Joty Sohi (Nepal)

Prior to her fellowship, Joty earned a BA from the Rutgers University and an MA from City University London. Joty interned at the British Red Cross where she educated London’s youth on International Humanitarian issues. Joty has also worked at local and State level organizations developing and executing programs for individuals with special needs. After the fellowship, she wrote: "It has opened my eyes to what it's like to work abroad for a smaller Non-profit. The best experience for me was to see through an actual project and get it done." Contact: jsohi@advocacynet.org



“Yes I make Bricks!!!”

24 Aug

http://www.advocacynet.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/IMG_0050-300×200.jpg, http://www.advocacynet.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/IMG_0067-141×300.jpg, http://www.advocacynet.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/IMG_0043-300×200.jpg

It had been a long day and I could see the team’s energy
slowly draining. He must have been our fifth or sixth interview of the day. It
had reached the point where the thought of interviewing one more child just
seemed too exhausting. Please no misunderstandings here; have an opportunity to
interview the kids was great and obviously necessary. However after awhile the task
to conduct the interviews become increasingly challenging. The kids were shy,
reserved, and fearful rightfully so as they were pretty much being interrogated
by complete strangers on what some might see as very personal matters. And
sometimes it seemed as though they were just telling us what we wanted to hear,
or what they thought was the right answer. With the heat slowly draining us of our
energy and our hunger slowly making its presence known. 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 in to 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. 

Rupesh was directed to a chair opposite me, he took a seat
with ease and so we began his interview. He spoke with such honesty, and no
reserve of offending anyone. Even to the questions that many of the older kids
had found difficult to answer. When asked if he had ever worked in the kilns to
help make bricks? His smile encompassed half of his face “Yes I make bricks!” A
stare was exchanged between the people in the room before everyone broke out
into laughter, Rupesh’s openness was amusing and the only thing we could do was
laugh at his directness. The smile on his face grew even larger: he knew he had
us hooked. Can you show us? I asked. And he did just that; he began to
demonstrate the process of how he made bricks alongside his parents. Even
though I knew it was wrong that he was partaking in child labor, I found his
reenactment of the whole thing incredibly adorable.

The question arose in the group, is he or isn’t he partaking
in child labor in the brick factories? Rupesh is obviously producing bricks,
even though it is only handful a day. As wages are based on the total bricks
produced in a day, Rupesh’s handful of bricks don’t make a significant impact on
the families income, not yet at least. The primary function of Rupesh being in
the kilns seems to be so his parents can keep an eye on him while they work. Rupesh’s
family is aware that bringing him to the factory is equally if not more
dangerous. Every inch of the kilns is a safety hazard, especially for a 5-year-old
boy. “What else can I do?” Rupesh’s mother asked. 

http://www.advocacynet.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/IMG_0078-200×300.jpg

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It had been a long day and I could see the team\u2019s energy\nslowly draining. He must have been our fifth or sixth interview of the day. It\nhad reached the point where the thought of interviewing one more child just\nseemed too exhausting. Please no misunderstandings here; have an opportunity to\ninterview the kids was great and obviously necessary. However after awhile the task\nto conduct the interviews become increasingly challenging. The kids were shy,\nreserved, and fearful rightfully so as they were pretty much being interrogated\nby complete strangers on what some might see as very personal matters. And\nsometimes it seemed as though they were just telling us what we wanted to hear,\nor what they thought was the right answer. With the heat slowly draining us of our\nenergy and our hunger slowly making its presence known. All the questions and\nanswers began mixing into one and the same; the thought of another interview\nseemed almost too much to handle. That is until Rupesh walked in to the room\nwith poise, swag, and a demeanor about him that pulled you in. He was the polar\nopposite of every other child we had met with that day, he came into the room\nwith a certain confidence, not an ounce of fear in this boy. Such a personality\nfor such a young age, he was only 5 years old. He brought me to a state of\ncomplete wonder, in a point of the day I needed it the most.  <\/p>

Rupesh was directed to a chair opposite me, he took a seat\nwith ease and so we began his interview. He spoke with such honesty, and no\nreserve of offending anyone. Even to the questions that many of the older kids\nhad found difficult to answer. When asked if he had ever worked in the kilns to\nhelp make bricks? His smile encompassed half of his face \u201cYes I make bricks!\u201d A\nstare was exchanged between the people in the room before everyone broke out\ninto laughter, Rupesh\u2019s openness was amusing and the only thing we could do was\nlaugh at his directness. The smile on his face grew even larger: he knew he had\nus hooked. Can you show us? I asked. And he did just that; he began to\ndemonstrate the process of how he made bricks alongside his parents. Even\nthough I knew it was wrong that he was partaking in child labor, I found his\nreenactment of the whole thing incredibly adorable. <\/p>

\n\n\n\n<\/p>

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Posted By Joty Sohi (Nepal)

Posted Aug 24th, 2015

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