Lara Cerosky (Nepal)

Lara is a French and German national and currently completing a master’s degree in Human Rights and Humanitarian Action at SciencesPo Paris, where she is specialising in Global Risk and South and Central Asian Studies. As part of a class project, she is working for UNICEF Nepal, elaborating advocacy strategies to implement the national nutrition plan and raise awareness for malnutrition issues in Nepal. Simultaneous to her studies, she is volunteering at the French association France Terre d’Asile and helping asylum seekers in their legal, administrative and social procedures. Prior to that, earned a double-bachelor in social and political science between SciencesPo and the Freie Universität Berlin, where she specialised child rights, gender issues and refugee law. She has two passions in life: journalism and human rights. She started volunteering many years ago, as a part of Amnesty International Action Against Hunger, teaching children from minority communities. Her biggest project was building a school in the village of Dompleu, in Côte d’Ivoire. Her student association Afric@ction organized the project, raised funds, participated in the building process and discussed a cooperative project to empower local women. As a journalist, she interned in two newspapers, but her biggest achievements remain two amateur documentaries she produced for a French foundation called Zellidja. The first was in India, where she focused on social inequalities within the Indian society; the second was in Indonesia, where she gave a voice to indigenous clans from West-Papua, suffering from discrimination.



Starting with a Success Story

14 Jun

Street vendor in Chhetrapati, waiting for change, surrounded by her vegetables. (Kathmandu/LC)

 

I struggled a lot with writing my first blog post.

 

Should I write something reflecting on my first impressions of the country where I will be living for 6 months, at the risk of being cliché? Should I do something formal summing-up the last few weeks preparing for my stay in Nepal, at the risk of making it very boring for the reader?

I could write something funny about my experience being approached by 4 local hash dealer within 3 minutes one evening in Thamel, whispering in my back “I have good one, good one, hashish, my house”, because I probably stood involuntarily at the hash trade intersection of the area. I could also write about my delightful experiences being vegetarian and trying to avoid looking all the plucked and neckless chickens lying on dirty displays every 30 meters on the streets I walk along to get to work.

A woman sorting out rice in front of her store in Nhyokha. (Kathmandu/LC)

 

I decided it would be useful to sum-up the following things:

What is AP?

The Advocacy Project (AP) is a non-profit based in Washington that works with community-based organisations (CBOs) to help them get their message out, support their work for social change, and strengthen the organisation in order to increase their independence and chances of success. AP hired 10 Peace Fellows this summer that will work with chosen CBOs on particular projects. During our training in Washington, our group produced a 2018 promotion video, that you can visualize here as it will surely be much more effective to explain AP and our fellowships.

Why am I in Nepal & what will I do?

I am in Nepal for 6 months because I applied for one of AP’s fellowship with a Nepalese NGO called CONCERN (Concern for children & environment Nepal). It has been fighting various forms of child labour since 1994. I will work with CONCERN on a campaign that supports 50 children that have been rescued from brick factories and put back in school. Since CONCERN works with 7 schools in the Kathmandu Valley, I will be conducting a report on this 50 children project, meeting all the children, their families, and teachers, updating the data collection, telling stories about these children and their new life at school (without bricks), potentially producing a documentary on child labour in brick kilns, training CONCERN’s staff about IT and social media, and (of course) raising funds!

The centre of Thamel, the most touristic area of Kathmandu, where “Yes Madam, Rikshaw”, and “Taxi Madam, taxi” stream in from every direction. (Kathmandu/LC)

 

Starting with a success story

CONCERN’s founder & director, Bijaya, and the chief of finances, Prakash, took me on a field trip right at the beginning, but it was not a visit to a school or to the families which are supported by CONCERN as I would have expected. I went to Panauti, a town in Kavrepalanchok district, because CONCERN was closing the field office there. Opened in 2008, the office was coordinated by Jayaram. Within 10 years, CONCERN managed to eradicate child labour in the stone quarries of Panauti, Khopassi and Salandu Bagar. 350 children from more than 300 stone quarries have been rescued. CONCERN supported poor families with goat farming, gardening and sewing training in order to reduce poverty and consequently child labour. To be sure that the stone quarries of Paunauti area remain free from child exploitation, Prakash, Bijaya and Jayaram are visiting them from time to time.

The town of Panauti, situated in the South-East of Kathmandu where CONCERN eradicated child labour in stone quarries within 10 years. (Panauti/LC)

 

Yesterday, as I was arriving at my office after my daily 45 minute walk by foot in the dust and exhaust emissions, one young boy crossed the street. A child-porter, far too weak to carry the heavy charge on his back and his forehead. Was it a bag of rice, potatoes, cement or sand? I don’t know, but no child should be subjected to forced labour.

Starting with a success story might be a message of hope. But there is still so much to do. I will do everything in these 6 months to make sure that these rescued 50 children keep going to school and don’t go back to the kilns.

A man is unloading bricks arriving from the factories in the courtyard from a street in Nhyokha. (Kathmandu/LC)

 

I hope I will manage to touch you with all my further blog posts, videos & podcasts. Maybe I will bring tears to your eyes or make you smile, I hope to at but least get your attention on this deep rooted problem that is child labour.

Stay tuned!

 

Posted By Lara Cerosky (Nepal)

Posted Jun 14th, 2018

22 Comments

  • Samantha Givens

    June 14, 2018

     

    Hi Lara! Thank you for such a great post, I look forward to your upcoming stories!

    • Lara Cerosky (Nepal)

      June 15, 2018

       

      Thanks Samantha! 🙂

  • Julia Grunert

    June 15, 2018

     

    Hi Lara, good start for this Success Story ! Will look forward for the next blog posts.

    • Lara Cerosky (Nepal)

      June 15, 2018

       

      I hope you’ll look forward to the next ones! Since you have the exact website now 😉

  • Tristan Cerosky

    June 15, 2018

     

    Super début, j’attends la suite avec impatience

    • Lara Cerosky (Nepal)

      June 15, 2018

       

      Merci d’y avoir jeté un coup d’oeil 😀

  • Nity Jaiswal

    June 15, 2018

     

    Lara thanks for sharing your insights and the beautiful pictures from Nepal. Looking forward to read more about your experiences. Good Luck!

    • Lara Cerosky (Nepal)

      June 15, 2018

       

      Thank you Nity! I hope I will make many more pictures because Nepal has so much to offer!

  • Bubbelchen

    June 17, 2018

     

    Very good start Lara, I wish you the necessary power of endurance and will be looking forward to the following posts!

    • Lara Cerosky (Nepal)

      June 17, 2018

       

      Haha Mr. M., I appreciate! I look forward to see you in Nepal actually 😉

  • Bijaua

    June 19, 2018

     

    Lara good start…. thank you.

    • Lara Cerosky (Nepal)

      June 19, 2018

       

      Daniyavad Bijaya! But you should look at my blog #2, it shows photos of you!

  • Ali West

    June 20, 2018

     

    Lara, great first post! The photos you included are absolutely beautiful.

    • Lara Cerosky (Nepal)

      June 21, 2018

       

      Thanks a lot Ali! I’m glad you liked them 🙂

  • Corinne Cummings

    June 20, 2018

     

    Hi, Lara. I am one of AP’s new interns. It’s a pleasure to meet you via your blog posts. The layout of this blog post was great; I enjoyed the breakdown provided by including some information on AP, why and what you will be doing in Nepal, and providing a success story for the reader. I have heard of CONCERN before, and I am glad to hear that you will be conjoining efforts with them as you tackle child labor in Nepal. The work that you are doing, as a result, will make a difference–a difference that we need more than ever in our world. Good luck and I look forward to hearing about the progress you are making with CONCERN. Best wishes, Corinne.

    • Lara Cerosky (Nepal)

      June 21, 2018

       

      Namaste Corinne 🙂 Nice to meet you through my first blog 😉 I hope I will be able to give CONCERN, and especially the kids, a voice to speak out what they are going through today in the kilns, or what they went through now that they are enrolled in school with CONCERN’s help. I really hope that at the end of my 6 months fellowship, I would have made a difference!

  • Princia Vas

    July 2, 2018

     

    Hi Lara! Thank you for taking us through CONCERN and the work you will be doing with them for the next for the next 6 months! Good luck and I look forward to reading more of your posts 🙂

    • Lara Cerosky (Nepal)

      July 14, 2018

       

      Hi Princia! Thanks for reading!

  • Iain Guest

    July 8, 2018

     

    Great opening blog and wonderful photos! I think you and Nepal are going to be a great mix!

    • Lara Cerosky (Nepal)

      July 14, 2018

       

      Namaste Iain! Thanks, I hope we will be a great mix too 😉

  • Marsha

    July 11, 2018

     

    Hi Laura. Great to read! And lookIng forward to learning more about the work you are doing. Bleib Gesund!

    • Lara Cerosky (Nepal)

      July 14, 2018

       

      Danke Marsha!

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