CWISH, supported by the Consortium for Street Children, organised the first in a series of country roundtable events aimed at sharing the learning from the BwB project. The roundtable was held in Kathmandu on 5 February 2018 and was widely attended by about 70 participants including government officials, NGOs and teachers.
Nepal Roundtable – Main Highlights
The event shared the learning and innovation process that CWISH is using to evolve its approach for working with Child Domestic Workers (CDW) who are exposed to sexual abuse and sexual exploitation. The presentations, stories, discussions and a role play by CDWs encouraged participants to consider the realities of the lives of CDW and reflect on what the learning coming out of the project means for their own practice and approaches with CDWs. The roundtable also afforded the opportunity for BwB Resilience Champions from Uganda and Ecuador to share their own experiences with Nepali colleagues. Artwork developed by CDWs in CWISH programmes was displayed around the hall and provided pertinent insights into their experiences.
A role play was also performed by CDW beneficiaries of CWISH BwB programmes. This role play demonstrated the situation of an orphan girl who is the victim of domestic labor by her own relatives. At the end, despite several obstacles she faced, she won the heart of everyone with her capabilities and determination. The drama was excellently performed and demonstrated better than any presentation the challenges faced by CDWs on a daily basis.
Dr. Ruth Edmonds, our evaluation consultant, briefed participants about BwB and Resilience Champions, Krishna from CWISH, Nepal, Martha from JUCONI Ecuador and Alfred from SALVE, gave short presentations about their own experiences and programme approaches with street-connected children in their own countries. The final part of the event involved a group work activity in which participants were given real stories collected from CDW during the course of the project to read and discuss (all identifying information was changed). Participants valued the opportunity to learn more about the realities faced by CDWs and the ways in which they demonstrated resilience in each case. A Nepalese TV news crew were around to interview key guests and participants ready to broadcast at a later date.
After observing the event, Deputy Mayor of Nagarjun Municipality Ms Sushila Adhikary spoke of her commitment to formulate plan for the protection, promotion and development of child rights in the municipality. Similarly, Ms. Sharadha Bijuckchee- chief of the Department of Women and Children in Lalitpur showed appreciation for CWISH interventions to support CDWs. She also raised other issues including the unnecessary separation of children who are at risk to abuse and exploitation in Kathmandu valley. Other participants, including teachers and child rights activists, expressed their commitment to end child labor in their respective workplaces. Finally, Ms. Shanti Adhikari from CWISH ended the roundtable by thanking every participant and the guests for being the part of such a successful event.