ECDC, providing the children a better future

Located few kilometers north of Kathmandu, towards Budhanilkantha, is a non-profit child care home ‘Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC)’. It was founded in 2005 by Pushpa Basnet, a young Nepali women studying social work at Kathmandu University, with an aim to provide a better future to the children whose parents were inside the prison. ECDC works together with the jail administrators to rescue children from jail cells throughout Nepal. It helps in providing every basic necessity a child requires, from medical treatments to vaccinations to school educations to the child whose parents are behind the bars. The children also have regular visitation with their mothers during the weekly and other holidays.

ECDC provides two types of facilities, one is the kindergarten center cares for the children under the age of 5 years old during the day and another is for children over 5 years who are provided accommodations within the residential home and are enrolled into a local school. ECDC feels that the children below 5 years are too young to be kept apart from their mother, which is why the children are brought the day care centers, with the permission of jail authorities, for daycare including educational programs, games and nutritious meals. The children above five years live at the residential home and they have regular visitations with their mothers during their holidays. At first, it took care of 5 children under the age of six and these children were cared for during the days and returned to their mothers during the night. Currently (2012), there are 42 children living in the residential home and usually 5-7 children in the daycare center.

When the child’s parents are released from the prison, the children are handed over to them only after making sure that the parents can provide and care for the basic necessities of their children. ECDC’s job does not end here, even after the parents take away the child with them, ECDC makes sure to visit their home and see their living conditions and whether the child is attending school or not and if necessary, they will also support the child in their education. The children are sent only after their exams are over. If the parents are not capable of providing for their children then ECDC itself offers them to do the handicraft work with them and also pays the mothers for their work. The children, however, continue to live in ECDC and their mothers could always visit them anytime. It is only after the mothers become stable enough to take of the children that the children are handed over in their care.

The imprisoned mothers of the children work in jail by making handicrafts like elaborate Waldorf dolls, jewelry and bags that are sold to support the children’s education. The program to teach these mothers income-generating activities was started by Pushpa with a grant from Change Fusion Nepal. The children are provided routine medical check-ups along with classes with the local entrepreneurs and volunteers, learning painting, yoga, music, gardening, documentary film making, languages and computers. It is an attempt to provide a better future to the children whose parents are bound inside the prison walls. The center is supported by various funds and donors and anyone willing to contribute to give these children a chance at a better future can do so by visiting their official website or paying a visit to the facility itself.

For contact:

Early Childhood Development Center

PO BOX: 2108

Kathmandu, Nepal

Tel: 977-1-4370005

Office cell: 977-9851101747


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