The struggle for survival is a daily quest for many Nepali people. In a country where nearly half the population lives below the poverty line, an unplanned pregnancy can lead to desperate acts. Many parents, left without options, resort to the unthinkable and children are deserted by the riverside, in a field, or sold for a price. The lucky ones are rescued and taken to one of the many overcrowded orphanages in the country, but the hardships continue.
Private orphanages in Nepal are bound by many restrictions and receive no financial support from the government. The few homes that are public are overcrowded, under-staffed, and mismanaged. In 2010 though, everything changed.
Due to a broken system, systemic corruption was found throughout the adoption process. For each international adoption that occurred, the orphanage that the child had been adopted from would receive US$5,000. Since there is no government support, this money was intended to sustain the rest of the children until the next adoption occurred. However, in a country where most live on less than $2 a day, $5,000 can draw unseemly action, and trafficking began. Despite being told repeatedly by international bodies to address the corruption issue, the Nepali government failed to act, so on August 10, 2010, international adoption by US parents was closed.
There are arguments for and against this action. Regardless, the result has sentenced thousands of children to a life of institutionalization. It has been 2.5 years since adoption was closed, and with the majority of adopted children around the world under the age of four, an entire generation of children living in Nepal's orphanages will in all likelihood, grow up and age out of the system, never having the chance at a family.
It is for this reason that we started Sunsar Maya, to give these children an opportunity for the educaiton that they should have received from the parents they will never know