Educating poor children in Nepal is challenging. Many children live in unsafe, unhealthy homes and work to help support the family. As victims of child laborer or having parents who are itinerant workers, the children are not enrolled in school. They lack school-readiness skills, are neglected and malnourished, all of which interferes with their ability to learn.
In order to serve these children, the Contact Center, located in Balaju, Kathmandu, was created. Here children aged 3-10 years old are provided an educational foundation in a nurturing, loving environment, similar to the Montessori model. Enrollment in the Center averages 26 students. The children enter at the preschool level, are taught basic skills, including reading, writing and an introduction to English. They are also provided with hygiene education, healthcare and two high-quality protein-rich meals each day.
After 18-24 months, many of these children are ready to enter the school system and after testing are placed in second or third grade. Even children who prematurely leave the Contact Center have benefited from the nurturing environment, nutrition, healthcare, and educational foundation. The Contact Center serves as a source of new children to our sponsorship program. In 2017 five children graduated from the Contact Center and were placed in private schools.