About Us

Our Story

THE CHARITY HAS BEEN RESCUING AND CARING FOR VULNERABLE CHILDREN IN NEPAL SINCE 1999

In 1999 The Esther Benjamins Trust was set up by Philip Holmes in memory of his late wife. Initially the charity rescued and looked after children from Kathmandu prisons who had been jailed with their parents. It then started rescuing Nepali children who had been trafficked across the border into Indian circuses, bringing them back to Nepal. Their success in this area resulted in many prosecutions and a complete ban on Nepali children in Indian circuses.

In 2015 the name was changed, with the support of Esther’s family, to Child Rescue Nepal to more clearly reflect the work that we do. Philip is no longer involved with Child Rescue Nepal but continues to work in Nepal on various projects.

In 2016, we reviewed our progress and set ourselves an exciting new ambition: To end all child trafficking in Nepal. With a renewed focus on rescues, we won’t stop until every child in Nepal is free.

Prosecuting Traffickers

Our key successes include:

  • Raising over £7 million for Nepal’s children
  • Rescuing over 850 children, with ongoing support in many cases
  • Pursuing the prosecution of 24 traffickers, helping to jail 14 in Nepal and India
  • Improving education for over 50,000 children in the trafficking-prone district of Makwanpur
  • Raising £150,000 for earthquake relief in 2015 and helping to rebuild 23 schools
  • Raising over £100,000 towards Covid relief including emergency equipment and food parcels

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Who We Are

UK Staff Team

Jo Bega, Chief Executive

Jo has worked in the voluntary sector for over 25 years and has extensive experience in charity management, fundraising and marketing. Since joining Child Rescue Nepal in 2016, Jo has overseen the rescue of over 120 children and helped keep thousands safe in school and away from traffickers. She is particularly passionate about making Radio 4 Appeals, having done two successful ones for Child Rescue Nepal in 2017 and 2020. Each year, Jo ingenuously creates an imaginative challenge for herself, engaging supporters and raising much needed funds. She feels privileged to lead an organisation that makes such a tangible difference to young lives in Nepal.

Karen Adegbite, Fundraiser

Karen joined Child Rescue Nepal in 2022 after 20 plus years in financial services. Her transferable skills include governance, relationship and change management and her qualification in Equality, Diversity & Inclusion. Karen has always been involved in youth work, formed a successful and inclusive parent/teacher fundraising team at her sons’ primary school and is passionate about enabling children and young people to fulfil their potential. To relax, Karen enjoys reading, yoga and spending time with family and friends.

Jackie Kietz, Administrator

As well as being an experienced administrator, Jackie has been an antenatal teacher for many years and is currently studying for a diploma in therapeutic counselling.

Trustees

David Westgate, Chair

David is a chartered surveyor and has worked in the property industry for 35 years dealing with most aspects of property at various managerial levels. In addition, David has worked with several charities and their boards over the last 20 years, mainly in a trustee role. David has been Chair since September 2023.

Jonathan Pow, Treasurer

Jonathan joined as a trustee in 2017. He holds the CIMA accounting qualification and has over 15 years of accounting experience. He recently completed the Executive MBA course at Newcastle University and has a keen interest in travelling.

Dave Webber

Dave retired from disability charity Livability in 2018, where he worked for 15 years, the last five as Chief Executive. One of Livability’s most innovative projects was a spinal injury unit in Kathmandu. Alongside his career in social care, Dave is a well-established folk musician and has just published his first novel.

Soya Cutts

Soya is British/Nepalese, born and raised in Kathmandu until the age of 16. She is a community fundraising lead and has a real passion for the changes that charitable organisations are positioned to make. Soya is both professionally and personally linked to significant amounts of money raised across the charitable sector, working across various children’s charities, and volunteering her time to both small and large-scale campaigns, initiatives, and projects. In her spare time, Soya is an avid swimmer and has a keen interest in literature and music. She thoroughly enjoys long summer walks as well as adrenaline-fuelled activities such as cliff jumping and dancing!

Aloke Devichand

Aloke is an executive producer and commissioner of Emmy and Oscar-winning documentaries, with a longstanding interest in projects that explore social issues in Asia. Before returning to London last year, he spent over a decade working in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore. During this time, he led and grew from nascency Netflix’s original documentary slate across Asia and worked as a global commissioner for the Witness strand on Al Jazeera English.

Joanna Lee

Joanna has completed a Master’s degree in social work, and as a social worker she has a particular focus on child exploitation, safeguarding, and young peoples’ mental health. Prior to training as a social worker Joanna completed a degree in Social Anthropology. In 2006 she volunteered with EBMF in Nepal, and then returned in 2008 to undertake research for her dissertation on the response of NGOs to the human trafficking situation in Nepal.

David Nicholls

David joined as a trustee in 2019. He is a barrister by profession, specialising in real estate litigation. He is a former Governor of an inner-city state school and has been a trustee of a local youth centre and law centre. He spent six months in the Himalayas during his gap year teaching young children at a school in India near the border with Nepal. He enjoys cooking, learning to play the piano and the occasional game of tennis.

CRN Nepal

Bhaskar Karki, Interim Country Director

Bhaskar has been working against child trafficking, abuse and exploitation in Nepal since 2008, and has extensive experience in rescuing and repatriating Nepali children. He holds a BA in Management from Mangalore University, India and an MA in Business Studies from Tribhuvan University. He is most passionate about ensuring that, wherever possible, children are able to grow up where they belong – at home with their families.

Roshna Lama, Accountant

Roshna Lama has worked at CRN Nepal since 2007. She has a BA in Management Accounting and Finance, as well as qualifications in Finances and Accounting Systems and computer training.

Partners: EBMF

Upendra Kumar Poudel, Chair of EBMF

Upendra Kumar Poudel has experience of a variety of professions including Programme Coordinator at Protection Desk Nepal (PD-N); Researcher-cum-Editor at Centre for Economic and Social Development (CESOD); Senior Programme Officer for South Asia Partnership International (SAP I); International Relations Officer, Development Coordinator and Director at Informal Sector Service Centre (INSEC) and Enterprise Development Officer, National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA). Involved in editing Human Rights Yearbook, journals, occasional/donor reports and preparation of reports and training manuals of INSEC from 1996 to 2006, and presently supporting 4-5 rights organisations on an ad-hoc basis, Mr. Poudel has dedicated his efforts mostly on editing books, journals, occasional papers, reports and the translation of professional as well as academic writing both from English to Nepali and vice versa.

Buddha Bir Lama, District Programme Manager

Buddha is District Programme Manager for EBMF, Lalitpur. He holds an MA degree in Sociology and has a decade of  experience in non-profits’ project management focusing on strengthening public education in rural parts of Nepal. He is passionate about serving children, minorities and deprived groups to promote social justice. He has gained M&E experience working with the Community Health Research Program.

Dilu Tamang, Senior Member, Rescue Team

Dilu has worked with EBMF for 10 years and is involved at the frontline of all our rescues. Dilu is also one of Nepal’s few trained counsellors and has developed a speciality helping trauma and trafficked children. Dilu is passionate about rescuing children and giving them a new life.

Prem Khattri Chettri, Programme Manager

Prem joined EBMF in 2012 and has key responsibility for child protection and development. He also works with Dilu to reintegrate rescued children. Prem has a Masters Degree in Development Studies from Kathmandu University and has also worked as a school teacher at a Higher Secondary School.

Bikki B.K., Youth Development Officer

Bikki is one of the young and energetic staff members at EBMF. For the last two years he has been working as a lead person for our Youth Support Project. Prior to this he spent three years working at one of EBMF’s Care Homes. He has a Bachelors Degree in Social Science. Bikki is passionate about helping young people to gain skills and fulfil their dreams.

News

  • We are very pleased to share the news that we have just rescued three siblings, aged 13, 11 and 9. The eldest girl was working in a small vegetable shop, and tragically she told us her story: “I

  • We are very pleased to let you know that this week we rescued a 13-year-old boy and brought him to safety. He had been working in a dirty and dangerous metalwork factory. National lockdowns, Covid-19

  • You may remember I wrote to you back in May explaining the desperate situation of families in Nepal who were facing starvation due to lockdown. It gives me great pleasure to let you know that with you

  • We’ve really missed seeing you in person over the past 18 months, but we know that many of you live far away so our online meetings have actually brought us closer together. We have decided to continu

  • We would like to invite supporters and friends of Child Rescue Nepal to join us by Zoom for another lunchtime briefing on Tuesday 16th June at 12.30pm. Things have moved on significantly since our las

  • Two weeks ago we shared an update from Nepal and asked for your support. You overwhelmed us with your kindness, giving over £8,000 to our appeal. Your quick and generous response meant we could act fa

Get in Touch

020 7183 0353

info@childrescuenepal.org

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