Little six year old Bibek caught my eye immediately when I recently (2018) visited our programs and schools in Nuwakot. Not because he romped around loudly while doing sports and games, but because of his shyness and because he hung on the tip of my skirt almost all day, following me everywhere. I noticed a deep sadness in his gaze, which was often empty. When I asked his teacher, I found out the reason for this: his parents are still alive, but Bibek is still considered a “social orphan” because he has to grow up without a mother and father and cannot yet understand the reason for this.
Forsaken by all | His 30-year-old father is a heavy alcoholic – he always invested all the earnings of his day labor directly in his drinking addiction. As a result, his family lived in great poverty. Whenever he came home seriously drunk in the evening, he would beat his wife. One day she couldn’t take it anymore and ran away, never to come back afterwards. Bibek, who was four at the time, was severely traumatized.
From the moment his wife was over the mountains, the father also left the son to his fate and simply never came home. Bibek’s grandparents had no choice but to take in the lonely boy.
They are doing their best to raise the boy. But it is becoming increasingly difficult for them, due to their age, they can hardly earn enough to feed the boy and themselves adequately. Grandmother Sita tells us that she collects wood to sell, and they also have a couple of goats – but that doesn’t make it easy for them to make ends meet. The grandmother also complains that Bibek’s mother never asked about her son. She lives in another village and has started a new family.
A long way that is worth it | So that Bibek can escape poverty one day, the able-bodied grandmother sends him to school every day, even if the little boy is a long way away. Bibek walks the one-hour steep path from the village of Charghare to the Sansari Devi School alone every day. None of his classmates come from Charghare – so there is no one who could accompany the first grader. I was particularly touched that the grandparents think of their grandchildren’s future despite the difficult circumstances and do not simply oblige him to work with children, as so many would do – especially within the poor Tamang caste. Bibek enjoys school and being with his peers certainly distracts him from the grief over the loss of his parents.
Donation that lasts | Back to Life will look after the boy’s future and support him from now on. It starts with a new school uniform, bag and learning material: If Bibek, unlike his classmates, does not have a regular family life, he should at least not have to be outwardly different from his classmates.
We also donated new blankets, pillows, cookware and other important household items to the grandparents so that the living conditions in the very cramped hut they share with Bibek can be improved.
Like all sponsored children, Bibek is regularly visited by our sponsorship team at home. This is how we can see how the family is doing. We use the visit to discuss relevant topics with the parents / grandparents. From health care, the right nutrition to the child’s school development. We stand by them even during the Corona crisis.