As per the ‘Standard for Operation and Management of Residential Child Care Homes, 2012’ – Nepal Government Ministry of Women, Children & Social Welfare below 18 years are defined as CHILDREN. After 18 years they become youth so we were not allowed to reside in Children’s Home. As the children had been growing up and turning 18, their parents were still inside the prison and we could not leave these growing elder children. We needed to provide them with continuous support in their education and help them have a secure future. This is the time period where they need more time to focus on their education and develop a future career path. ECDC had always been paying attention to this issue of the youth and making vision of youth hostel for them where after 18 years old they could move in.
After Ms Pushpa Basnet Founder and President of Early Childhood Development Center was awarded the CNN Super Hero in December 2016, we had received a grant of US$ 60,000, which made us to go further one step ahead to push our vision towards continuity of support of the youths and have a separate Youth Building. The grant was first utilized in procuring a small plot of land about 1400 sqft which was just a few step walk from Butterfly home. And on the land, we built a house for these growing children.
The building is a 4 storeyed flat system building with separate floors for boys and girls. One floor is converted to Volunteer Guest Room where guests can stay by paying certain fees. This will help in sustainability and income source for the youths staying at the hostel which will help in operation as well as long term sustainability even without any external support. The children are provided with shared rooms for 2 each with individual cupboards and study space. It also has a small kitchen in each flat and a common space. ECDC has been promoting handicraft training for inmates, former inmates as well as youth for their sustainability.
Currently, in the Youth Building, we have 3 older girls who are pursuing higher education. One is pursuing a degree in Diploma in Mechanical Engineering, another Diploma in Ophthalmic Science and the eldest one is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Kathmandu University.
For the construction of the Youth Building, we could not have done without support from different donors and sponsors who supported us in our cause. Various individuals and donors donated for the cause through Utopia Foundation and some of the major donors for the Youth Hostel were: Andrin and Frederique Oswald, Friends of Butterfly Home USA, Lisa, Alex, and Julia Lourie, Ratna Kumar Rajbhandari and Sil Kumari Rajbhandari, Individuals National/ International.