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Birth Registration • Nepal • 2024
“We must be focused on our studies to build our careers, and we should not be hopeless about our future”

10 year old Rajani was born and has spent her childhood growing up in one of Kathmandu's slums. Like many children her age, she enjoys playing with friends, as well as dancing and reading. Yet, until relatively recently, Rajani had not been able to go to school, as her birth had never been registered.

A few years ago, Rajani's family came in contact with SathSath, Toybox's local partner in Nepal. When they heard that Rajani wasn't registered, the team supported and guided her family through the administrative processes associated with retrospectively registering their daughter.

Here, in her own words, Rajani shares her experience of becoming registered and explains the difference this had made in her life.

"I left my earlier school several times. As I did not have my birth certificate, I was not allowed to continue school or study. I used to spend my entire day playing in the streets. For me to get my birth registered, the process involved a lot of communication with village representatives as well as the identification of my father's relatives. A project team member went to my father's home village and initially made his birth registration and then later made my birth registration."

As well receiving support to get her birth certificate, Rajani has also been benefitting from attending the project's Learning Centre, where she has the opportunity to play with other children her age and participate in a variety of extra curricular activities. She continues, "Children in my community feel happy whenever we all play together - the happiest moment for us was at the Learning Centre!"

Speaking about the challenges she sees facing street children in Kathmandu, she continues, "Most of the children go to the street to beg for money, and some go to the riverside to collect wood like my father. People shout at them and sometimes they get into accidents, which makes me feel bad."

Now that Rajani has her birth certificate, it is clear she is determined to study hard to achieve her future goals. She concludes, "Now I have my birth certificate, I feel very happy. I can study with my friend! My education is really important to me - I want to complete my studies and be a good doctor, to look after needy people. We must value education - therefore we need to perform hard in school so that we fulfil our aspirations and have a good future."

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