Thursday, January 29, 2015

Little Princes| Conor Grennan

This book's tag line is "one man's promise to bring home the lost children of Nepal." Grennan was a privileged white middle class American, hard working in his chosen career and well supported by his family and friends. To spice up his life he decided to take a year off and backpack around the world. So as not to appear completely self-indulgent he volunteered to work in an orphanage in Nepal for three or four weeks, mostly to impress his friends. 

He arrived at the Little Princes orphanage in Godawari, Nepal and his life changed completely. He had never had anything to do with kids, orphaned or not. But he decided what he could give them was his undivided attention and love. 
This book is his account of what transpired in that year and the ones that followed. He learned that one of the terrible consequences of the raging civil war in Nepal was the trafficking of children from remote areas. Men would go into these impoverished villages and offer to take the children to safety out of harm's way. Parents in their ignorance did send their children away and never hear from them again. The children were enslaved in Kathmandu and traded, sold and abused and trained as child soldiers. 

Once Conor found out he would not let it go. He has become one of the main, but not only, voices for these voiceless children. He and a French friend called Farid opened a house in Kathmandu specifically to rescue the children and try and reunite them with their families. Connor describes the first time he goes to the remote region of Humla searching for the children's' families. It was a harrowing physical journey in very high altitudes with no roads and few supplies. But the reuniting of families with their children was well worth it. 
Eventually Grennan founded the Next Generation Nepal charity and is still active today in his mission. 

I googled the foundation and am going to keep in touch with the amazing work they are all doing. A very inspiring read. Well worth supporting. 

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