Strategically, PA Nepal is dedicated to create an enabling environment to ensure justice for incarcerated women and their dependent children. PA Nepal believes that no children should live behind bars for the crime they didn’t commit. All children are entitled to the fundamental rights of quality of life, education and personal freedom. For that, PA Nepal has designed a strategic intervention program of five layers for rescue, recovery and social reintegration for incarcerated parents and their dependent children, as follows:

  • Nutritional and personal hygiene support for pregnant women and mothers with juvenile children;
  • Day Care and children support program in prisons;
  • Adult Literacy School in prisons;
  • Residential Children Homes;
  • Sustainable Firefly Primary Schools;
  • Vocational training and social reintegration programs.

Strategically, the daycare and children support programs are the entry point of PA Nepal. The Day center helps us to assess the situation of children and mothers in jail. PA Nepal advocates keeping mother and child together, at least until the child is fully breastfed, if the situation is not favorable. If circumstances permit and the mother is able to keep the child with her, we recommend keeping the child with mom until age 4. For that, we also conduct adult education for mothers. Once the child crosses the age of 4, we relocate them into our central children home for further care and education. We identify the geographic location where the parents come from, and we send the children to our Firefly Sustainable School in that respective location, anticipating that the community knows these children and vice versa. In our Firefly Sustainable School, children get a quality education in their local area, but also learn their local culture, rituals, collecting means of livelihood and sustainability. The major objectives of this school are to connect children with their local culture, people and society, so they will not lose their rights to family property, legal documents, and connection to the land. Once children complete high school, they receive vocational training from Bhavisya project as per their interest which assists them to reintegrate in mainstream society.

a) Nutritional and personal hygiene support for pregnant women and mothers with juvenile children.

PA Nepal starts providing services to children in prison from the womb onwards. Once we identify pregnant women and mothers with children, we provide basic nutritional and personal hygiene support for mothers and their children.

b) Day Care and children support program in prisons

PA Nepal firmly believes that an incarcerated child should not be separated from the mother until the age of four. Mother-child separation gives enormous trauma to mother as well as to the child. PA Nepal advocates for child-friendly separate cells in every prison for mothers with minor children. Fortunately, the government of Nepal has already established this cell in the Central Female jail where mothers with minor children are kept and PA Nepal provides basic supplies for mother and child as well as psychosocial counseling and an enabling environment for criminal justice. In three other prisons- Chandragadi, Jhapa, and Palpa, we provide external daycare for children of incarcerated parents. They receive education, a midday meal and recreation in the day time, and in the evening return to the jail to sleep with their mothers.

PA Nepal has set up a daycare center equipped with sleeping mattresses, and Early childhood Development Education materials, toys, playing shapes utensils, and basic medical supplies. Each day care centre has trained teachers who look after the children. Across three day care centers, we look after 40 children and they receive nutritious midday meals and seasonal fruits. PA Nepal also provides supplementary milk , diapers for newborn infants and diet for new mothers in jail through its daycare program.PA Nepal is working to scale up a daycare center in all women prisons across the centers.

c) Adult Literacy School in Prisons

Many prisoners are illiterate and cannot read and write. Not only that, they are completely unaware of their basic rights and justice. One study shows that one in four prisoners in Nepal is in jail due to a false allegation. In this context, this school helps them to read and write and to learn about basic rights and justice.

PA Nepal has been running the adult school in the central women jail since 2000 AD in coordination with the government. The Ministry of Education has provided one teacher where we have managed for three along with refreshments and stationeries. Along with a regular literacy and health program, we have separate classes for criminal justice, human rights along with capacity building and life enhancement training. Currently, 150 students are studying in the adult school. PA Nepal is planning to scale up the adult school in all prisons to create an enabling environment to ensure criminal justice for all prisoners in Nepal.

d) Residential Children Homes

Once children are rescued from prison, they are brought to the central care homes. PA Nepal has two central residential children homes – Naya Bazar and Sankhu. Newcomers and young children reside in the first home, and once they accustomed to the environment they are sent to the Sankhu Home for further care and support as well as quality education. Currently, there are 189 children living in 10 homes.

e) Sustainable Firefly Primary School

Sustainable Firefly School is a unique concept developed by Indira Ranamagar. The objective of this school is that children must connect with the local culture and community of their parents. Indira believes that if children grow up in their own community, their relatives know them and take responsibility for them. This helps them to maintain their legal status along with preserving their family culture and language as well as parental property. Experience shows that keeping children away from their communities’ means they lose their language, culture and legal status along with family property. PA Nepal has three sustainable homes in Palpa, Buttabari Jhapa and Khudunabari- Jhapa where 32 children are living.