Alissa Hill from Sippy Downs has started a fund to build a children's home in Nepal.
Alissa Hill from Sippy Downs has started a fund to build a children's home in Nepal. Brett Wortman

Giving hope to abandoned kids

AN INFECTIOUS smile and large brown eyes stare out the face of the three-year-old girl, abandoned to "the Gods" on the streets of Nepal.

This little child, Rabina and her five-year-old sister, Sabina are just a couple among the thousands of children living on the streets.

Counsellor Alissa Hill would have loved little more than to pick them up, cuddle them and bring them home to Australia as her own.

The 53-year-old had spent months searching how she could adopt a child.

But she realised taking them back to Australia wasn't a possibility. Instead she is doing something better.

She is trying to become a long-distance mum to hundreds of children in a similar position by opening up an orphanage in the streets of Kathmandu and providing food and hope.

The tragedies that occur daily in Nepal seldom make headlines.

Years of war have left thousands of people hungry and homeless, unable to care for their own.

These people rely on the West for funding. There is no Centrelink in their country, no government support for the most needy.

An estimated 50,000 children die each year, mostly from malnutrition and the caste system is also "still very much alive".

Ms Hill says when she arrived in the country on the foothills of the tallest mountain in the world, "I didn't want to leave".

"I was anchored to the spot. I've never seen such a sad sight in my entire life.

"I knew I had to help them."

It was while walking the streets that she found Rabina and Sabina.

"Their mothers can't afford to keep them, they abandon them to the gods," she said.

"Many of them are stolen. Trafficking in Nepal is the highest in the world.

"About 12,000 girls are stolen every year for prostitution, mainly in India.

"India has a wide open border, people can just come and take these children."

Many are sold to wealthy landowners and used as young "slaves".

Some are also giving to "the temple". Others become prostitutes.

Organisations like Destiny Rescue do powerful work in saving children and women in similar positions in Thailand.

But there aren't many organisations involved in Nepal.

Instead of rushing into brothels and rescuing the women and children, Ms Hill wants to provide them with alternatives.

"I want to help with preventative measures to get the children off the street and stop the trafficking from happening in the first place.

"If I can get them off the street and educate and house them, they can't be taken.

"If we can bring wealth into the villages, so the village people won't have to sell their daughters for money..."

She is hoping to set up handcraft and sewing centres and "make the women productive".

"We can bring the goods back to Australia and sell them without the middle man," she said.

It sounds like a big dream for one rather small woman.

But Ms Hill knows it has to begin somewhere.

"They have no way out. The families give them up to the Gods and let them die.

"There is no government organisation to help them. They are heading for self-destruction.

"I'll set up a small orphanage. I have the legal framework in place to do it.

"A lot of people dream about helping, but starting the idea from scratch is difficult.

"I've done the initial bit. One person can make a huge difference."

But to proceed she needs backing.

"I need the backing of businesses," she said.

All the funds she raises go "100% directly to the children".

"There are thousands of orphans there because of the war and there is a lot of corruption."

Ms Hill hopes to return to Nepal in three months.

To learn more about her charity, visit

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