Lina* is a happy and friendly three-year-old girl with an infectious laugh. But had it not been for the team at 3 Angels Nepal (3AN), Lina’s story would have been very different.
“Lina is a dear little girl who had just learned to walk when she first came,” says Helen Eager, who met Lina when she was first brought to the 3AN Children’s Home. “Her father has passed away and her mother is currently in a Nepali prison, where Lina also lived.”
With a 20-year prison sentence, Lina’s mother did not want Lina to grow-up in a prison environment, lacking access to quality or guaranteed education, health care, and sanitation. While parting from her only child was difficult, Lina’s mother gratefully took the opportunity for Lina to be cared for by the trusted 3AN family. Lina – like many of her other ‘siblings’ – loves her new ‘parents’ very much, and feels at ease in her new home.
Asian Aid’s partner 3 Angels Nepal are dedicated to rescuing children from the harsh conditions of the Nepali prisons, and providing them with family care. Despite the positive impact their work is doing, the 3AN staff understand that it is impossible to rescue all children. To address the issue on a larger scale, 3AN have been advocating to the Nepali government to ensure improved child-rights are achieved in the prisons. After presenting the Nepali government with a model to ensure a child’s rights in prisons, 3AN were recently recognised for their efforts.
3AN’s experience of working with innocent ‘prison’ children paid off, when 3AN were requested by the government to take the lead in modelling how to ensure children’s rights in the prisons are preserved.
On June 14, 2014, the team from 3AN and the Government of Nepal for the Kaski District participated in the inaugural ground-breaking ceremony where the foundation for a child-friendly apartment was laid. Once the building is completed, it will act as a model for a special of type ‘In-prison Child-care’.
“Representatives from the local government ensured that they will implement this model to all 75 districts of Nepal,” says Rajendra Gautam, the founder and director of 3AN.
* Name changed