Desperate Girls

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, 31 March 2013

The grave is empty.

What a wonderful day we have had today.  The service began at 11 a.m. in a large auditorium rented for the occasion.  The building was packed to the rafters, 3,000 people.  The large band , guitars, drums, keyboard,  trumpets , violins, the beautiful singers in their glorious saris glistening in the spotlights, was wonderful.  We sang lovely nepali choruses , one we knew, "above all".  It is so great to sing along. We were treated to a traditional nepali band with drums, weird trumpets and funny instruments.  Then an old lady in her blue sari started to dance spontaneously, swaying gracefully to the music.  Then a young man joined in more vigorously, others followed.  I love the way these people celebrate the joy they feel in the Lord.  We also had two other beautiful nepali dances on the programme, so delightful to watch. One with boys and girls together, and later six young women, very eastern style, graceful hand gestures.  It is impossible to explain how lovely it was, but there will be a  DVD of the whole programme we can hopefully share with some of you when we get home.   Then  about 40 of our girls from the hostels sang to us.  It is so great to see them there so clean and happy and think how different their lives would have been if so many Aussies hadn't made it all possible.


The grave is empty.

Tour guide

Liz and Joanna have spoken of their first impressions. It is great to see everything through new eyes because we have become accustomed to some things.  Liz is having a nepalese outfit made. We met a lovely christian young woman in her little shop called "Three Sis" which is a dress shop she owns with her two other sisters.  She then took us to the tailor, down a dark lane, with his little shop hidden away from view.  The grand price of about $3 to make the whole outfit.  After our lovely visit with the girls, we went to the Bakery Cafe, where most of the staff are mute, one fellow is a dwarf, and one or two english speaking waiters.  One man in particular is such a comedian.  He "signs" and plays charades acting out what he wants to say.  He is always smiling and so much fun.  It is a lovely experience to be there and eat unusual food.  It is especially great to see them having wonderful employment opportunities.  It is Easter Sunday, and I can't wait to go to the combined service of Raju's church and all the satellite churches.  It was funny.  Raju came yesterday and asked me what I was going to wear today.  He wanted to know if I had my Nepalese outfit because he thought it would be appropriate for me to wear.  He came into the bedroom to inspect to see if it would be right.  First time I have had a man tell me what I should wear to an occasion.  I think we will be some sort of "visual aid" for the morning.  Liat arrived at 2 am this morning, as her plane had been delayed.  She seems quite spry though and keen to get into her part of the teamwork.  Two more team members arrive at lunch time today.


First impressions of Kathmandu

We left the quietness of Transformation House this morning and wound our way through dogleg  streets that were surprisingly not too narrow for cars, pedal and motorised bikes, people and dogs all weaving around each other and only controlled by the regular beeping of car horns moving the obstacles out of their way. The contrasts are immense between rich and poor here with 3 and 4 story brightly coloured mansions right next door to small squats with corrugated steel roofs or rubbish covered blocks. A senses feast of sights, sounds and smells surround you everywhere you go. The Nepalese smile broadly when they are greeted with a 'namaste' and it surprises you to see no matter their circumstance they seem content with just a smile from you.
After a noisy tour of Bouddha street weaving back and forth in front of cars to visit different shops and then visiting the Buddhist Stupa - a weird, bright white Temple full of lost worshippers to a false God -so sad - the real highlight of the day was the visit to the Badi girls hostel at Tusal.
The girls were so affectionate I was blown away -it was a hugfest!! The whole time I was there I would constantly feel a small hand in mine or a an arm go around my waist. The language was a small barrier but some of the older girls could speak some English and we had a clumsy go at some Nepalese words too. No matter how these words came out the girls were smiling and laughing. They were so excited when I would say their name back to them and I showed them some photos on my camera of my class. 'Teacher' was a word they understood and they loved taking and looking at photos of themselves for a lot of the time we were there. Robyn had brought some photos that had been taken on a doll-making day for them to keep of themselves and they treasured them. There was a very quiet, stone faced little girl that Robyn said had come in with calloused hands like a tradesman -she was only about 5 or 6 she never smiled the whole time and seemed so sad. Liz and I were blown away by the loving reception we had been given and it was hard to leave -we will be seeing some of them again to day at a huge Easter service where they will be singing. I am looking forward to hearing their beautiful voices.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Good Friday

It seems odd that it is Good Friday, and it is just another day in Nepal.  Usually, we have church here on a Saturday, being the day off here, but because Sunday is Easter Sunday, Raju is having a combined meeting with his home church and all the satellite churches.  He is expecting around 3,000 people in a hired hall in town.  I am looking forward to the celebration.  They always sing so wonderfully at the normal service, so, with so many, I guess they will lift the roof.  We have had two rooms carpeted upstairs, and 4 rooms on the ground floor with new lino, one for sewing, one for beauty training, one for the Transform the Nations office, and one large room for a multipurpose training room.  We were without water the first day, as the pump that pumped the water into the underground tank, was broken.  That has been fixed today, as well as the lock taken out of the large kitchen downstairs, so we can get in and prepare it for the cooking classes.  Some young men from the Bible College came over this afternoon and moved some furniture, and some general cleaning, after the landlord removed the last of his rubbish.  I had my first ride on a motorbike yesterday.  I vowed I would never get on a  bike in Kathmandu, but I gave in to Sujan's pleading.  It was quite fun. I felt very daring.  I'm really a coward at heart.  Grahame picked up two of our team this afternoon, and they are settling in .  They have enjoyed their first experience of colour and sound.  They will write on the blog themselves.  4 new beds arrived today and a long table for the cooking class.  There is still more furniture to come and some rearranging but it is coming together  slowly.


Wednesday, 27 March 2013


Today is 27th March, and we have just arrived this afternoon.  We have a couple of days to prepare for the arrival of the other team members.  There is a lot to do to be ready for them, as when we left last time, the owner hadn't moved out properly, and so we have to get the second floor prepared with carpet and beds and the ground floor ready for our vocational education departments. It was 25 degrees when we arrived at 1 p.m..  Our plane was only half full, so we had room to stretch out a bit.( that is the leg from Bangkok).  We are praising the Lord that our inverter is working.  Last time it took about 10 days to get it sorted and with no power for 12-14 hours a day last January, it was a problem for the men who have sleepapnia.  It is only good for charging our computers, phones, camera's etc. but we have become so reliant on these things,  it is hard to do without.  Grahame has already had to go off to a meeting with Raju to meet a man from Maiti ( an organisation that rescues girls from India).  He only had time for a quick shower and off again.  We always say we hit the ground running in Kathmandu.  Anyway, will be in touch tomorrow.