Life in Nepal can be tough. Kiran's father died when he was just four years old, and his family had to leave their small village to seek work in Kathmandu. Kiran started to spend more time on the streets when he was eight, encouraged by other boys. Eventually he stopped coming home altogether, and his mum, sick with worry, would go out to look for him every night.
Kiran spent the next four years living on the streets, sleeping in a sack and only surviving by collecting rubbish for recycling and begging. Sadly, his story is not uncommon.
In Nepal, children living on the street may have been abandoned or escaped due to abusive or poverty-stricken backgrounds. They work, live and sleep on the streets, often having no contact with their families. These children are at a high risk of sexual abuse, drug addiction, HIV and even being murdered.
Luckily for Kiran, he started to attend the local drop-in centre for street children. He received support and counselling, and over the next few months became happier and calmer. He was eventually placed back with his mum, and staff visited regularly to support Kiran during this time. They helped him to train to become a welder and he uses this income to help his mother support the family.
Kiran’s mum is proud of the change in her son, and they have a good relationship now. “As a mother, you never stop worrying. But the staff have helped him a lot. They have educated him, given him an apprenticeship and got him a job. I could not have done this on my own.”