MAR 16, 2012 – It was long ago i had watched a television program named “Mero Jindagi Mero Biswas” Produced by Nepal’s well-known journalist Vijay Kumar Panday. I was thrilled with the emotion and affection that a young girl merely crossed her twenties came up with a noble thoughts and determination to rescue children from Jails of Nepal where they are behind bars for the crime of their mothers. Mothers are criminals by law but what was the crime those innocent children’s? The answer was unknown and no one to look after those children accepts their criminal mothers. This young girl who tried to rescue and give them a brighter future ahead are rewarded with thousands of like minded people who constantly donating few Rupees and helping her cause to succeed. Here is a story to watch and understand for all of us. Please watch the video below and open your heart to support her today.
My Life My Belief: Pushpa Basnet
Pushpa Mammu :
Bringing children out of jails and into education : Tedx speech 2013
History of Early Childhood Development Center:
Founder Pushpa Basnet grew up in Kathmandu. She attended Kathmandu University where she took courses in social work. One of these courses involved a field trip to a women’s prison in Kathmandu. For the first time, Pushpa discovered children lived inside prisons in Nepal with their incarcerated parents. One child named Sanu Kanchi stayed in Pushpa’s mind after she left the prison. “I am a person who has come from a good background in which I was lucky to have all the things i wanted, but seeing these kids with nothing made me question “Why?” and “What can I do for them?”
In 2005, Pushpa founded The Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC), a registered non-profit in Nepal. At first, ECDC took care of 5 children under the age of 6. ECDC would care for these children during the day but return them to their mothers at night. “Maintaining this attachment with the mother, especially at this age, is imperative,” Pushpa said.
Seven years later, Pushpa runs a residential home and kindergarten program for children ages 2 through 17. ECDC has provided alternative residence, school enrollment, nutritious meals, medical care, and a nurturing home for over 100 children.
Through a grant from Change Fusion Nepal, Pushpa started a program to teach incarcerated mothers income-generating activities. Mothers work inside the prisons to create handicrafts and Waldorf dolls that can be sold to support ECDC.
ECDC does more than enroll the children in private schools and provide routine medical check-ups. Pushpa strives to create an atmosphere of innovation and excitement at the residential home. The children take classes with local entrepreneurs and volunteers, learning painting, yoga, music, gardening, documentary film making, languages, and computers.
“It is not just about you living, you have to try to make your world a better place,” said Pushpa. “If I give them good education and everything, tomorrow there will be less crime. They won’t be facing the same thing that their parents are facing. These children have opportunities because they are educated.”
What Does ECDC do?
“Freedom for Every Inmate’s Child”
In Nepal, if a woman goes to prison and none of her relatives can care for her children, the children often accompany their mother to prison. Children grow up in the confines of jail cells without access to education, proper nutrition, warm clothing, and medical care.
The Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC) in Kathmandu, Nepal was founded in 2005 by Pushpa Basnet, a young Nepali woman who studied at Kathmandu University. ECDC coordinates with jail administrators to rescue children from jail cells throughout urban and rural areas of Nepal. The children receive regular medical check-ups, vaccinations, and are enrolled in a local private school. Children have regular visitation with their mothers including during the holidays.
ECDC’s program is divided between two facilities. The kindergarten center cares for children under the age of 5 years old during the day. These children are still deemed too young to sleep apart from their mothers, but they are permitted to leave the jail each day for daycare, including educational programs, games, and nutritious meals. Children over 5 live year-round at the residential home and attend a local school. There are currently 42 children living in the residential home and usually 5-7 children in the daycare center. The children’s mothers work in jail to support their children’s education. They make elaborate Waldorf dolls, jewelry, and bags that are sold to support their children’s education.
ECDC helps children break the cycle of crime and poverty, and provides these children with the opportunity for an education, healthy development, and stability in life.
Appeal Message from the Founder:
I am writing to you today in hopes that you, like I, will see the injustice these children are facing. To be blunt, they are being punished for a crime despite their obvious innocence.
Even in Nepal, the plight of the imprisoned children is relatively unknown. I first learned about this issue while on a trip to a jail in Kathmandu as part of my course for a degree in social service. Inside one cell I noticed a small girl and exclaimed, “What is a child doing in prison?”She stared at me listlessly; her eyes seemed to plead for freedom. After that emotional encounter, I made it my mission to look after these children. Thirty-seven children now call me “Pushpa Mummy,” and I am devoted to them. Where social justice has failed them, love will not abandon.
The work of ECDC is growing in new and exciting ways. Where before we could only provide day services, we now have a residential home thanks to compassionate donors and increased fundraising efforts. We hope to develop even further to help not only the children in Kathmandu prisons but others throughout Nepal.
Please join us on this journey to help children realize a brighter future, where innocence is preserved and their own justice served.
To support Her with your contribution please Visit ECDC Official Website.