The Badi Girls
Between 7,000 and 12,000 young girls, aged 9-16, are trafficked each year from Nepal; mainly to India. According to Nepal Monitor/On line journal, 2007, there are more than 200,000 Nepali girls in Indian brothels.
The Dalits(untouchables) are the lowest level in Hindu society, and the Badi community, in Western Nepal, are the lowest of the low. As a displaced hungry people group the Badi community has made sexual subservience a way of life. Young girls from this group “serve” other groups. This has become a tradition and means of livelihood. Many girls, even when they are unwilling, are forced to serve as sex slaves. Family members knowingly sell their daughters to traffickers.
Though prostitution is illegal in Nepal, the industry reportedly has links with highly ranked officials and political leaders. Large groups of girls are taken across the border with many police and government officials being in collusion with traffickers and brothel owners.
Traffickers and related criminals are often protected by political parties, and if arrested, are freed using political power. As a result, there is an underlying distrust of police that has led people not to file cases against traffickers.
Domestic action involves activities of NGO’s and other volunteer groups. These groups are playing a major role to address girl-trafficking and sex slaves issues. Some NGO’s are playing a very important role to improve the situation. From creating social awareness to rescuing and rehabilitation, they are providing services (and relief) to those that need it the most – the likely victims as well as the rescued ones. The Lighthouse foundation is one of these.
*See Chandra Kala’s story on this blog site.
Sunday, 30 September 2012
Saturday, 29 September 2012
Friday, 28 September 2012
Thursday, 27 September 2012
Today I leave the guest house and head to the Himalayan Hotel for the first stage of my tour. it has been wonderful over the last 3 weeks, obviously the trip out west the first week was the highlight, bringing the girls back to safety even though it was very scary at times. Horrible hotels, but these were mansions compared to where the girls live, roads with sheer cops on one side and land slides on the other, crazy drivers where I had my eyes shut more than open and much much more. But oh I would not have changed any of it at all.
Our team was great. Each of us had something different to bring to the trip.
I consider the school "my school" now and the children "my children". It is impossible not to fall in love with each and every one of them. One little boy in grade 4 will be Prime Minister by the time he is 30 I am sure.
Kisses and cuddles are the norm and the children's prayer just takes my breath away.
Teaching stretched me to my limits but I got through it and am very happy with the result. Robyn and Graham said "I would only achieve half of what I planned to" and that is right but we are in a 3rd world country.
I will be back, to help with the Vocational Program and the Transition to Work, but it will be in 2014.
Yesterday I had one of my wishes granted when I got to go on the back of a motor bike through the crazy traffic. So much fun I loved it. Susan, (that is what we call him) the driver, who is a house parent at one of the hostels asked if he was going to fast and I said "no go faster and he did"
I am looking forward to seeing more of this beautiful country and I know I will be amazed.
I know if I say it has been "life changing" you are all probably thinking yeah, yeah, it does seem to be a overused saying, but right now but I have no other works to describe it.
This will be my last blog but to all my dear friends and family thank you for your prayers, (I am sure they kept the bus on the road) and I will see you in a week or so.
Love Trish xxxxxx
Wednesday, 26 September 2012
I have spent 6 wonderful days teaching English in grades 3,4,5, and 6 with children ranging in each class from 7-16 years. I also did English lessons for the teachers each afternoon. I was totally out of my comfort zone and after a rocky start I think I did ok. That is what the feedback was anyway.
To see the children that I have heard so many heartbreaking stories about laughing, dancing, playing and learning with me was more that I can put into words. After school today I went to the playground and played hand clapping games with the girls that Sarah used to play at school. We laughed as I got it wrong and cheered when I got it right.
I head off on Thursday to explore this beautiful country. It is hard to put into words what my trip so far had done to me. The first week my tears rarely stopped and my heart ached. God seemed very far away sometimes.
Back in Kathmandu and I became part of the next step for them and I spent most of my time amazed at their spunk, determination, loving nature and I was only too willing to play a part in their need to be loved.
The teachers at the school are committed, caring and willing to learn as well as being fun. They treat the children both boys and girls with respect and like many of the teachers I know put in many hours of extra work for no pay.
God's hand is everywhere and as the children sing and pray as they did for me on Saturday for my birthday I know Nepal is in good hands in the future.
I am looking forward to my next adventure but soooooo sad to be leaving this one.
Tuesday, 25 September 2012
Who is like the Lord our God,
The One who sits enthroned on high,
who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth.
He raises the poor from the dust,
and the needy from the ash heap.
He seats them with princes, with the princes of their people.
It is so wonderful to see this with our own eyes.
Grahame is still away in Chitwan. He comes home tomorrow afternoon, and then the next day he goes to a place called Dolonghat to walk over some land to see if it is suitable for another project he has in mind. Some other team members will write a blog tonight with their summary of their time with the team
There were teaching segments on the properties of water tied in with Christ's ability to wash us clean; science experiments that had the Mulpani students eyes rivetted on the bunsen burner and the equipment; a craft section for making a bird; English in the teaching of simple songs; a moral story which lead to the teaching of a memory verse. All done with student participation and all done with the aplomb of teachers. They spoke slowly and clearly, which takes some discipline when you are a tad nervous. Then when it was time to mingle and talk to the Mulpani students they were very focussed on sharing the Mulpani students thoughts and not talking about themselves unless asked specifically.
Yes, I was impressed. They have certainly set a precedent for other teams. Well done Groves.
For devotions the other day Robby shared this, "We are either goers,senders or disobedient." This is from John Piper. Well we goers certainly thank all you senders who supported us in so many ways but especially in your prayers. Couldn't have done this without you. Thanks.
Trish is not a teacher but has shared her knowledge of ESL to encourage and teach the Mulpani staff and in particular the head English teacher. They teach in their second language and she has been able to share ideas and inspire Absolutely a positive influence on all the team.
Barry worked with her and provided the drama and light relief as well as being a quiet encourager and "bag carrier" for the team. Remember the Nepali teachers have to meet the government requirements from the text books for each subject and so Trish had to keep in mind the content in each book as well as share new ideas. Steep learning curve for her and one she accomplished.
Katie took photos of everything and her talent to see things through her camera lens that depicted the work here is of the highest quality. Her heart was one by her sponsor child and all the other darling girls who just loved her.
Margaret baked her way through bronchitis and into the girls hearts. Battling unrising self raising flour and health she set to work with a will and has left behind a kitchen and a program ready to go.
Robert has now arrived and Hari the maths teacher is thrilled to pieces to have someone of Robert's ability to give him ideas and help. Robert's grand-daughter is sharing in the nursery classes and of course the little ones love her blonde hair and smiles.
Robyn does as she always does and even with a big fat cold has set to to keep our home clean our tums full and all of us on time. She is a marvel our little Robby. In charge and yet quiet and efficient and loving.
Papa Grahame is really a softie. He keeps an eye on us all and yet works from pre-dawn to late. God surely picked just the right man for this job. Bless you big brother.
Monday, 24 September 2012
Saturday, 22 September 2012
Thursday, 20 September 2012
Wednesday, 19 September 2012
My cooking classes have had a slight hiccup as I've had trouble breathing. Not sure if it's asthma, chest infection, sinus infection or stress but I suspect all of the above!! I'm on the strongest of medication and still tight in the chest but hopefully improvement is on the way! So, I missed a class on Monday and today being a holiday there were no classes. Tomorrow I'm trusting all will be well for the class to re-commence. The kitchen is now fully equipped and Grahame has sourced the finest flour in Nepal!!
Barry is enjoying being part of the English teaching this week. He has made a life long friend in a young girl of 13 who is the oldest of 4 daughters who live in Surkhet. The team met the mother while they were out in the villages and she begged Pastor Raju to take her daughters as she was terrified of them being kidnapped by traffickers. They live in a hut made of mud, sticks and cow poo and there are no doors so the girls are at great risk. No father there at all either so this poor mother knew of Pastor Raju's reputation and her pleading paid off. The oldest girl flew back to Kathmandu with the team and her sisters will follow in the next bus load. This poor darling had never been on a bus or plane before and vomited all the way but adopted uncle (alias Barry) cleaned up the mess and looked after her. She is now so happy at the hostel and met up with her cousins. She now has a bed of her own instead of sleeping with 5 others (Grandma included) in a single bed. This ministry is beyond amazing and seeing God's heart for these beautiful girls has changed us forever.
Tuesday, 18 September 2012
I am teaching in the school now and it is so rewarding. The students are excited to have me there and I am working with Barry.We are doing our best but we are far from teachers. The kids love us anyway and we are having lots of fun. They are so well mannered and listen so intently to everything we say. We are also having afternoon sessions with the teachers. That I am finding more challenging as they expect to learn so much from us.
Today we went to the hostels and the children are amazing. We sang and played games with them while Katie took photos. It is Women's Day today, a holiday and the women are wearing red, beautiful, the material in the clothes are stunning. Time is going so fast.
We have now seen the girls in their villages, in the most terrible situations. We have been to the brothels and taken the them and the village girls with us to Kathmandu. Then been to the concert at the school and seen the end result. Girls well fed, being educated, cared for, having fun, singing and dancing.
Then to the hostels and the lovely clean rooms with sheets and a bed each. Good food and love from the house parents.
Lots of love to you all
Saturday, 15 September 2012
The baking classes started last Sunday afternoon with 20 girls which seemed to increase as the week went on! Thanks to the generous donations received before we left we have been able to purchase a commercial oven, a fridge, a microwave and a generator! Thank you to our wonderful supporters!
I've had to buy numerous bits and pieces as well and Monday we are buying a set of kitchen drawers...and we still have money left over. It's feels like the feeding of the five thousand all over again!
Barry and I have never experienced such poverty first hand. We've experienced the full gambit of emotions from the heart break of hearing the girls stories to seeing the joy they now have. At least two of 'my girls' in the baking class have such horrific pasts and to see the continual smile on their faces is nothing short of miraculous. What an absolute privilege to be a part of what God is doing here!
The baking classes have been quite chaotic and we are forced to halve the number of girls I will train. It was becoming too difficult to manage with over 20 excited girls keen to learn. I was so touched by the girls reaction to the oven. They've never seen one before and were so fascinated they sat in front of it and watched the cakes cooking!! How adorable is that!
We've successfully made brownies, slices and have just started on cupcakes and decorations. We were just a tad ambitious on Wednesday and made a chocolate mud cake for Sujan, the house father's birthday! He loved it, shared it around and the party began! The singing and dancing brought tears to my eyes.
I expect to up our standard now that the class has been reduced to 10.
There've been a few hiccups with flour and fondant so in some ways it's back to the drawing board for me!!
I'm overwhelmed at the love the girls show us and the amazing opportunities God has given us to share the love of Christ to these very worthy but almost forgotten Badi people. They are such beautiful people and it's an honour to be here with them.
Today we went to the school and saw the end result. The children at the school came from these backgrounds and today we watched them dance, sing and laugh at children's day. We were cuddled, hugged and kissed and a game of "round and round the garden like a teddy bear" was a huge hit and caused lots of laughter.
To see where the girls came from, the villages, poverty and pain and then see them at school laughing is the greatest thing ever.
I am loving it here, i would not want to live here it is the worse thing I have ever seen. But what a amazing work Educate Nepal is doing.
I must go we have a very early start tomorrow, we are off the the country again.
Friday, 14 September 2012
It is so good to be back in our flat. We are totally exhausted as we spent the last four days banging around in a mini bus on rough roads, dangerous and slippery roads around mountains, and playing chicken with every oncoming bus, truck or bullock wagon.
We began the day yesterday collecting Nepal's throw away women, 5 in all, and the little girl Katie wants to sponsor. The oldest one is 26, but she looks much older. We stopped at villages, and out they came, one from here and another from there. Our poor little 13 year old had never been out of her little village, and on the long trek back to Nepalgunj
Wednesday, 12 September 2012
Today, we met 3 women rescued from an Indian brothel. One is a bit older, and the other two were 20 and 18 respectively. The two young ones have already been enslaved for 4 years. These are the first of more we are hoping to get. I am unclear about how this has come about, but they will be flying back to Kathmandu with us tomorrow also. Raju is organising a half-way house for them, where they will be cared for and trained so they can gain meaningful employment. We had lunch with them and it is so great to think what the Lord can do to change these lives. This afternoon, we all piled into the bus, with all our new additions, and went to another village a couple of hours away. We were trying to arrange for girls from there also to come to Kathmandu. Sadly, there was one girl we have been looking for before who was going to be coming in and then was nowhere to be found on the day she was to be collected. She was 15 when she was originally contacted. We found out today that we are too late and she has already been taken to India. It is hard to look at her photo that we have in the computer and know we have to delete it, as she will no longer be on our list. We are also bringing in the younger sister of Pabrita, the beautiful girl who was rescued from India about 6 months ago.
Last night, Raju had a young 13 year old girls in tears, pleading for help for her family. He joined us at the evening meal upset from the experience. This morning, there was a bunda (strike) so no one was allowed to travel. Raju sent us off with a man to photograph a family near here and the surrounding village. We trekked down a long gravel steep path and came to our destination. There was a mother, grandmother, and four beautiful daughters. The oldest daughter asked for help for the family. When we came back to the hotel, our photographer, Katie has fallen in love with this beautiful girl and asked Raju if she could sponsor her. She also contacted her mother,who would sponsor another one, and Trish had friends who would sponsor the other two. Raju was very excited. The mother is very willing for this as she wants her daughters to have a better future. The oldest one, of course, is the 13 year old who had pleaded with Raju the night before. She will be flying back to Kathmandu with us tomorrow and the other three will be coming on the bus with other girls who are waiting for sponsors. A whole family rescued. It was wonderful after all the sad days we have had in the past few days