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Education • Nepal • 2021
“My life has changed a lot since attending the project. I thought I would never be able to continue my education and that I would have to be on the street my entire life to earn a living.” Tej

Children working on the streets

15-year-old Tej regularly attends the Toybox-funded project The Bridge and has first-hand experience of the overwhelming pressures associated with unexpectedly becoming his family’s sole earner.

When SathSath’s outreach team first met Tej he was working on the city streets of Kathmandu. Over time, as Tej began to trust and open up to them, he told them about his background and his reasons for ending up on the street. He explained that after the sudden and unexpected death of his father, his mother’s mental health had suffered which resulted in her being unable to work and provide an income for the family. In the absence of his father and as the eldest child, Tej felt a strong sense of responsibility towards his mother and younger sister and took on the role of primary breadwinner. For around seven months Tej spent much of his time away from the family home, both living and working on the streets collecting scrap metal and as a result was unable attend school.

Street life in the time of covid

When the pandemic hit, Tej was unable to work at all. With no source of income, he was left in a situation where he was unable to buy any food to feed himself or his family. During this time, SathSath were able to offer additional support to his family, supplying them with emergency food packages, hygiene kits as well as counselling to support their mental health and help them process the death of a husband and father.

A future away from the streets

With the regular, ongoing care and guidance he received from the outreach team at this challenging time, Tej decided to become involved in The Bridge project where he has been receiving support with his studies as well as basic school supplies such as stationery and school uniform. Thanks this invaluable support, he has also enrolled back at school.

When he’s not studying, Tej spends his time helping his mother around the house as well as working alongside her with local landowners who grow and harvest crops.

Tej has been enjoying his return to school and is now determined to complete his studies to enable him to fulfil his plans to join the Army in the future and support his family.

“My life has changed a lot since attending the project. I thought I would never be able to continue my education and that I would have to be on the street my entire life to earn a living. Now I am free from my life on the streets and can live my life again by enrolling back at school. The sorrow we went through after the death of my father brought many changes in our lives and the counselling for me and my mother has helped a lot. Now, hope for doing something positive has built up inside me. I am happy that I am able to study and have a better future.” Tej

You can help a street child in Nepal to get back to school by giving the gift of a stationery pack or school uniform, find out more.

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