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The problem with orphan homes in Nepal is that they all have children with living parents. Volunteerism is the biggest money-making scheme in Nepal.
Right, so let’s get down to the nit-and-gritty. There are two pressing issues why children are being placed into orphan homes.
We are aware of the situation surrounding widowed and abandoned mothers. However, child trafficking is a whole new can of worms.
Following two leads, I contacted two organizations that are involved. But just like the Embassy, they too cannot get involved on a personal level. It would jeopardize their current projects going on in the country.
The situation is much deeper than any of us could imagine. People in power convince small villages to trust them with their children. The families pay 20,000 Rs (US$233) to send their child to a private boarding school in Kathmandu. However, once the trafficker and the child reach Kathmandu, the girls are sold to India for prostitution while the boys are taken to Orphan Homes. The orphan home directors on ‘in’ on this operation. They gladly accept the child (even though they fully have knowledge of their living parents). They accept the children because they can make money off the volunteers who come to Nepal. They over-charge the Westerner money to volunteer claiming this is for rent, food, and utilities. This amount is sometimes double or triple the actual cost to run one of these homes.
In other cases, the boys (particularly around the age of 12) are also sold to India, but in this case it’s for their organs.