Madeinepal Campaign: The Street Children Project
|Published with permission from photo documentary |
My name is not "Street Child" by Youngho Kang
One of Korea's most accomplished photographer, Youngho Kang [HERE], had been in Nepal for the second time with his team from 1-5 February of 2016 to document the lives of street children in Kathmandu through a series of interviews taken during that period. Mr. Kang is currently one of the global ambassadors for Child Fund Korea, a NGO based in Soeul and the trip was part of his work to raise awareness of underprevilaged kids in Nepal. I had a small role of translating what the children had to say so that a proper transcript in English could be published alongside the story.
The trailer is also available in YouTube [HERE]
The documentary recently came into light after one of his interns published a series of photos taken during the set and received an award in the process. This was done without Mr. Kang's consent and to his obvious annoyance, he published a post on his tumblr account [HERE] stating the ethics of such work. After the story picked steam, Mr. Kang, Mr. Johansson (who was also assisting during the video shoot) and I met again to put this on the back burner and focus, rather, on making a difference to the kids that featured in the movie.
Defining the Problem
One thing that was painfully obvious during translation was that these kids had families. On a couple of occasions, they even had no issues on calling up their parents and saying "hello" in front of the camera. A straight forward solution would have been to take the children home but like most things in life, the solution isn't as linear as initially thought.
Domestic violence, while not very common in educated circles in affluent parts of Nepal, can be the norm than the exception in less fortunate regions in the country. Although I don't have science and statistics to back me up, common sense would state that taking them home would only solve the problem temporarily.
Even though it's crystal clear what the root problems are for these kids to run away from their families, it's completely out of ordinary people's hand to go and tackle domestic, private, family-wise issues head on. It's, in fact, very stupid to meddle in someone else's personal problems.
So What's the Solution
The logical way which these kids could have a better life is to rehabilitate them. The general distrust with local organizations working for the benefit of the children compounded by the fact that these organizations work on a whole-sum scale (benefiting everyone) rather than making targeted, individual approach has createad a situation where Mr. Kang has personally pledged to help all the kids documented. That means:
A) He will be funding their education and living expenses
B) That way he will be able to keep track of their progress over time
The Way Forward
My current responsibilities lie on linking Mr. Kang and his team to
1) Media Houses in Nepal
The aim of media house is to provide airtime to the documentary. No financial compensation is required. Any local television or new media interested would be welcome
2) Educational Institutions willing to accept these children
Full payment of their annual boarding and school fees will be covered by Mr. Kang
3) Educational Clubs/ Independent Clubs planning on screening and discussing with the director
A screening along with meet and talk with the director. If solid promises arrive, Mr. Kang could make the trip to Nepal on January 2017.
If you are interested and would like to be part of this campaign, please contact any one of us:
James Dmitre Johansson (Mr.Kang's representative) : firstname.lastname@example.org
Abhas Maskey (Nepal representative) : email@example.com