I recently finished reading Little Princes: One man’s promise to bring home the lost children of Nepal by Conor Grennan and was quite impressed with both the work being done and the honesty of the writing. It’s not that often that you can read a book about charities and child trafficking and find yourself laughing on a regular basis, but Conor’s great sense of humor and wit really keeps a person immersed in the story and helps to balance the subject matter with some healthy doses of positivity, making it one of those books I didn’t want to put down. Should you decide to pick this up, as an added bonus, sales of the book also go to support Next Generation Nepal.
The story follows Connor as he decides to take a year off for traveling the world, and begins this journey by working in a children’s home in Nepal. This plan wasn’t really thought out as a civil war was going on at the time, and Connors motivation had nothing to do with working with children and mostly to do with telling people (namely women) that he had worked with children in an overseas charity. Although he was figuring this experience was going to make for a fantastic pick up line, he did not anticipate how much going to Nepal was going to change his life.
Learning to deal with kids was one thing, but finding out that they weren’t “real” orphans was quite another. What Connor learned was that human traffickers were working in the remote villages of Nepal, convincing poor farmers to send their children off with them by promising the kids a better life with food, education and a chance to escape being drafted into the civil war which commonly was taking children as conscripts. Parents didn’t just send their children away though, they also paid the trafficker large sums of money, often bankrupting themselves for this “opportunity”. Once the trafficker took the children across the country, they would profit from them in any way they could or dump them into illegal orphanages that could often barely keep them alive, thus ensuring that these kids would likely never see their parents again, and the scam could continue.
Some of these children were rescued and made it into NGO orphanages, like the one Connor worked in, but knowing that their families were out there, Connor took it upon himself to try to find a way to reunite these children with their loved ones, and to try to stop the cycle by educating the families about what was actually happening. Little Princes is truly an inspirational read, and shows how far people will go when they realize the amazing differences that they can make.