just-one strives to actively promote and facilitate educational opportunities for disadvantaged and marginalized children in Nepal by working at a grass-roots level with the children, their families and their communities to implement a range of carefully developed, culturally sensitive, sustainable initiatives.Our Work Their Stories Your Help
So, with a new week already well under-way here in Kathmandu, a second decade has finally dawned upon just-one‘s humble operation! Saturday last, July 5th, saw our incredible team of staff host a truly beautiful party for dozens of children that we currently support and their families, all of whom were happy to come by to help us celebrate our big day – along with a number of past beneficiaries too, who we’ve had the pleasure of working with over the years.
It really was a wonderful day of signing, dancing, infectious laughter and beautiful smiles and was thoroughly enjoyed by the 100+ in attendance. As occasionally happens, knowing the individual backgrounds of so many of these children, I found myself in complete awe of the sheer resilience that shines through with each of their magical smiles. Smiles that never fail to help the entire just-one team to reaffirm just why it is that we do exactly what we do!
I’m hoping to get my hands on the various photos that were clicked on the day by a few friends who came by to kindly lend us their very valuable support and I’ll do my very best to share the best of those smiles with you over the next few days. For now though, I’ve got something even more special to share with you here - an appropriately ‘happy’ music video that’ll take a mere 5 minutes of you time - but could potentially add years to your life simply through the benefits of smiling! :o) If you enjoy it half as much as we imagine you might, please do help us in sharing it wide and far.
^ just-one‘s most recent 5-minute contribution to global happiness! ^
If you’ve contributed towards the work of just-one in any way, shape or form over the last 10 years, then you can watch the above video with the warm pride of knowing that you’ve helped us to achieve what we’ve achieved. If you haven’t, then don’t worry and know that it’s never too late to support our important work. It doesn’t take much to make a difference and you can rest assured that whatever assistance you might kindly choose to give us, will be hugely appreciated by all here.
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With July 5th next marking just-one‘s unofficial 10th birthday I’d like to take this opportunity to invite our friends and supporters from around the world to help us mark this somewhat momentous occasion by joining in our impending celebrations. We realise that simple matters of geography and the generally high cost of long-haul flights obviously mean that the vast majority of you won’t actually be able to join us in person, but we’re nonetheless hopefully that many of you will be willing and able to at least join us in spirit on this very special day.
If, like many folks, you like nothing better than an excuse to party then perhaps our cheeky birthday wish that we’ll be able to encourage as many friends and supporters as possible to use the occasion to kindly engage in some much needed fundraising on our behalf, then Saturday, July 5th next may well be the perfect opportunity for such a celebration…
A fund-raising BBQ with family and friends if the weather permits, or maybe an indoor coffee morning or afternoon tea party if you’re bound by rain patterns similar to Kathmandu’s monsoon. Invite a few friends ’round for dinner and explain the logic of the 10-candled cake you sell them for desert. Just 1% of your business’ profits our big day, or a quick whip-around amongst your colleagues at work and kindly donated in lieu of a birthday card. Suggest a sponsored sleepover or silence-athon or whatever to your own kids, or support these two brave young ladies who’ve already committed to jumping out of a plane in support of our work, or follow their lead and arrange to do likewise! Maybe a collection bucket on the bar counter of your local for the evening, or spend the night at home with the telly and simply make a once-off donation of the few quid you’ve saved.
The potential suggestions are as endless as the actual possibilities, but you’ll know best yourself just what you’ll be able to undertake on behalf of just-one and help our second decade start off on a positive note! As it’s good to be able to explain to people what you’re raising the money for, you might find this 3-minute film from last year helpful in that regard. There are another few films we had made over the years that can be found here that could also be of use if time permits and you’ll find information on the various ways to get money to us here on our Make a Donation page.
No need to RSVP but we would absolutely love to hear from you. so please feel free to share news of what you might be planning to do in our honour. It would be great too if you could help us spread the word wide and far. We’ve a facebook page here just waiting to be liked and shared, and the more people that know of this here website and sign-up for updates the better, so please be sure you’re as loud and vocal as you like about your support for all that just-one does! We certainly appreciate it and think that you’ve got every right to be proud of it too – especially when it might encourage others to do likewise!
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You might not have known it but yesterday, June 12th, was actually World Day Against Child Labour. You know, the kind of day organised to highlight some specific cause or another (in this case child labour) and help some of the various issues relating to it vie for space in an ever-crowded public conciousness. I only realised myself later in the day when I came across this article while looking through the Kathmandu Post. I’ve never really been sure and do occasionally wonder just how effective these ‘world day’ initiatives actually are but, to be fair, I guess they’re better than nothing. That I’ve been spurred into writing these here lines is a case in point – even if it is a day late!
While just-one didn’t do anything in particular to mark this year’s World Day Against Child Labour, I am happy to share that within the last week alone we have managed to successfully remove another two young labourers from the sad statistics and are currently in early stages of helping them to reclaim what remains of their respective childhoods. I’d like to briefly share the story of how they came to our attention here, as I feel it will help highlight the stark reality of the situation of child labour here in Nepal.
It was last Friday afternoon that a foreign friend of mine phoned and asked if just-one might be able to help a 12 year-old tea-shop boy from the restaurant under the Nepali human rights office where my friend currently works. Explaining that many in the office were uncomfortable with the irony of a child delivering tea-break snacks and lunches to a human rights office, we were requested to provide urgent intervention as it seemed that steps were being taken to have the boy transferred to the private residence of a local political figure, where he was work as a domestic servant in return for being sent to school.
That this far-from-ideal arrangement was being made between the head of a human rights organisation and a respected political figure, both of whom would, most probably, argue that they had the boy’s best interests at heart, helps highlight the somewhat skewed perception of what’s actually regarded as acceptable by so many here – people who one might expect to know better. While I can understand how the boy’s impoverished parents, struggling to provide for their seven children in a remote village, and their own lack of education may well have contributed to a situation like this arising in the first place, I’m not so sure that I’ll ever fathom the seemingly blind acceptance of such situations by some of the better educated and apparently civilised members of society.
Thankfully, having intervened upon request, the staff of just-one were able to skilfully mediate an alternative solution that saw us agreeing to facilitate the boy’s eventual return to his family and support his education from there. It was only having arranged for his 18 year old sister to make the 100km journey to Kathmandu to help us arrive at this solution and secure the boy’s rescue, that we discovered that they also had a 15 year old sister working as a domestic servant elsewhere in the city. A few more days of phone-calls and sensitive enquiries meant that by last Tuesday we’d also managed to secure custody of the girl from the woman whose house she’d been working in and offer to support her return to education too. That this woman was the founder of an NGO working to protect the rights children, women and senior citizens, again, speaks volumes on the depth of societal introspection that’s needed here if the issue of child labour is ever to be properly addressed to the point of eradication.
So, while we may not have marked yesterday for the day that it was with any kind of fanfare, our ongoing efforts here helping disadvantaged children access educational opportunities they’d otherwise be denied, do see us addressing the reality of child labour as best we can. Yes, it’s a small-scale, grass-roots effort that’s never going to have a huge impact on the overall situation (it’s quite likely the positions made vacant through our interventions over the last seven days may well already be filled again by other less fortunate children), but today is testament to the huge impact our work can and does have on the individuals involved… You might not have known it but today, June 13th, is actually SLC Results Day here in Nepal and it just so happens that two of the four students just-one supported through their School Leaving Cert examinations earlier this year were also working children when they came to our attention some six or seven years ago.
So, as our two new recruits become accustomed to the sense of security that comes with being part of just-one‘s ever-growing family (security we’re able to provide them with thanks only to the generous support of kind-hearted folks like you), four past graduates also anxiously await the on-line publication of their long awaited results… In closing, I’d like to ask you to join with us in wishing them all the very best for their respective futures. Huge thanks too to all those who’ve contributed in whatever way to empowering us to make these brighter futures possible.
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