When in Nepal in March 2014, on our way back from trekking, we pulled up to an old, abandoned clinic about 3 hours north of Kathmandu in Nepal. I had been told that we were visiting a center for Albino’s, who had been rejected or exiled by their families; as in Nepal it is seen as a curse or burden to born a child of such nature. We were asked to photograph these children, to aid the project in spreading awareness about the issue. As I walked up the stairs in the empty building, I noticed the gray, unpainted walls, I saw abandoned hospital equipment, and cracked ceilings. Once we reached the third level, the man led us into a room at the end of the hall that had a few windows and a thin lining of carpet on the floor. In the room there were about 15 patients, from age 4 to 25 and suffering from a range of different things. The problem was, no one knew exactly what each diagnosis was.
I sat on the floor with a little girl and played with little pieces of Lego. She spoke a small portion of English, but mainly smiled. She had a birth defect that has enabled her to walk, and is living without proper diagnosis, and therefore cannot be helped. There was another boy in the room of whom she took an interest in, and he was becoming blind. They would work together as a team; she would lean on his shoulder and he would help her walk, while she guided him in the right direction and spoke to him of his surroundings. The man next to her had condition similar to cerebral palsy, however was also lacking a diagnosis, which he developed from an accident. He was married and had a little boy, of whom he could no longer care for. But he kept smiling. The majority of these children came from extreme poverty and lost their families, but they were all still smiling. A woman soon brought in the group of Albino children, who sat amongst the others and played with the small toy collection they had.
I sat there and noticed the stagnancy of the room, while the man in charge spoke of all the issues they faced. They were stuck; the one thing standing in their way was money. Lack of money left them without a functioning clinic, without proper medical care and ability to diagnose the patients, without running water, or sufficient education. The little girl sitting in front of me on the floor needed medical attention, and help with physiotherapy to better her condition. The boy she liked needed to see a doctor desperately, to aid the blindness before it became permanent, and the man next to the little girl needed a proper diagnosis in order to receive sufficient care. The children were stuck; abandoned and waiting.
We really take advantage of our fortune; our comfortable lives, access to education and medical care, family support, etc. These children are alone, waiting, and money is the only thing standing in their way.
Spread the word and help raise money for children and hospitals like this in Nepal and all over the world.