What You Give When You Give
Today marks Happy Kids Center’s second year of participation in Giving Tuesday and the start to our End Of Year Giving Campaign! In honor of this milestone, we want to demonstrate to all of our supporters just how big an impact every donation makes in our community! Over the last week, we used social media to introduce new programs and initiatives we launched since last Giving Tuesday in a campaign we call #WhatYouGiveWhenYouGive. We wanted to commemorate all of these successes and bring them together in one place so that when those posts get lost in the internet void, the sentiment behind #WhatYouGiveWhenYouGive does not!
1.Launch of Health Camps
This summer we launched bi-annual Health Camps in partnership with Siddhi Memorial Women and Children’s Hospital! Health Camps are a new strategy to strengthen our Health Programs, ensuring every child has a checkup at least twice each year! This allows us to catch any medical issues early and track the health of our Happy Kids over the years. In June we held our first Health Camp where were seen by optometrists, ENT specialists, nutritionists, and general pediatricians. We are looking forward to hosting our next Health Camp in early 2020!
2. Providing School Lunch for Every Child Every Day
Last November we launched a school feeding program. Through his program children receive home-cooked, nutritious school lunches every day at The Dyola School. Providing lunches ensures that every child has at least one nutritional hot meal each day and fuels the children through the day, maximizing education gains. Further, this program has significantly boosted enrollment and attendance at The Dyola School as it serves as an incentive for parents to send their children to school each day!
$10 feeds all of the students at Dyola School for one day, a testament to just how far a donation of any kind can go!
3. Further Supporting Health and Nutrition Through Daily Snacks
At the #HealthCamps (which we posted about on day one of the countdown) a staggering number of children were diagnosed with mild to severe malnutrition. In response, we launched a program providing daily nutritious after school snacks for all of our Happy Kids. For those children suffering from severe malnutrition, we are working closely with Siddhi Memorial Hospital’s head nutritionist to develop individual plans to get them back on track!
4. Further Supporting Education
This year we provided full sponsorship to 3 additional students! This year’s students look a little bit different than those we have sponsored in past years. In the past we have focused on sponsoring children from the age they can enter school because most of our older Happy Kids were severely behind in school due to years of child labor. WELL, this year, three of those children passed the exams for class five, and will be rejoining their peers in Class Six at Adarsha Secondary School! This is a huge accomplishment for these students as well as Chadani and the other teachers at The Dyola School who have made this possible! We look forward to seeing many more Happy Kids accomplish the same later this year!
For those students still in the Dyola School, to bolster student confidence we provided school uniforms to all of the students at The Dyola School. School uniforms are required for all students in Nepal, but they tend to be extremely expensive. Students whose families cannot afford uniforms for their students typically cannot send their children to school. At Dyola School we have never required this of our students because we understand that families need to prioritize what little money they have for food and essentials.
After being out of school for so many years, working in the street while all of the uniformed boys and girls walked to school, our Happy Kids confessed that sometimes coming to school without uniforms made them feel like less than all the other kids. We took it upon ourselves, thanks to donations from supporters, to purchase new school uniforms for all of the children of The Dyola School! Since then, we have seen an uptick in attendance and greater enthusiasm and commitment from the students while in school!
5. Clean, Safe Water for All
There are no free, safe drinking water options for citizens of Bhaktapur. Families must pay for filtered water or risk drinking water pumped from local wells, which is extremely dangerous. Girls spend countless hours each week walking back and forth across the city collecting water. This is the leading cause of school absence among girls. This year we began offering clean, safe drinking water to all of the HKC families. We believe water is a basic human right and we make it our mission to ensure our kids are happy and hydrated!
6. Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
This year we built two showers at The Center for families who do not have running water in their homes. Collecting water is a leading cause of school absence for girls, and the water used for bathing comes from severely polluted rivers. Children now come to HKC for hot showers, which teaches them the value of hygiene and staying in school. The girls in this community often suffer from chronic lice so, in addition to basic showers supplies like soap and towels, we provide medical-grade lice shampoo and combs to prevent the spread It’s not pretty, but this is the reality for our Happy Kids.