Sunrise Children’s Association Inc.
Sunrise Children’s Association Inc. (SCAI) Australia/Nepal
President SCAI Australia/ Country Director SCAI Nepal: Emma Taylor
Phone: +977 98033 70997
Email: [email protected]
Volunteer Coordinator: Sarah Thom
Phone: + 61 (0) 3 9527 9692
Email: [email protected]
In February 2004 Emma Taylor a young Australian woman traveled to Nepal and volunteered in a local orphanage. Emma soon realized the orphanage like so many, was nothing more than a scam at the expense of the children. Emma then joined forces with volunteers Michaela Killips, Sarah Kemp and local Nepalese friends to establish a quality residential child care home for children, where the children would be provided with a safe, loving home where their interests were the number one priority. In the meantime, the girls set up a charity in Australia called Sunrise Children’s Association Inc. (SCAI) to fund and monitor their work in Nepal.
SCAI strongly believes it is in the best interest of the child to be with their biological family, extended family and community wherever possible.
SCAI’s key objective is to create safe, loving, family environments where children have the opportunity to reach their full potential and become happy, healthy, self-sufficient citizens of their local and wider communities, free from discrimination, violence, abuse, neglect, exploitation and poverty.
Due to poverty and various social, economic and political issues in Nepal, thousands of families have sent their children away to so called ‘orphanages’ and other similar institutions in recent years in the hope of their child having a better life, and predominantly, a good education. It is estimated approximately 80% of children in orphanages are not orphans.
The result of this separation is that many children have unnecessarily lost contact with their families, often for several years, and in some cases permanently. This can cause long term psychological damage to the child and as they reach adulthood.
SCAI’s main strategic focus is on Prevention. By providing Education Scholarships to vulnerable and children at risk of trafficking or being sent from their homes, we aim to keep children with their families and in their own communities.
The residential child care home is only there as a last resort, to provide a loving family environment, where there is no family to care for them properly and no other option for alternative care within their extended family or community.
Today, the Gross National Income per capita in Nepal is $US700, 24.8% of the population still live below the international poverty line, adult literacy (above 15 years) is estimated at 57% and 33.9% of children 14 or under are engaged in child labour.
Since 1996 over 13,000 people have been killed due the conflict in Nepal between the Communist Party Of Nepal (Maoists) and the Royal Administration. Through this conflict, the poor economy, lack of health care, welfare support, and education, many children have become innocent victims, left orphaned or abandoned, on the streets begging, sold into slave labour or prostitution.
SCAI now supports over 800 children, across the various education scholarship programs, the local community school and child care home.
Visiting SCAI’s projects
Visitors to SCAI’s projects are welcome but only by appointment. Please contact Emma Taylor preferably at least one month prior to your arrival in Nepal. If you are interested in volunteering please contact Sarah Thom, but please see the Volunteering section on the website before applying, as there are various criteria that need to be met. Visitors must submit a Visitor Agreement Form found on the website prior to visiting, along with a passport photo. Please ensure you carry photo ID when you visit.
*When visiting the children’s home, please remember it is the ‘home’ for the staff and children, so it is important that their privacy be respected, and on your visit you see it in the same way as if you had visitors in your own home.
How to get there
The projects are in various locations, education scholarship programs range from 20min to several hours from the city. The child care home and community school are located 45-60 minutes outside the city. Directions can be provided once the purpose and place of visit have been confirmed.
Donation of goods
Please do not post anything to Nepal as the postal system can be extremely lengthy, costly and unreliable, and goods have been known to never arrive. It is preferable therefore to carry the goods with you when you next travel to Nepal. Please also be mindful that most things can be purchased in Nepal for a fraction of the cost of western countries, so you may like to consider buying things locally if you are wanting to bring new rather than good quality second hand items. Both are appreciated!
We thank you for your interest in helping the children and we look forward to welcoming you to Sunrise in Nepal.