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11-December-2014
NGN Releases Report Linking Orphanage Volunteering to Child Trafficking


© Eric B. Wilson/Next Generation Nepal
 

December 11, 2014—Next Generation Nepal (NGN) has launched its long-awaited report showing that volunteering in orphanages in Nepal is in fact fueling child trafficking.

The report, “The Paradox of Orphanage Volunteering: Combating Child Trafficking through Ethical Voluntourism,” shows that orphanages in Nepal contain over 15,000 children, yet at least two out of three of these children are not orphans. NGN claims that many of these children are being kept in “orphanages” because they are being used as poverty commodities to raise money from well-intentioned but naïve fee-paying foreign volunteers and donors. Indeed, almost 90 percent of “orphanages” in Nepal are located in the top five tourist districts for this reason.

The report reviews the history of orphanage trafficking which stems back to the Karnali region during the civil war when parents looked to traffickers to help their children escape forced conscription into the Maoist rebel army. It argues that the ban by Western nations on inter-country adoptions in 2010 shifted the focus by criminal groups away from “selling” children for adoption toward “selling” opportunities to volunteers and donors to support orphanages. The report also shows how most orphanages in Nepal do not meet the Government's legal standards, and that abuse and exploitation children in such places are commonplace.

The report analyzes the growing global phenomenon of voluntourism and argues that it is driven by a range of altruistic and self-interest-based motives, and that it has the potential to bring benefits to communities as well as cause considerable harm. It reviews examples of ethical volunteering in Nepal and internationally which others can learn from. NGN advises against orphanage volunteering but makes a number of recommendations to the tourism industry, Government of Nepal, civil society, media and academia and the diplomatic community on how to address orphanage trafficking and improve ethical voluntourism opportunities.

The report was published with support from Forget Me Not, ADRA Nepal and other donors. The report was launched in collaboration with UNICEF Nepal.

The report can be downloaded here:

The Paradox of Orphanage Volunteering
Combating child trafficking through ethical voluntourism

About Next Generation Nepal
Next Generation Nepal is a nonprofit organization dedicated to reconnecting trafficked children with their families. Founded in 2006 by Conor Grennan and Farid Ait-Mansour, NGN has linked over 400 trafficked children in its care to their home communities in post-conflict Nepal through a careful process of reconnection and reunification. With offices in New York City and Kathmandu, NGN oversees a small program staff implementing an ambitious strategic plan for growth and maximum impact. NGN works through its committed implementing partner, The Himalayan Innovative Society (THIS), which has over 10 years of experience in child rights and family reunification in Nepal. NGN and THIS use innovative methods to build trust, counsel, stimulate memory and search for the parents of trafficked children.

For more information, visit: www.nextgenerationnepal.org or Facebook.

Media Information

Contact: Conor Grennan

Email: info@nextgenerationnepal.org
Website: http://nextgenerationnepal.org

Address: Next Generation Nepal, P.O. Box 5583, Eugene, OR, 97405


Next Generation Nepal Assists in Rescue of 18 Children from Squalor and Neglect


Photo ©Next Generation Nepal
 

November 10, 2013—Next Generation Nepal (NGN), assisted in the rescue of 18 malnourished children from an exploitative children’s home. All 18 children had to sleep in one small filthy room, sometimes with no more than a bowl of popcorn for a meal. The home did not have enough water to wash the children and its one toilet was not cleaned for weeks. The youngest child is 2 years old.

The 18 children were released from the home near Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, on November 10 at 6:43 p.m. All children were brought to the safety of the NGN-funded transitional home that same evening. One 13-year-old boy was immediately hospitalized with chronic malnutrition.

Under NGN’s care, the children will be provided with food, shelter, medical care and education while NGN begins the search for their families.

"This is one of the worst cases of child neglect that NGN has ever seen. These children were brought to an illegal children’s home where the owners barely allowed them to survive in conditions of absolute squalor,” says NGN Country Director Martin Punaks. “Rescues are terrifying experiences for children, and NGN now has a long journey ahead to restore these children’s trust and health. Only then we can begin the process of finding their families, and the information we have suggests that all these children have living families.”

It is estimated that over 11,000 children live in children’s homes and “orphanages” in Nepal, and two out of three of these children have at least one living parent (Central Child Welfare Board, Nepal 2008; UNICEF/Terres de Hommes, 2008; Central Child Welfare Board/ Amici Dei Bambini, 2008). Next Generation Nepal exists to re-connect children with parents who often believe their children have been lost to them.

NGN does not receive government funding and will be initiating an appeal for funds this month. Donations can be made towards NGN’s work of caring for these children and its groundbreaking efforts to find the families of lost children in Nepal by visiting www.nextgenerationnepal.org/Donate_Online.

About Next Generation Nepal
Next Generation Nepal is a nonprofit organization dedicated to reconnecting trafficked children with their families. Founded in 2006 by Conor Grennan and Farid Ait-Mansour, NGN has linked over 400 trafficked children in its care to their home communities in post-conflict Nepal through a careful process of reconnection and reunification. With offices in New York City and Kathmandu, NGN oversees a small program staff implementing an ambitious strategic plan for growth and maximum impact. NGN works through its committed implementing partner, The Himalayan Innovative Society (THIS), which has over 10 years of experience in child rights and family reunification in Nepal. NGN and THIS use innovative methods to build trust, counsel, stimulate memory and search for the parents of trafficked children.

For more information, visit: www.nextgenerationnepal.org or Facebook.

Media Information

Contact: Conor Grennan

Email: info@nextgenerationnepal.org
Website: http://nextgenerationnepal.org

Address: Next Generation Nepal, P.O. Box 5583, Eugene, OR, 97405

1-July-2013
8 Rescued Children Walk to Freedom

Photo ©Eva Capozzola
Photo ©Next Generation Nepal

July 1, 2013 – After 11 months of painstaking negotiations and campaigning from Next Generation Nepal (NGN), eight children are rescued from a children’s home where horrific abuses took place.

The eight children were released on June 6 at 11:30 a.m. from the home near the Nepal/India border and were brought to the safety of the NGN-funded transitional home in Kathmandu. Some of the children have gum and skin infections and medical attention is being provided as a priority.

At the NGN home, the children will receive care, love and education while NGN begins the search for their families. The children are 5 to 9 years old, and all have some recollection of their parents.

"These children were kept in a home where horrific abuses took place, and continuous obstacles were put in the way of their fundamental right to find their families,” says NGN Country Director Martin Punaks. “We will have a difficult job ahead of us gaining the children’s trust, helping them to heal and beginning the long road to finding their mothers and fathers.”

It is estimated that over 11,000 children live in children’s homes and “orphanages” in Nepal, and two out of three of these children have at least one living parent (Central Child Welfare Board, Nepal 2008; UNICEF/Terres de Hommes, 2008; Central Child Welfare Board/ Amici Dei Bambini, 2008). Next Generation Nepal exists to re-connect children with parents who believe their children have been lost to them.

NGN does not receive government funding and relies on the kind donations of supporters. Donations can be made towards NGN’s groundbreaking efforts to find the families of lost children in Nepal by visiting www.nextgenerationnepal.org/Donate_Online.

About Next Generation Nepal
Next Generation Nepal is a nonprofit organization dedicated to reconnecting trafficked children with their families. Founded in 2006 by Conor Grennan and Farid Ait-Mansour, NGN has linked trafficked children in its care to their home communities in post-conflict Nepal through a careful process of reconnection and reunification. With offices in New York City and Kathmandu, NGN oversees a small program staff implementing an ambitious strategic plan for growth and maximum impact. NGN works through its committed implementing partner, The Himalayan Innovative Society (THIS), which has 20 years of experience in child rights and family reunification in Nepal. NGN and THIS use innovative methods to build trust, counsel, stimulate memory and search for the parents of trafficked children.

For more information, visit: www.nextgenerationnepal.org or Facebook.

Media Information
Contact: Conor Grennan
Email: info@nextgenerationnepal.org
Website: http://nextgenerationnepal.org
Address: Next Generation Nepal, P.O. Box 5583, Eugene, OR, 97405

 

 

4-December-2012
BREAKING NEWS – 20 girls who had been denied access to their families for at least six years have been released from an exploitative children's home in Kathmandu where they had been subjected to violence.

Photo ©Eva Capozzola
Photo ©Eva Capozzola

Dec 4, 2012 – The release was secured by Australian NGO Forget Me Not with support from Next Generation Nepal (NGN) and local partner The Himalayan Innovative Society (THIS). “I am so happy to be far away from those people and to be in a new place, starting a new life with new dreams,” said Bhagavati, age 14. “This is the first day of the rest of our lives.”

Full details of the girls' origins are still unknown, but it appears that many of them were trafficked to the capital, Kathmandu, from their villages during Nepal's civil conflict. The girls range in age from 9 to 16 and all express a strong desire to reconnect with their relatives, so NGN will now work alongside Forget Me Not to trace the girls' families.

Forget Me Not had been supporting the children’s home for six years. However, only after appointing a Country Director in Nepal, Eva Capozzola, did it become apparent that the home's managers in Nepal were using the home as a means for financial gain. Capozzola quickly identified abuses and reported them to the Forget Me Not board of Directors in Australia. From that point on she was denied access to the children and received personal threats from the home’s managers.

"It was a harrowing time,” said Capozzola. “For the protection of the girls, mobile phones were smuggled into the home and we had escape plans in place if threats of violence escalated. The girls showed tremendous resilience throughout it all.”

"It is a heartbreaking case," said Martin Punaks, NGN's Country Director. "Twenty girls had been denied the right of access to their own families. I applaud Forget Me Not for realizing what was happening and acting quickly to help the girls gain their freedom”.

Now, with the girls safe, NGN will work with Forget Me Not to trace the girls' families and, as far as possible, reconnect and reunify them. “We need our families—we need to know them," said Gita, age 16.

There are over 15,000 children living in “orphanages” in Nepal, but more than two-thirds of these children are not orphans. Eight-five percent of these “orphanages” are in the main tourist hubs of Nepal and NGN believes that many are being used as profit-making enterprises to raise funds from tourists and charities.

About Next Generation Nepal
Next Generation Nepal is a nonprofit organization dedicated to reconnecting trafficked children with their families. Founded in 2006 by Conor Grennan and Farid Ait-Mansour, NGN has linked trafficked children in its care to their home communities in post-conflict Nepal through a careful process of reconnection and reunification. With offices in New York City and Kathmandu, NGN oversees a small program staff implementing an ambitious strategic plan for growth and maximum impact. The founding of NGN is chronicled in the current international bestseller from HarperCollins, “Little Princes: One Man’s Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal” by NGN founder Conor Grennan.

For more information, visit: www.nextgenerationnepal.org or Facebook.

Media Information
Contact: Conor Grennan
Email: info@nextgenerationnepal.org
Website: http://nextgenerationnepal.org
Address: Next Generation Nepal, P.O. Box 5583, Eugene, OR, 97405

 

 

25-June-2012
Next Generation Nepal Names Ani Anna Howe as Executive Director for our U.S.-based Headquarters

Martin PunaksJun 25, 2012 – Next Generation Nepal is happy to welcome back a very dear member of our family, Ani Anna Howe. Anna, who has over 17 years of experience working in Nepal and who has previously served as NGN’s Nepal Country Director, has been appointed NGN’s new Executive Director for our U.S. operations.

Anna’s long history in Nepal began in 1994, when she moved there to start a nonprofit organization called Nepal Outreach, which worked to provide water systems and healthcare education to young women in remote areas of Nepal.

But being in Nepal throughout the country’s vicious civil war exposed Anna to many atrocities and eventually led her to a different calling – that of helping children who had been trafficked from their families for exploitation.

For 10 years, Anna worked independently to rescue children in destitute conditions and bring them to safety, before taking a management position with an INGO in Kathmandu working in this field. Through that position, she met NGN founders Conor Grennan and Farid Ait-Mansour, with whom she shared the belief that these trafficked children, who had survived so much trauma and abuse, had a higher need to be reunited with their families. Contributing her knowledge and expertise, she was an instrumental strategic advisor in the creation of NGN. She also previously served as NGN’s Nepal Country Director in 2007.

In addition to her extensive background working on the issue of child trafficking in Nepal, Anna was named a recipient of the Unsung Heroes Award in 2005, which is presented by the H.H. Dalai Lama and recognizes individuals from around the world who give their heart and soul to help others.

 

About Next Generation Nepal 
Next Generation Nepal is a nonprofit organization dedicated to reconnecting trafficked children with their families. Founded in 2006 by Conor Grennan and Farid Ait-Mansour, NGN has linked trafficked children in its care to their home communities in post-conflict Nepal through a careful process of reconnection and reunification. With offices in New York City and Kathmandu, NGN oversees a small program staff implementing an ambitious strategic plan for growth and maximum impact. The founding of NGN is chronicled in the current international bestseller from HarperCollins, “Little Princes: One Man’s Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal” by NGN founder Conor Grennan.

For more information, visit: www.nextgenerationnepal.org or Facebook.

Media Information
Contact: Conor Grennan
Email: info@nextgenerationnepal.org
Website: http://nextgenerationnepal.org
Address: Next Generation Nepal, P.O. Box 5583, Eugene, OR, 97405

 

 

24-February-2012
Next Generation Nepal Names Martin Punaks as Our New Nepal Country Director

Martin PunaksFeb 24, 2012 – Next Generation Nepal is excited to announce the appointment of our new Nepal Country Director, Martin Punaks! Martin brings with him more than 12 years of experience working in the field of children’s rights, with a strong focus in South Asia.

Originally hailing from the U.K., Martin served as the Head of Resource Mobilization for Bachpan Bachao Andolan, India’s largest child rights and anti-trafficking organization, in New Delhi. He’s also served as the Director of Advocacy and Partnerships for Backward Society Education in Kathmandu. Both of these grassroots organizations work to combat child trafficking into the labor force and address the issue at its root causes. In addition, Martin spent three years with Charities Evaluation Services in London, where he advised not-for-profit organizations on good management practices. He also remains one of the authors of PQASSO, the U.K.’s leading not-for-profit management tool.

Martin has an MA with Distinction in the Anthropology of Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, and he has had a close relationship with South Asia since his youth, having volunteered with Nepali, Tibetan and Punjabi communities in India and Pakistan and Bangladeshi communities in the UK.

From his academic, work, and volunteer experience, Martin has developed not only an extensive knowledge base of child trafficking in South Asia, but is personally dedicated to the issue of children’s rights. We could not be happier that he will be continuing his passionate work in this field as a member of our team.

We welcome Martin to the NGN family!

About Next Generation Nepal
Next Generation Nepal is a nonprofit organization dedicated to reconnecting trafficked children with their families. Founded in 2006 by Conor Grennan and Farid Ait-Mansour, NGN has linked trafficked children in its care to their home communities in post-conflict Nepal through a careful process of reconnection and reunification. With offices in New York City and Kathmandu, NGN oversees a small program staff implementing an ambitious strategic plan for growth and maximum impact. The founding of NGN is chronicled in the current international bestseller from HarperCollins, “Little Princes: One Man’s Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal” by NGN founder Conor Grennan.

For more information, visit: www.nextgenerationnepal.org or Facebook.

Media Information
Contact: Conor Grennan
Email: info@nextgenerationnepal.org
Website: http://nextgenerationnepal.org
Address: Next Generation Nepal, P.O. Box 5583, Eugene, OR, 97405

 

21-March-2011
Twenty Children Rescued from Illegal Orphanage in Nepal Are Now in Next Generation Nepal’s Care

20 children who had been beaten and starved while living in squalid and unhealthy conditions at an illegal orphanage in Mukti, Nepal, are under the care of Next Generation Nepal, a nonprofit that reconnects trafficked children with their families.

PRLog (Press Release) – Mar 21, 2011 – Twenty children who had been beaten and starved while living in squalid and unhealthy conditions at an illegal orphanage in Mukti, Nepal, are now under the care of Next Generation Nepal (http://www.nextgenerationnepal.org)  (NGN), a nonprofit that reconnects trafficked children with their families.

An orphanage volunteer alerted staff at Terre des Hommes International Federation, a Swiss nonprofit devoted to disadvantaged children, and Save the Children about the condition of the children. These organizations in turn alerted government authorities.

The transfer of the children was supervised by Nepal’s Central Child Welfare Board and the District Child Welfare Board—two agencies charged with child protection.

Fourteen of the children are girls and six are boys. The youngest is a 5-year-old boy and the oldest is a 15-year-old girl. The children were moved to NGN’s Karnali Home 1 in Kathmandu, one of two transitional homes for trafficked children operated by NGN. Karnali Home 2 is located in Humla, the remote district in far Western Nepal where most of the trafficked children in NGN’s care originate.

“The children are in a really bad shape,” says NGN Country Director Julien Lovera. “Most of them said they were happy to leave the orphanage even before they knew where they were going. A few asked me if they would continue to be beaten, whether they would still go hungry and whether they would be allowed to play football. We are trying our best to help them adjust.”

The orphanage volunteer whose concern and action led to the rescue has visited the children at NGN’s Karnali Home 1.

“It was a huge help for the kids to see her,” says Lovera. “I allowed her to stay with them for the night and for a few more days, if she wishes. She’s a great source of information about the children’s backgrounds.” 

The current residents of Karnali Home 1—eight adolescents under NGN’s guardianship who were also victims of trafficking— have lent an enthusiastic helping hand.

“Our kids have been just wonderful,” says Lovera. “They’ve been so caring, trying to make a difficult adjustment as smooth as possible. I am so proud of them.”

The children from the orphanage will remain in Karnali Home 1 as NGN begins the process of determining if the children have families, locating them, reconnecting them and stabilizing their futures.

“NGN is grateful to be able to play a part in the rescue of these children and provide them with the basic rights that every child deserves,” says NGN Executive Director Hallie Tamez. “This is who we are and what we do.”

Still, she adds, there are thousands of other children enduring similarly horrific situations at this very moment. NGN relies on individual donations to continue rescuing these children and reuniting them with their families.

About Next Generation Nepal
Next Generation Nepal is a nonprofit organization dedicated to reconnecting trafficked children with their families. Founded in 2006 by Conor Grennan and Farid Ait- Mansour, NGN has linked trafficked children in its care to their home communities in post-conflict Nepal through a careful process of reconnection and reunification. With offices in New York City and Kathmandu, NGN oversees a small program staff implementing an ambitious strategic plan for growth and maximum impact. The founding of NGN is chronicled in the current international bestseller from HarperCollins, “Little Princes: One Man’s Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal” by NGN founder Conor Grennan.

For more information, visit: www.nextgenerationnepal.org or Facebook.

Media Information
Contact: Conor Grennan
Email: info@nextgenerationnepal.org
Website: http://nextgenerationnepal.org
Address: Next Generation Nepal, P.O. Box 5583, Eugene, OR, 97405

 

10-March-2010
Innovative Program Returns 20 Trafficked Children Home to Their Families in Nepal

Thousands of children taken from Nepal’s rural villages by traffickers end up on the streets of Kathmandu. Through the efforts of Next Generation Nepal, a small nonprofit group, trafficked children are reconnected with their families and reunited with their communities. 

Online PR News –10-March 2010– Thanks to the reunification efforts of Next Generation Nepal (NGN), this April twenty children who had been taken from their families by child traffickers during the civil conflict and abandoned in Kathmandu will finally return to their families and home communities.

For the past five years, NGN and its partner organizations combating child trafficking have been caring for the children in Kathmandu, where they were first found. Now, Next Generation Nepal’s programs have expanded beyond merely caring for the children, and are successfully returning children to their families in rural Nepal when village and family assessments deem it advisable. This action is in accordance with the UN position on The Principle of Family Unity (2004) which states that: “All children have a right to a family, and families have a right to care for their children."

Next Generation Nepal has secured a spacious house in Simikot, in the far western region of Humla, which will serve as a transitional home for the children as the process of reconnection continues. Under the guidance and care of NGN, the children will attend school, participate in rural community life, visit regularly with family and learn the customs and traditions of their birth. “This is an enormous and historic undertaking. Moving these children from Kathmandu to their home district reflects the underlying belief of NGN: that each child has the right to be raised in their own family,” states Hallie Tamez, Executive Director for NGN.

The crisis of trafficked children in Nepal begins when traffickers deceive village families with offers to bring their children to the faraway capital of Kathmandu, where they will be given an education. Poor village families pay enormous sums for this supposed privilege. However, instead of being given an education the children are put up for illegal international adoptions, forced into slave labor, or simply abandoned on the streets. The children are often as young as three or four years old.

NGN has developed an innovative three-step approach to restoring families torn apart during the armed conflict. First, NGN Search Teams locate families of trafficked children through an intense search of remote mountainous areas, most of which are accessible only by foot. The team then reconnects them with letters, photos and visits. Finally, if conditions are deemed safe and appropriate, NGN reunites children with their home communities and families permanently. In this way, the children inherit the traditions of their society and rural villages have a chance to survive and thrive in the future.

NGN believes a future free from trafficking lies in respecting and supporting the traditions and potential in rural communities. NGN will continue to tackle the root causes of trafficking through sustainable community development programs in cooperation with local and international partners to ensure the future of education and life skills to children in rural Nepal.

Returning these 20 children home in 2010 represents a significant achievement for NGN in its mission to reconnect trafficked and displaced children with their families.

About the Organization:
Next Generation Nepal is a small non-profit organization working to reconnect trafficked children with their families. Founded in 2006 by Conor Grennan and Farid Ait- Mansour, and developed in collaboration with Conor’s wife, Elizabeth Grennan, NGN has linked trafficked children in their care to their home communities in post-conflict Nepal through a careful process of reconnection and reunification. With offices in both New York City and Kathmandu, NGN oversees a small program staff implementing an ambitious strategic plan for growth and maximum impact.

For more information, visit: www.nextgenerationnepal.org or Facebook.

Media Information
Contact: Conor Grennan
Email: info@nextgenerationnepal.org
Website: http://nextgenerationnepal.org
Address: Next Generation Nepal, P.O. Box 5583, Eugene, OR, 97405