Teach Them Well

“I took this Nepalese girl’s picture while she was breaking those stones (pictured below). Every day her mother wakes up early in the morning to collect stones from river banks. The little girl’s job is to break them down so they can be used for construction of buildings in cities. The boys in the picture work at brick factories outside the city. They’re from a remote village and come work there for six months with their parents (who are told they can earn more if the whole family works). This makes it impossible for them to attend school even if they wanted to because they also have to stay at the factory the whole time, which breaks my heart because I love children. I’m from Nepal and I believe the only way you can bring change to society is by helping children, and you have to start from education. This is the best way to stamp out child labor, which is so pervasive in Nepal. Now the problem is not that we lack resources to help. The problem is that sometimes it’s hard to identify child labor in progress. When it’s visible, it’s easy to get support from the government. Like when children are made to work at hotels or as bus conductors. But when children are made to do household work, in the privacy of other people’s homes, then it’s difficult to know if they’re working under harsh conditions. What’s worse, because Nepalese society puts their community first, neighbors won’t report child labor violations for fear of damaging their relationship with one another. Some don’t even think it’s bad. That’s why our hope of stopping child labor is through education. I came to Japan to study and I have been fortunate enough to be given a scholarship. I’ve been involved in volunteer work ever since, doing research and field work whenever I’m back in Nepal on an assignment, like when I took the photos for this flier. Today, as part of UNICEF in Japan, I try to raise awareness and tell people what’s going on. People have the impression that we’re just all about donations. But there’s actually more to it than that. Someday I’ll go back home to Nepal for good and hopefully change the system through education.”

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Click here for more info on UNICEF’s activities and how you can help
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Working out of UNICEF‘s office in Kanagawa, Japan

 

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tokyointerlopers

Finding diversity and inclusion. Breaking down barriers one post at a time. Stories and snapshots of foreigners making their way in Japan.

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