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A dent stair, a shelf full of shoes and books for common use, two rooms full of bunk beds and uncertainty. I am inside of one of the many orphanages in Kathmandu and that word is stuck in my mind. I see them coming from school and all I can think of is, What life will these kids have? What future is in front of them?

In Nepal, 41% of infants suffer from chronic hunger. Almost the majority of them only eat once a day and, living in an orphanage, these kids belong to that majority. Being the age of mandatory school 11 years old, most of them will drop school before that. Only 1 out of 5 will finish the secondary education. Will they? Or will they end up living and begging on the streets? It is really hard for me to write a sentence like this but everyone who has ever been in Kathmandu is aware or the tremendous amount of underage toxic dependents living in the streets. The Child Welfare Society organization estimates that 11.000 infants live in these streets and, in a country where marijuana and glue are sometimes cheaper than food you end up with a tough reality. They organize themselves into groups with very specific tasks. Begging, stealing, trying to live in front of the passivity of tourists and all the adults passing by.

Will these kids end up that way? If they don't, Will they drop school to work? In spite of child labor being illegal in this country, according to the Child Labour Report of 2008, they are 1,6 millions of infants forced to work instead of going to school. Nepal is no stranger to this concern: electrician, mechanics, agricultures… The majority of them are younger than 14 years old and the majority are girls. Why girls? The answer is as logic as terrifying: because they don't need to learn. 7 out of 10 Nepali women have never been schooled. These girls most certainly will have to get used to a life where they are not listened to. They will be slaves to their husbands, to their family, to their traditions. If they work they will earn less than the man beside them and if they marry, their husband will be able to injure them with all impunity, and all the weight of the household will go on to them. The gender distinction is so harsh that even their life expectancy is extremely lower.

So here I am, doing silly faces while they laugh. Besides the differences and beside having just met them they don't treat me like a stranger. They are used to it, they are used to see westerners come and go all the time in short “volunteering” programs sold like holiday packages. Do they have a real effect in their lives? Do they change the uncertainty of this child's life? Do I?

They are all laughing, playing, helping each other with their homework, fighting for the best pencil...meanwhile I, as an adult, can only see their uncertainty. That uncertainty that it is invisible to a child because for them everything is a game and the world is a playground. Or at least that is how it should be because, among all the questions I have, there is only one thing that I am truly certain of right now, that some kids stop being kids before than others.

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