Meals4HKC- Community Meal Days
Community meal days are meant to bring people together. Our children come from two very different groups in Bhaktapur’s society. Half of our children are Dyola, the lowest caste in the Newari caste system. The other half are Indian immigrants who are considered even lower than Dyola, because of their status as outsiders in the Newari city. By the greater population, both of these groups are deemed “untouchable.” One would think that this would unite the two groups, but the opposite is true and the divide between the two groups is palpable. Outside of Happy Kids Center, you would never see children from these two groups sharing a meal.
However, at Happy Kids Center we are like family, and with this in mind, we believe that sharing meals is integral to uniting our big, unique family.
When the center first opened you would never see these two groups interacting; they fought over just about everything, from toys to what music was being played, much like siblings do.
We cannot claim that their is no longer a divide, but slowly, the groups have begun to get along, even playing together. At the time of this writing, the older Dyola girls are even teaching a group of young Indians the dance moves to a famous Nepali song.
We hope that with these small uniting actions, we are helping to raise a generation that will give less value to the stigmas of the archaic caste system. If nothing else, we are ensuring at least one hot, wholesome meal for every Happy Kid!
***We are currently developing a nutrition program which is being funded in part by donations made to the Meal Day program!
- HKC Meal Days are open to everyone in the community
- Typically it is mostly children who attend meal days but parents occasional come along and even assist in meal preparation
- All leftover food is sent home with the most at risk families
- Happy Kids Center is like a big family, so Meal Days are essential in uniting the community
- 70% of children at HKC have a below average BMI
- Many families cannot afford 3 nutritional meals a day
- Meal Days are held every Saturday
- Our didis prepare and serve Daal Baht or Samay Baji. The servings are large and there is always enough food for seconds
- Eggs from our new Happy Chicken Center, where we are teaching children to care for animals, are used in our meals each week
Are you interested in sponsoring a Meal Day?