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Life for children

In many ways children in Nepal mature much faster than in other countries – they have little choice as they must adapt to living in poverty.

Typical day

5am – Get up
6am – take animals out to fields and collect water
9am – eat breakfast
10am – walk to school
3pm – finish school
4pm – out to fields to start work
8pm – back for dinner
9pm – into bed

Indeed whilst many children do now get the chance to go to school and learn and play, the majority of children still have some form of paid or unpaid labour outside of school hours.

The education that children receive is also short. Less than 1 in 10 children ever get past 3 or 4 years of schooling and parents often have no choice but to ask their children to work to afford food.

Girls also get less chance to go to school as they are often regarded as domestic helpers and required to get married as soon as possible.

Despite these problems, there are also many fun and interesting festivals for children. In the image on the right Pooja and Mandira aged 9 and 12 are getting married, not to boys but to fruit!

You could say that this is a form of child protection: in order to protect their daughters from the problem in India where young widows are seen as bad luck, Nepalese girls who get married to a fruit when they are young can never be widows.


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