Farmland, vegetable garden, and crafts shop sustain our fight against human trafficking

July 23, 2014

Farmland, vegetable garden, and crafts shop sustain our fight against human trafficking

Photo: Girls rescued from human trafficking are learning valuable skills which will allow them to stand on their own as they’re restored to a life full of hope.

We are happy to share a miraculous report from our efforts to fight human trafficking in Nepal. This week a 16-year-old orphan who had been living with her uncle had gone missing. Someone in her native village contacted our local team, knowing they work on the border looking for trafficked girls. They provided her photo, and our team kept an eye out for her at our border kiosk from which we look for suspicious activity and distribute trafficking awareness pamphlets.

Our border team saw her distinct eyes and knew immediately that it was her. She was literally about to cross the border with the trafficker her uncle had sold her to. Our kiosk is just within a few feet of the border, where there are numerous police. Our brave staff member called out to the police, showed them her photo, and the police arrested the suspect. He is now in jail, and the orphan is now safe at the She Has Hope rehabilitation home in Kathmandu, Nepal. When we found her the only possession she had was the tattered clothing she was wearing. Now, thanks to your help and support, she has hope.

For others, it’s not so fortunate. An estimated 12,000 Nepalese women, mostly teenagers or younger, are being trafficked across the Nepal-India border each year, where the majority end up in brothels as prostitutes against their will. Others end up in different kinds of slavery where they’re trafficked to other countries and end up usually abused and neglected as domestic slaves.

Our team is also going village to village, school to school, distributing our literature about the trafficking crisis, speaking to girls, and offering special training on how to be aware of the many common deceptions, tricks, and traps the traffickers use to lure them or their parents into thinking the “opportunity” is legitimate. The training also includes information for the girls to know what they should do and who to contact if they suspect traffickers are in the area.

Thanks to donations, along with profits from our native-led farmland enterprise in Nepal, we’ve recently been able to double the amount of sewing machines in our seamstress classroom, and outfit the crafts and knitting classroom with desks and benches. These major improvements have greatly aided in the learning process as the girls work through the courses.

The home in Kathmandu, Nepal, is currently rehabilitating 12 girls who are teenaged and into their early twenties, recovering from human trafficking situations. At the home they receive counseling, room & board, medical care, literacy classes, cooking classes, and become proficient in several craft-making, seamstress, and gardening skills through daily coursework offered by our full-time teachers. We aim to equip them with everything they’d need to know to stand on their own, and to care and provide for their future families.

Their crafts are sold on the She Has Hope crafts shop to supplement the program’s funding. The newest handmade items are sequined drawstring pouch purses, plush animal keychains, children’s stuffed teddy bears, and plush elephant toys. All proceeds from the She Has Hope shop go directly toward the girls’ care — for example, proceeds from the sale of one purse ($20) will care for one girl’s rehabilitation, food, shelter, training, and medical expenses for four full days!