Dr. T's 10 reasons for supporting Nepali children...
1. NOT supporting these children often leads to the UNTHINKABLE consequences of child trafficking - lifetime slavery, prostitution, inhuman conditions of servitude, and emotional and physical abuse of unimaginable magnitude. This is a common occurrence in impoverished rural Nepal, where up to 15,000 children are being kidnapped and/or sold to India by “brokers” for $2,500 each, resulting in 100,000 Nepali girls languishing in Indian brothels (50% become HIV-positive). Many thousands others are enslaved and suffer for life in factories and wealthy homes in India, Nepal, and elsewhere. It is so easy, with relatively small investments, to help prevent such abuse, which is only rarely seen in wealthier societies. NO CHILD SHOULD SUFFER SO MUCH, REGARDLESS OF COUNTRY OF RESIDENCE. It just so happens that these disadvantaged Nepali children and orphans are at MUCH HIGHER danger, yet it is MUCH CHEAPER and MUCH MORE EFFICIENT to ELIMINATE this risk in rural Nepal!
2. These children, in their remote rural/agrarian villages with a high illiteracy rate, don’t receive protection from their own corrupt or resource-less government and are ignored by their impoverished communities. Their own families and villagers are so poor that they can’t take care of them, often needing them to work in the fields instead of go to school. Simply put, SOMEBODY has to care for them!
3. The same minimal investment that can completely prevent the extreme suffering described above effectively accomplishes a second important task – educating and nurturing ALL of these children and preparing them for a proud and productive life worth living! Such a dual accomplishment would have required huge sums in most other countries, but in Nepal it is achieved very efficiently on a shoestring! 1,000 Nepali children can be spared or saved AND educated for the price of educating just A FEW Western children.
4. These ELA-supported and sustained children will ultimately spread a message of peace, love, joy, and abundance throughout the many Western countries they will visit as students and tourists, instead of spreading the dark message of hopeless victims who have been abused by wealthy representatives of the West. The benefit to the future of our global community is obvious - we are investing in children that can influence the way future generations think and act. Thus, we are transforming the future of our world’s society and our own legacy as members of the human species.
5. ELA has succeeded in attracting the participation and support of several local government bodies, which thereby politically ensure our continued activities, even if no local funding is available from them. This provides us with an assurance that any investment in ELA will yield fruit in the long run, unlike the situation in many developing countries where political instability and corrupt politicians can derail humanitarian and social projects.
6. Unlike other support groups and Western private or governmental socio-economic “development” organizations that emphasize the “act of giving” (often a temporary contribution “awarded” to a passive recipient in accordance with a single political decision backed by a finite budget that can be readily withdrawn, withheld, or exhausted), ELA emphasizes the proud active participation of the recipient communities – who must prove worthiness via activism, contributions, and valuable social organization that are self-enhancing. This leads to sustainable development that perpetuates the value of the investment and prevents its ultimate loss. ELA never gives funds without expecting the community to prove merit!
7. ELA is staffed by dedicated social workers and progressive service-oriented individuals with many combined decades of selfless work toward uplifting the impoverished communities of Nepal. These workers have sacrificed many work years without personal reward, and have a proven track record of endless compassion and dedication to the cause of socio-economic development. They capably possess the experience and organizational skills needed for success in maximizing the benefit that can derive from every penny invested in ELA. This is in contrast with many developing countries’ “non-profit organizations” that end up wasting most or all the funds collected, or even worse. With ELA, every penny hits the target and endures.
8. Dr. T has worked as a volunteer and tour-leader in Nepal for 15 years (even during the risky & troublesome period of Maoist uprising and civil war of 1999-2008, when few tourists dared to visit the country) - establishing excellent reputation that now helps his ELA grow rapidly and gain support readily within the many communities he has helped medically, financially, socially, economically, and educationally over the years, as well as within adjacent communities (good news travel fast in Nepal!). Dr. T has been nicknamed “ambassador of peace” in Nepal, regularly bringing together tourist groups with remote rural Nepalese, and solidifying the status of the countries represented by those tourists as allies – causing the tourists themselves to become “ambassadors of peace” and representatives of “harmony among nations.” This rare attention from foreign visitors greatly inspires otherwise isolated Nepali communities, excites them and motivates them to engage in self improvement and activism that are sustainable and contagious - stimulating other communities to follow suit, organize, and develop their own infrastructure. Therefore, ELA’s Eco-Treks dramatically enhance our socio-economic development and the growth of our educational network, relative to our investment.
9. The stage of “development” of Nepali society is such that people in the rural villages (as well as the more educated city-dwellers) possess openness, unspoiled and unpretentious innocence, willingness to learn, and receptiveness to information that readily “rings true” to their ears - because of its proximity to their recent pre-modern cultures. Thus, fewer educational efforts are needed by ELA to manifest desirable outcomes with its educational and sustainable socioeconomic activities - no need to use up precious resources just to undo many decades of misinformation by Western mega-corporations that peddle cheap, health-damaging, unsustainable products. Western mindset is often too jaded and hijacked by commercial interests – requiring great efforts to remove skepticism and reverse the addiction to consumerism. Obtaining fast and noticeable results effortlessly helps ELA create a trend that other countries can imitate. Hence, ELA can help Nepal become a role model - setting the tone for sustainable development and reducing some negative aspects of Western culture.
10. The rural Nepali communities’ unique needs and ELA’s unique position provides the opportunity for multifaceted HOLISTIC EDUCATION combined with SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT - promoting healthy lifestyle, community hygiene, and leadership IN ADDITION to providing formal education. Activities ensuring nourishing, supportive, hope-nurturing environments for the children (beyond school education) include ELA’s “Touching The Untouchables” project (Sharing Food & Healing Touch to End Caste Prejudice) started by Dr. T in 2012; the “Adult Literacy Program” requested by the local governments that have established great trust in ELA’s quality of education and organization skill; the “Community Hygiene & Health projects” initiated within ELA’s school areas; the Child Care Centers and Orphanages; the community tourism and income-generating activities; and the wholesome local food programs supporting the children’s health and the local economies (mostly poor women). These projects help the children flourish and become socially aware in many ways, strengthening the communities and perpetuating the positive impact within the greater Nepali society, ultimately spreading the voice of reason, altruism, friendship, and compassion onto our ever-shrinking global village.
Dr. Tel-Oren, ELA Founder and Volunteering DIrector