In the run up to Christmas its very easy to lose your head in all the festivities taking place this month. And last week I found myself brought back to earth by a very remarkable man who has been working really hard for many years now to help transform the lives of marginalised and disadvantaged children within Nepal. I had great pleasure attending an exhibition and talk by Philip Holmes the founder of The Esther Benjamins Trust, set up after the suicide of his wife Esther Benjamin in 1999. The charity works to transform the lives of marginalised and disadvantaged Nepalese children and Philip now resides in Nepal where he runs the trust. The work carried out by the trust includes a programme to stop Nepalese children being trafficked into circuses in India and since 2004 The Esther Benjamins Trust has rescued 280 Nepalese children and teenage girls from India’s notorious circuses, where they are held against their wills as performers, enduring all kinds of vicious abuse and exploitation. Last week he came over to the UK to give a talk at Namaste-UK and show an exhibition of mosaic art – an art tradition that goes back two thousand years in the west, but is brand new to Nepal. As part of the rehabilitation process Philip has been teaching the children the art of mosaics and with some of the older trafficking victims he has formed a business producing commissioned mosaics. What a fabulous enterprise this is and at this time of year it only serves to highlight how important it is to think a little bit more ethically in the run up to Christmas day!

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