Prisoners Assistance (PA) Nepal – a non-profit making charitable organization dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating and socially reintegrating incarcerated children in Nepal, was founded by Indira Rana Magar, widely known as Aama. She first began working with prisoners in 1990 alongside human rights activist Parijat and registered PA Nepal in 2000 AD. Aama, is a social worker and human rights activist dedicated to giving prisoners’ children a better today and brighter future in Nepal. Indira was one of three finalist nominees for the 2014 World’s Children Prize and was awarded the World’s Children’s Honorary Award by Queen Silvia of Sweden for promoting and protecting the rights of incarcerated mothers with children. Various honorary awards that include Ashoka Fellow 2005, Asia 21 Young Leader Public Service Award 2009, BBC 100 Women around the World 2017, Rotary Vocational Excellence Award 2017 and many more at national level have been awarded to Aama for her humanitarian work in Nepal.

The major objective of PA Nepal is to create an enabling environment to ensure that children are not forced to endure the traumas of prison. The specific objectives are to rescue children from prison and provide a safe, secure and positive environment for them, ensuring the reintegration of children into their families and local regions as needed.

PA Nepal functions within a holistic framework, working with prisoners and their children at every stage of their journey to reintegration. We provide care and service to those imprisoned and, where possible, remove children from the jail and place them in safe and protected environments where they can receive complete care. The organization also advocates for crime prevention initiatives and works towards creating environments that are crime-free through promoting employment, education, structural change to the justice system and an understanding of criminal activity and its causes in Nepal.

PA Nepal conducts the followings programs in various parts of Nepal:

a) Prison Program
b) Children’s Homes
c) Education Program through Firefly Primary Schools (Junkiri School)
d) Capacity Building, Life Enhancement and Social Reintegration Program
e) Sustainability Programs
f) Youth programs
g) Advocacy and Policy Reform

PA Nepal has 16 children’s homes along with 4 daycare centers at different prisons, and a capacity building and life enhancement training center in Nepal that includes two Firefly Junkiri primary school homes, Lolang Tarekeshow Municipality, Kathmandu, Sankhu Home, Sankharapur municipality, Kathmandu, Mala Home 1&2 Kumari Home at Budanilkantha Municipality, Kathmandu, Aama Paradise Home Tansen Municipality, Palpa, Sustainability Home, Ganga Aama Home, Manmaya Home and Jungle Garden Home at Arjundhara Municipality at Jhapa, Mother Earth Home at Suryadaya Municipality, Ilam. At the same time, there are 3 daycare programs at Central Female Prison in Sundhara Kathmandu, Chandragadi Prison in Jhapa, Palpa Prison in Jaisidada, and a community day care in Saptari. On top of this, PA Nepal is running an Adult Literacy School inside the Central Women Jail in Kathmandu where 60 women are studying. The major objective of this school is to create an enabling environment for criminal justice.

Till now PA Nepal has successfully rehabilitated and socially reintegrated 800 children who had been incarcerated with their parents. 15 children are working in PA Nepal as full-time staff and 25 are abroad and working as entrepreneurs. Currently, 198 children (101 girls and 97 boys) are living in the different care homes of PA Nepal. By age, 19 are between 0 – 5 years old, 84 are between 6-10 years old. Total 75 children aged between 11 – 15, and 15 children over the age of 15. Additionally, PA Nepal supports 250 children of incarcerated parents who are living with their immediate relatives across the country.

Our Vision:

To extend our reach to the most needy and vulnerable individuals in society, contributing to a crime free society such that the entire nation and the world becomes able to see the beautiful impact that humanitarian perspective can deliver.

Mission:

To take care of prisoners and their children by expanding our reach to the neediest prisoners in Nepal and ensure that their children get proper nutrition, healthcare and quality education as well as societal support.

Our Objectives

PA Nepal’s ethos focuses on keeping families in contact while ensuring that innocent children are not forced to endure the traumas of prison. To this effect, our objectives are:

  • To provide a safe, secure and positive environment for prisoners’ children.
  • To ensure the reintegration of children into their families and local regions when felt necessary.
  • To promote and support income generation for vulnerable individuals affected by imprisonment.
  • To advocate for the basic rights as well as human rights of prisoners, and to ensure their welfare.
  • To improve the life skills and opportunities of the most vulnerable ex-prisoners and their dependents.
  • To reduce crime by engaging individuals in meaningful activities.

Activities

Advocacy and Legal Reform

Globally millions of children have a parent in prison; tens of thousands are living in prison with their parent, most often their mother. The parental incarcerated children are an invisible and highly vulnerable group whose rights and welfare are affected at every stage of criminal proceedings against their parent. Their rights and basic needs remain largely unacknowledged within criminal justice systems. The research found that children are held in overcrowded facilities and are subjected to violence and abuse. At the same time, those children who are left behind once their parent held in prisons, they are highly vulnerable and subject of abuse. Children fall through the cracks created by inadequate social welfare provision, lack of clarity in law and policy as to how to respond to them, and inadequate protection for children living in prisons. The psychosocial and economic withdrawal that include massive poverty trap, unemployment, unavailability of legal identity documents, poor academic performance, aggression, depression, delinquency, and substance abuse are the pertinent challenges face by the parental incarcerated children.

According to the Department of Prison Management (DoPM) in Nepal, there are currently 74 prisons across the countries that are housing 18,881 inmates against their capacity of 10,608. The real number of prisoners can be far more. Prison overcrowding has been a growing challenge for Nepal. Tough authentic data is not available; there are more than 7000 women and a similar number of incarcerated minors in the prison across the country. Some prisons are three times over crowded then its actual capacity. The incarcerated mothers with children have particular needs and requirements that are widely ignored in the overcrowded prison of Nepal. In fact, none of the female prisons in Nepal are design for female and children as per their psychical requirements. Across the country, only central jail has primary health care center inside the jail. None of the prison has PHC yet. PA Nepal is providing basic medicine and advocating for PHC facilities.

Realizing the gravity of the issues of incarcerated women and their minor children, Indira Ranamagar started her advocacy and legal reform activities since 1990. For that she has been awarded numerous national an international awards. The Indira Ranamagar – Amma was one of three finalist nominees for the 2014 World’s Children Prize and was awarded the World’s Children’s Honorary Award by Queen Silvia of Sweden for promoting and protecting the rights of the incarcerated mothers with children in Nepal. Various honorary awards that include Ashoka Fellow 2005, Asia 21 Young Leader Public Service Award 2009, BBC 100 Women around the World 2017, Rotary Vocational Excellence Award 2017 and many more in national level has awarded to Aama for her advocacy , social and legal reform work in Nepal.


Capacity Building and life Enhancement Program

Capacity building and life enhancement program is the key components for social reintegration. PA Nepal conduct the Bhavisya Handicraft Training to empower, rehabilitate and reintegrate underprivileged youths by providing them various life skill training. This program is supported by the Bhavisya Switzerland. This is the reintegration process of PA Nepal to develop the technical skill and make them financially independent. PA Nepal’s youth and socially backward youth spends three years period for completing this life skill training. Students learn following skills for three years after completing their highs school anticipating that they can continue their livelihood on this area: Thanka Painting, Paper craft, Pottery and Woodcarving.

They are living in the home as a family member and receiving stipend according to their performance during training period. Many of the youth are benefited by this training and they managed to support their family in future. After receiving graduation from program, they are eligible to start their own Handicraft business and able to contribute towards the economy of the country.


Social Reintegration and Family Support Program

PA Nepal believes in protecting and supporting the family as a unit, and thus every effort is made to keep the bond between the prisoners/ parents and their children strong and supportive. During the parent’s tenure in prison, PA Nepal offers life training skills and counseling with the aim to increase their confidence, independence and belief that they will be able to live a successful family oriented life. Children are given frequent opportunities to visit their incarcerated family members and are placed in one of PA Nepal’s children’s homes based on its proximity to their parents. Until these days around 1000’s of children are reintegrated towards the family. Most of the prisoners do not have good economic capacity to have accommodation or support upon their release, so PA Nepal offers these services in an effort to find individuals permanent housing along with employment. The organization acts as an advocate for the released prisoners and their families when dealing with officials from the prisons.


Suitability Program

PA Nepal always working to make its program as well as children independents and self sustainable. PA Nepal has set up self sufficient farming and income generative activities in its children homes as well as in schools. They focused in Farming, local handicraft, pottery within the Nepal. To ensure the longevity of all the PA Nepal’s programs, emphasis has been placed on environmentally and financially sustainable development. This goes hand-in-hand with the organization’s philosophy of independence and empowerment for prisoners’ reliance on foreign donation.


Girls Education and Empowerment Program:

Education is an essential part of a living being. Education helps an individual to be smarter, to learn new things and to know about the facts of the world. Education plays one of the most important roles in Women Empowerment. It also helps to put a stop to discrimination based on gender. Education is the first step to give women the power to choose the way of life she wants to lead. Gender discrimination is apparent in all aspects of society, but painfully evident in education system. GEE Program was established to provide non-discriminatory education for girls. The GEE sponsorship cover education related expenses including Stationery, Dress, Umbrella, Shoes, Tiffin at school. Girls study at their own school and PA Nepal directly pay the schools fees to the school and they are continuing living with their families. The GEE program are supporting following girls in following districts:

Details# of Girls Benefited
Kathmandu17
Saptari18
Jhapa17
Total52