In the foothills of the Himalayas, there are many communities that live day by day. In Nepal, there are villages where there is no electricity and sanitary facilities. Some of these villages outside Kathmandu are also located in rough terrain that is frequently destroyed by floods. This is the environment that 15-year-old Hari lives in.
Hari was not regular to school. He was frequently ill and shown to the Shamam, the community spiritual leader. His meals were irregular and usually unhygienic. The family could barely make ends meet.
In many communities that struggle such as Hari’s, people look for hope. A help from others. Locals have the tendency to believe that speaking to a foreigner gives them a higher status. From a parent’s perspective, a child’s future could be seen in a brighter light if they are exposed to other cultures. This was not the case for Hari.
A perpetrator lured the child with the promise of clothes and food at the time of the local festival. Once he used these as bait, Hari fell in his trap and was abused regularly. Poverty and false social beliefs put the child at further risk.
With information from a community member, Hari was identified by Saathi (a partner organisation of Terre des Hommes Netherlands). Staff from Saathi repeatedly visited his community and provided him with educational support and counselling with him and his mother. The Saathi team also assisted with identifying the perpetrator and a case was filed against him.
Hari was transferred to a high-school in Kathmandu, where he is now focusing on his studies and playing football. As a child on the verge of dropping out of school.
Recovery from child abuse will be a long process therefore, Hari will continue to receive counselling and support with his education. He is grateful that Saathi and Tdh-NL’s support is there in all circumstances. This has increased his self-esteem and self-confidence. His brother is also appreciative of the support that was provided to help change his brother’s future for the better.
Hari likes to help others and is presently supporting other child abuse survivors. He provided support by sharing his experiences to his peers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Too often sex offenders who assault children in Asia walk away without prosecution. Local police forces often do not have the capacity to investigate these cases and collecting evidence can be very hard. This is why Terre des Hommes trains private detectives to track down Western and local child sex offenders, so that children can grow up in a safer environment. This approach is based on the succesfull method of projectpartner APLE in Cambodia, Indonesia, The Philippines, India and Nepal. This project, named Project WATCH (Working Actively Together for Children), is supported by the Nationale Postcode Loterij.