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.
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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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Jagan has worked in academia for over 20 years and currently works as a university lecturer in London. He has a Doctorate in Business Administration, MSc in Finance, MBA and MA in Sociology. Jagan has been involved in the voluntary sector since his student days and he has also served as a parent governor at a primary school. He has fundraised for a range of charities, mainly through running events.
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 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.
Nick has been involved with Child Rescue Nepal since 2004, first a volunteer, then staff member in Nepal and since 2014 as a trustee. Whilst working for CRN in Nepal, he met his wife Rama and learned to speak Nepali. After returning to the UK he moved into fundraising and is now Director of Fundraising at Pratham UK.
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.
Jamuna Shrestha Bhattarai has two postgraduate degrees and 24 years’ experience in the development sector. Based in the Kathmandu office of CRN, she leads the CRN team in Nepal. She is interested in building resilience in communities and providing good quality education, healthcare and job opportunities for children and their families who are struggling to secure their basic needs and rights.
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.
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 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 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 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 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.
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