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Nepal has gone through many changes over the past two decades, with a 10-year insurgency changing the face of the country forever. Children were the biggest victims of the civil war and the thousands living on the streets or in homes and orphanages are the constant reminders of the price of Nepal’s struggle.

Northern Irish writer and teacher, Viva Bell, lived through it all, seeing the country she loved being torn apart and witnessing thousands of conflict-displaced children arriving in the capital every month. Feeling helpless and frustrated, she started to take action to address the problems on her own doorstep.

Viva’s course was set in motion when she met a street-child suffering from a simple throat infection. With no one to care for him, it had developed to a stage where he was severely dehydrated. She brought the boy to hospital and helped nurse him back to health and, after he recovered, she placed him in the care of one of Kathmandu’s many ‘orphanages’.

Supporting the home financially with the help of her friends in Ireland, Dave Cutler and Harry Coogan, the trio renovated it and helped improve the living conditions for the resident children. However it wasn’t long until they realised that their money was being siphoned off by the home’s managers, who were involved in other abusive behavior also, not an uncommon problem in Nepal’s ‘orphanages’. The answer was to take control of the matter themselves.

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