If you visit the tea estates in Jhapa, south east Nepal, you will find the families of tea garden workers struggling to make a living, often in overcrowded shelters, usually with no electricity nor enough clothes or food to live healthily.
Tea workers earn 200 Nepali Rupees a day (1.50) during which they are expected to pick 20kg of tea. Estate owners often exploit children as pickers as their small fingers are suited to nip the prime topmost shoot of the tea plant which carries the highest value. Sadly, deaths from poisonous snake bites are not uncommon.
St Xavier’s, Deonia and Moran Memorial School, Maheshpur have been founded to provide such children with the chance to escape this slavery and offer them an education which can lead to a better life for them and their families. The schools are open to all children from the locality, and welcome Christians,Muslims,Hindus and Bhuddists. A panel of staff, parents and local community leaders assesses and verifies those children who cannot afford fees and require full sponsorship.