The world is one family – And together we can achieve more

The faces behind CMIR Nepal – one of the most beautiful and diverse countries in this world. It is the home of Mount Everest and so...

The faces behind CMIR

Nepal – one of the most beautiful and diverse countries in this world. It is the home of Mount Everest and some of the highest peaks on earth. Moreover, it is a country where traditional stories are rooted in its day-to-day life, representing tales of love, affection and battles, or demons and ghosts, which are often expressed through dance and music during the festivals.

While Nepal is a very rich country in terms of culture and nature, it does poorly from the economic development standpoint. Nepal has undergone a complex and prolonged political transition, from being a kingdom to its current democratic structure. According to the Human Development Index, Nepal is one of the least developed countries, giving its citizens not many employment opportunities. Migration for foreign employment has, therefore, become a major source of income for many Nepali households. More than 3.8 million permits to working abroad were issued by the Government between 1994 and 2015, which represents almost 14 percent of the current population. Malaysia is the number one destination country for Nepali migrant workers closely followed by Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Kuwait.

Remittances have ever since become a main contribution factor for increasing household income and growth in national GDP, leading to greater economic development in Nepal. But while so many Nepali go abroad, most of those migrant workers have low levels of literacy, are often unskilled and lack accurate information’s regarding labour migration. These factors combine to heighten vulnerability, and Nepal is considered as a country of origin for human trafficking for labour, sexual and other forms of exploitation.  In addition, Nepal’s open border agreement with India is leading to further uncontrolled migration and trafficking, making it difficult for both the governments to combat those crimes.

This is where we at CMIR get active. Our main aim is it to protect the rights of migrant workers and their families coming from Nepal. By providing legal and paralegal support, we want to make sure labour rights are respected, guaranteed, and fulfilled. Since our establishment in 2014, we were able to make a difference for a significant number of people. Throughout the brief but prolific history of CMIR, we have supported around 600 people in 2015 and further 564 people in 2016, in different ways. For instance, there are countless bureaucratic processes that have to be dealt with before the dead body of a migrant worker can be sent back to Nepal. Most of the time, the families of these people do not have the education background to effectively face the legal obstacles that stop them from grieving on the lifeless bodies of their loved ones. Therefore, CMIR steps in supporting and pace the process.

What many people forget, is the impact labour migration has on the children left behind. Especially in those cases, where the hope for a better life through foreign employment was crushed by the reality of dreadful working conditions that most of the times terminated in the death of the breadwinner of the family. Once a parent is unable to work or dies while working abroad, their children have to cut short the education in order to support their family financially. Child labour is way too common in Nepal – and it takes away the opportunity for children to overcome the poverty cycle. A cycle, where the interplay of unskilled labour, lack of information and high debts people that take on to go abroad, often ends up in exploitation and human trafficking. Resulting in even worse living conditions for the people left back home, leaving their children trapped in this poverty cycle, not able to improve their situation compared to their parents ones.

During our work at CMIR, we are confronted with these cases on a daily basis, why we established a scholarship fund to support those children in need. By paying their education fees for one year, we prevent at least some children from dropping out of school. But only an organization like CMIR can do so much, thus we need support to carry on with this righteous cause. Through a crowdfunding campaign, we did last year, we were able to support 15 children. This year we aim to continue their scholarship for another year and support even more children.

There is a Sanskrit phrase as our leitmotif for this year’s crowdfunding campaign, vasudhaiva kutumbakam, which translates as:

The world is a family
One is a relative, the other stranger,
say the small minded.
The entire world is a family,
live the magnanimous.

—Maha Upanishad 6.71–75

We at CMIR believe that everybody should have equal opportunities in life. We are citizens of the world, we all are one family.
By investing in education, we invest in a better future – for everybody! We know that it is impossible to help every person in need, but this is a good place to start. Every contribution matters and all donations will go into our scholarship fund. If you want to become part of our mission, please support us through our crowdfunding campaign.

Thank you!

Author, Nicole Piechatzek
 For more informations regarding the work CMIR does, please visit our website

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