The Words of the Weber Family
The Ambassadors for Peace Association of Virginia has launched a new Task Force; Global Orphan Outreach; Families for Children. The desire to help underprivileged children and orphans has been repeatedly expressed by Ambassadors for Peace, (AFPs) and many active AFPs are currently running projects which help orphans, or have done this type of work in the past. Specifically, due to a large and active group of Nepalese AFPs in VA, and the crisis of orphaned children in Nepal, the State Coordinator, Gail Paine, (and AFP, Debbie Mahen), traveled to Nepal in July 2008. The purpose of their trip was to establish a Sponsorship Program and Partnership with the orphanage, “Peace Children Home”.
Nepal has been struggling to implement democracy rule. For the past twelve years, there has been an intense period of conflict and bloodshed between political factions seeking to overthrow the monarchy. One of the tragic results of this struggle is that there are now thousands of orphans in Nepal.
After elections in April 2008, the first act of the Constituent Assembly was to abolish the 240-year-old monarchy. With that, there was finally a feeling of hope for peace, that Nepal would become stable. Universal Peace Federation (UPF) of Nepal was instrumental in the challenging job of bringing all the political factions to the peace table. UPF-USA is the sponsoring organization of the Ambassadors for Peace Associations.
Nepal is 12th on the list of the poorest countries of the world and is in great need of support and assistance. This past decade of conflict resulted in more than 16,000 deaths, and tens of thousands of people maimed and helpless. More than 80% of the men killed during these conflicts are from below the poverty line. Since Nepalese society is a male dominated society, the financial as well as the parenting responsibility goes to the father who is absolutely the head of the family. Thus, losing the family head creates a disastrous situation for the mother and especially the children. Moreover, instead of showing sympathy to the children with a deceased father, unfortunately, some sectors of the society look down upon them.
These fatherless children, in desperation, go to towns and cities in search of work. Many children are working as house servants, a situation which often is abusive, and exploitative. As many as 40,000 children have been displaced from their hometown residence and about 8,000 children have lost their parents and immediate relatives in the conflict (Child Workers in Nepal, CWIN, 2005).
The AFP Association of VA has formed a partnership with Service for Peace, (an affiliate of UPF International, a non-profit that is registered in Nepal) to create a sponsorship program connecting families in the USA with orphans in the “Peace Children Home”, an orphanage founded by Service for Peace. Peace Children Home is located in Sarlahi, a remote district in Nepal. There are 12 children there, and three staff members. All of the children study in the best school of Sarlahi. Most of them come within the top 10 in their classroom out of 35 total students. This orphanage is very unique in that these children have been gathered together with reconciliation in mind. The majority of the children have lost their fathers, and their mothers are unable to care for them.
Whether their father was killed by insurgents, government forces or hoodlums, the children are taught to love and respect one another. The nearby villagers are encouraged to put aside a handful of rice for the orphans, every time they prepare a meal for their family.
American families are given the opportunity to sponsor one of the orphans in Peace Children Home, for a mere $30 per month. This offering will provide food, shelter, care, and private school fees for the orphans in Peace Children Home. Only 5% of donations will be used for administrative purposes, and 95% will be sent to Nepal. Each family will receive a picture and history of one of the children, and letters and pictures can go freely back and forth, translated by our Nepalese Ambassadors for Peace of Virginia.
This is a small “hands-on” program, and representatives of Ambassadors for Peace of VA will be traveling to Nepal at least once a year to serve and connect with Peace Children Home.
We have an Ambassador for Peace who lives in Katmandu, Ginger Nicholls, who is supervising the transfer of funds and accounting for the Orphanage.
Originally from Minnesota, Ginger and her husband started their mission work in Nepal in January, 1997 as volunteers for the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification to initiate and establish several NGO’s (non-government organizations) helping families, women, students and leaders of society. They are currently living in Nepal with their daughter as Senior Advisors to UPF Nepal and its branch organizations and projects. This project will enable these children to feel loved and cared for by their global family, and in turn will create bonds of love, and bridges of understanding between families in America and the children of Nepal.
If you are interested in sponsoring one of these children, and would like more information on the sponsorship program, please email Diana Weber, Project Manager for “Families for Children” at email@example.com. If you have questions please call Gail Paine.
The Ambassadors for Peace Initiative is a project of the Universal Peace Federation, an NGO (501-C3) in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations