Tikaram also used to work in the brick kilns. CONCERN helped Tikaram fund a fruit stand.  During the day, Tikaram goes to school, and in the afternoons he works at the fruit stand.  He is a very happy young man, and his pineapples and papayas are delicious.  They made a great lunch!<\/span><\/p>\n”,”class”:””}]}[/content-builder]

Posted By Katerina Canyon (CONCERN)

Posted Jul 11th, 2014

281 Comments

  • Iain Guest

    July 14, 2014

     

    This presents a very benign picture of work in the brick kilns! Even if it is the monsoon, and children are not working, can you give us an idea of what conditions are like? And I wonder about these hand-made bricks that you refer to. This seems to be a family affair. Are children involved? Are they earning any money or simply helping their parents? The good news is that Concern appears to have an imaginative program for providing an economic alternative to coercive work. I hope to read more about this, including some profiles.

Enter your Comment

Submit

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

 

Fellows

2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003