The Lotus Children’s Home was founded in 2006 and is a safe haven in the middle of a bustling, polluted city.


Lotus Children’s Home (LCH) is an orphanage, based in Kathmandu, Nepal. For years, the organization has worked to ensure the welfare of orphans by Laxman and Laxmi Shresthas who were both themselves orphaned at tender ages.  Laxman met Laxmi when she was only 13 years old while she was working at her uncle’s business and eventually married years later. The Shresthas decided to volunteer at an orphanage and eventually ended up founding the Lotus Children's Home in 2006.  While it's a small orphanage, it is a safe haven in the middle of a bustling, polluted city.  

Nepal is a country ruled by the caste system.  Historically, children of low castes have a very poor quality of life with few opportunities.  Orphans are considered unlucky in Nepalese culture, especially girls. Multi-generational families typically live together under the same household, with children often acting as the caretakers of the elderly.  There is no "retirement plan", therefore, for many having a family is crucial for survival. 

The Shresthas consider the children living at the Lotus Children's Home to be their own.  Twelve children between the ages of 5 and 17 live at the LCH, three of children are Shrestha's children (including the youngest who was adopted at birth).  The orphanage is run by Laxman and Laxmi as well as a live-in volunteer.

The primary source of support for the Lotus Children's Home is the Shresthas.  Laxman works around the clock to provide funds for rent, food, clothing, tuition, and school uniforms for all twelve children.  They also receive funding via donations from individuals, including many past volunteers. The biggest challenge they continue to face is funding. 

Education is critical to the future of all children, but especially to those who are orphaned or vulnerable.

LCH advocates for children’s education and youth empowerment. They instill in the children the importance of quality education and how it is a means for them to take control of their futures so they grow to be dignified, active members of society. Rather than sending the children to a poor quality government school, the Shresthas sacrifice all they have to send the children to a private school.  Every facet of their lives is decided with the children's best interests at heart.

Photographer Rebecca Eby journeyed to Kathmandu to capture the daily lives of the children, volunteers, and workers at the Lotus Children’s Home through series of candid shots and beautiful portraits of beaming children. These photos will help the organization find volunteers both locally and internationally and help to secure funding via donations by adding a level of transparency. The images represent the hopeful futures and potential of the children.

 

About Rebecca Eby

Rebecca Eby got her photographic start while traveling the world with the US Navy in 2000. Photographing the Lotus Children's Home in Nepal was the most meaningful project she's ever been a part of and has increased her desire to improve the lives of orphans around the world.  Shooting for Photographers Without Borders was a life-changing experience.  Rebecca and her husband reside in the beautiful Driftless Region of Wisconsin where they are actively trying to adopt a child of their own.