Poverty and homelessness is an ongoing problem throughout Nepal.
In Kathmandu many live on the streets or in tenuous slum communities in order to survive. Figures from Homeless International indicate that out of Nepal’s 28 million citizens, 2.8 million live in slums, with 59 percent of urban populations living in slum communities. According to UNICEF there are an estimated 30,000 street children alone in Nepal, of which 3,700 are homeless.
In slum communities (which can be bulldozed down ) or for those living on the streets access to clean water, food and the fundamentals of a “good life” is highly limited if not non-existent. Living on the streets near tourist hubs gives access to income sources through begging and the ability to access foreigners wanting to “help” as well as being situated near the proliferation of NGO’s who assist street populations on an ad hoc or in a more systematic manner depending on the organisation, time of year, the political situation and the availability of funds.
Children are born into life on the streets and for some of them this is the only life they know.
It is not a life full of hope but one of potential violence, abuse, disease and malnutrition as a baseline of their existence.
The following images of a little girl were taken on the outskirts of Thamel, the tourist hub of Kathmandu.
This girl, of around 18 months, ironically lives with her two brothers and mother near a popular tourist attraction called the Garden of Dreams. The children all show signs of malnutrition. But regardless of this, this toddler still plays.
To support the ongoing work of The Storyteller Project – documenting the human stories of the developing world – please donate through the provided link on the left hand side of the page here. It is the intention of the The Storyteller Project, with your support, to document this family further and to learn more about their situation.