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.

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Tuesday.small team great fellowship

Grahame flew out for Yangon last night, so we are only 8 on team at present.  We,all had a great day with the training, and at night, we really enjoy hearing each ones personal journeys.  After dinner, the musical ones sang and played, and Al Watson, our keynote speaker played the plastic rubbish bin.  He was quite good, too.  I am having difficulty with putting photos on the blog at present, but we have more arriving at lunchtime today, and one is an IT guy, so he can help me.


Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Tuesday 29 December. Happy birthday

Today, we celebrated two birthdays.  One of our team member's and Nelson, the son of the young couple who manage our guesthouse.  We have half a dozen different classes going at once in different rooms in the guesthouse.  It is pretty full on every day.  All our team members are having a wonderful time, and, as is always the case, have fallen in love with the people.  I had a fun ride on the back of a motorbike again yesterday, though it was a bit chilly.  Many of the hostel girls are away at present visiting in their villages.  We have been having a lot of trouble with the power.  Usually, it is 12 hours without power, but today has been worse than normal.  We ran out of water in our tanks on the roof as the water has to be pumped up when the electricity is on.  We had to use a generator, as we have over a hundred people here each day and just flushing toilets uses lots of water.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Sunday,28-12-14. Conference begins

Here we are at the guest house, feeling as if we never left.  Our flights  went according to plan,  but had to wait for an hour and half for one vanishing suitcase.  It turned up thankfully,  as all I had to wear was what I was standing in.

Team members arrived over the course of the day; Grahame having to go late at night to pick up two ladies who have  come from NewZealand.  We have another arriving tonight, and at the end of the week, some leave and others arrive.    The Conference is underway.  We had a great keynote address from Al Watson this morning which he will continue this week.  Now classes of various groups are in different rooms with their trainers.

It is milder than expected, but was cool during the night. The sun is shining, and a "hot" Nepali lunch was had by all at the break.  I saw Sapana today, who is the first of our half-way house ladies to be married.  He is  in Bible college, and he is a nice young man.


Saturday, 4 October 2014

Saturday 4th October. The last post.

It's Saturday afternoon, and we are half packed to fly home in the morning.  There is a saying. " When you look like your passport photo,  it is time to go home."  Well, I think I passed that mark about two weeks ago.  No! I am not showing you the photo.  We have two team members flying out tonight.  They have been here for four weeks, and now they are headed for Thailand, for another month, doing a building project.  It is nice to be young and energetic.  We will have one team member left by herself till next Friday, Vanessa, who is working with the Principal and Deputy while the kids are on holidays.  Then she is off on a 16 day trek.  Grahame preached in another church today.  He is not at all well and not looking forward to the long journey home.  Some of our girls were dressed in Saris this morning (because of the festival time) and they looked absolutely fabulous.  They seem like girls to me, but when they are dressed up , they are something else.  We have been blessed with electricity almost all the time, for the past three days because of festival time, so that has been nice.  Anyway, it is time to sign off for this trip.  Grahame will be back in about three weeks, with a school team.  Hope you have enjoyed walking through life in Nepal with us.


Friday, 3 October 2014

Friday 3rd October.

Today, is very quiet, as 12 left last night for home.  Everyone had a wonderful time, though a few were not well upon leaving, but did manage to accomplish all that they wanted.  Below are our beautiful ladies, minus one, who had gone back to the village for festival.  Trish had an amazing time with them, training for work readiness.  Things that seem so elementary to us, are a complete revelation to them.  They have grown in confidence with this training and it is wonderful to see how far they have come.  They have been practicing their hospitality and developing their balancing skills with the plates and making great coffee and hot chocolate.  We are working toward setting up a coffee shop in the near future, where the girls can actually begin earning a living.  We would like to also have their craft items, like the dolls and jewellery for sale in the shop, and also a little book shop.  The problem is finding a shop to rent in a good area is very difficult.   Grahame is looking at something this morning, but we have learned not to get too optimistic.  It is Dashain festival this week.  Apparently, 1 million goats are shipped from India for this week, for sacrifices to gods.  We were walking up the street yesterday, and their was a stream of bloody water running down the lane.  We passed a house, where they were butchering a goat.  There was a large dish with all the intestines etc as well.  They offer the blood to their gods and then eat everything, intestines and all.  Apparently, some even drink the blood. There was a cute little goat in a neighbouring front courtyard yesterday, bleating for hours.  There is no noise today, so I guess he has met his fate.  This festival is the reason  quite a few of our girls have gone home.  We have been invited to go to one of the hostels for lunch.  We will be joining the girls for festival lunch.  Even though, as christians, they don't  offer to gods, they still have a special meal (with goat) just like having a Christmas dinner.  I'll try to keep the image of that little goat out of my mind.  I know we eat meat at home, and there is really no difference, but it is just life in the raw here.  Everything is so sanitised  at home.  Passover  time would have been a very bloody affair in Israel.  So the young women have done hospitality, baking, jewellery making, tailoring, preparation for work, doll making, and self defence .  One of them told Trish that she would never in her wildest dreams consider that her life could be like this.  They are all so thankful.  Of course, there has been Bible training both out in the West and also here with young eager church leaders, there has also been educational training in the schools, a computer centre set up in the hostel for improved training for ESL, and ESL class training young people in English in preparation for University in Indonesia, face painting and ballooning (which was a fabulous treat for the kids and not so little kids).  Visits to the hostels, with lots of fun and games, and Aussies loosing their hearts to these precious little ones. There have been many weary workers, frustrations and sickness also, but that is an expected part of life here.(please don't ask "how was your holiday.")  We are so thankful for everyone who has invested time, energy, money and love in the lives of our girls, and young adults.  I will let you know if we have any good news on the coffee shop.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Tuesday 30th September. Goodbyes, and coffee shops


Today, Tim had to say goodbye to his little sponsor girl.  As usual, tears flowed.  Also the self-defence class came to a close as Annette and Danielle both leave tomorrow, along with Tim.  We had a visit from a school team from John Paul College, who had a cooking class with some of our girls.  Also, our regular girls practiced their skills of hospitality on the team,  in our temporary coffee shop.  As you can see,  our girls are becoming quite skilled with their barista training.  Trish was working with her young women in preparation for work.  Today, they practiced having a job interview.  They are all such quick learners.  It is great when you see them grasping new concepts and running with them.  ESL classes continue,  Tim did some bike maintenance with the boys, others were are the school training teachers.  We had another team member arrive last night, who was also working in the school.  Face painting and ballooning continued with the children at school, and visits to sponsored children.  My day was the usual frenzied round of grocery shopping, interviews of last minute children about to board the bus and go home to the village for a visit, finishing off last minute details on the dolls , cooking dinner and lunch, and making sure everyone is OK.  Some of the ladies have bought some lovely Nepali outfits, so I guess they will be showing them off when they get home.   Frank has had the opportunity to go to three home groups late in the afternoon, and  do some teaching, usually sitting in the lounge/bedroom with the small group of eager people waiting to drink in every word.  Josh has been working setting up a computer room with his IT skills.  Not exactly sure just what he is doing, as it is all too technical for me.  Emma and Josh are doing some teaching at school and also helping out in the self defence class.  Mike is enjoying teaching in the Bible School and his  students are keen as mustard.  We have twelve people leaving on the late flight on Thursday, and then we will be down to five.  It has been a very full and exhausting  time, but being here is a wonderful experience.  Most people are already talking of returning.  I guess finances are the big factor.  Last night, we had a call that a big flood had swept away 44 houses in a village we have been to visit.  There was an urgent need for $2,000 to buy rice to keep these poor people alive while something can be done for them.  They are already so desperately poor, we wonder how they will survive.  As a team, we prayed for what was needed.  Within a few minutes, $2,500  was available for  immediate relief.  Jehovah Jireh, our provider is faithful.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Monday 29th. ESL, cockies, and dolls

 We have been overrun in the kitchen with little cockroaches in the cupboard.  Every time we get out the plates, we have to brush off the black sprinkles from everything.  I decided it was time to clean out.  As there is no such thing as cockroach  baits here, I took out everything and sprayed with insect spray.  All the disgusting little creatures were hiding  on the top of the inside of the cupboard. Well it was really raining cockies.  I was feeling pleased with myself.  The next day,  black sprinkles back on the plates.  Guess we will have to live with it.  It is said that new missionaries who find a fly in their tea, throw out the tea.  After a few months, they take out the fly and  drink the tea.  After more months, they drink the fly in the tea.  Peter above , with ESL class of keen young people trying to master english.  Below the girls in the last stages of doll making.  Robyn.

Sunday 29 September

Not happy Jan

KFC Nepali style  Read the sign carefully
Please Sir
   Little beggar boy begging at the windows of cars while waiting in traffic.  There are  5,000 street children o the streets of Kathmandu.

 Trish meeting her sponsor girl for the first time.  Very cute.

The team went to Durbar Square, Bhaktapur, an ancient city, and enjoyed seeing the old buildings, pottery being made, and other arts and crafts.  In the afternoon, they went to  Swayambhunath, the monkey temple.  There are many great photos of monkeys taken by everyone.  Some were not so friendly, snarling and baring their teeth, other were very cute, keeping everyone amused.  There was actually an artist shop with paintings of the mountains, and the artist  is a Christian lady, with Bible texts on the paintings.  What a great place to have a christian witness in the middle of a hindu temple.  Tomorrow, everyone  will be going in all sorts of directions doing their specific tasks  This is the most diverse team we have had.  So many different things on the go.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Friday 26th. Building relationships


Everything in Nepal is about relationships and community.  All our training and activities are driven by becoming a family with these lovely people.  Trish  is with her girls , Nepalese style,  preparing them for work.  It has been wonderful to see the "light bulbs" going on, as Trish opens up new avenues of thinking.  Hannah above after having her face painted by one of her trainees.  And below, is Danielle, assisting some of the girls working towards english speaking.  The team arrived last night quite weary, but full of stories of their experiences out in the West.  They know they will never be able to fully explain what they have seen and done.  Mike and Frank loved doing training of the pastors, and everyone has seen the places that some of our girls come from.  It is quite confronting.
Peter is teaching ESL and I will get a photo of that in the future.  Today  is   team day off, so we are going out together this afternoon.  The ladies who arrived last night have been washing all morning in the little twin tub mating.  They had mountains of washing.


Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Tuesday 23. Going west

Today, 10 team member boarded "Buddah Air" and flew 1 hour to a town called Nepalgunj and then travelled 3and a half hours , winding through mountains to Berendanagar, where they are staying for a few days.  Mike and Frank are already out there, training young pastors from the district.  It is out in the west of Nepal.  It is good to go out there as it gives another whole perspective on life here.  They will all return on Thursday evening.  Trish began her training in "work readiness" for the young women who come here for all sorts of training.  There is a lot for them to learn about applying for work, being a good employee, servicing customers, ethics, and having a vision for what they can be.  They enjoyed their class.  There was also more training in hospitality, doll making, and our balloon experts have been causing great fun wherever they go.  Tim is assisting them while some of the team are away.  There is ongoing  educational instruction at the school, in various ways, and Craig is teaching 42 students in the Bible College.  Six 50 min sessions a day, with an interpreter.  That is hard work.  I have no pictures today, sorry.  This is such a great team.  It is the biggest team we have had, with a big variety of ages and skills, but there is a great spirit between everybody.  Each night after dinner, we get together and share our highlights for the day.  As most of us have entirely different things to do, it is nice to hear how others got on.   Each one here is impacting many lives, but we also are being changed by these beautiful people, who are so grateful and warm and responsive to anything they can learn, and responding to the love shown to them.


Monday, 22 September 2014

Birthday party, toenails and cool dolls


Today, was Trish's birthday.  66 today.  I'm sure she won't mind me telling you that.  The ladies doing the training and the girls , made this lovely mud cake, plus pikelets, mars bar slice, cupcakes, scones etc.  It was a great party.  Trish and I  went to the Hyatt for lunch also to celebrate her birthday, so all in all, it was a good day.  Above, is a picture of one of the housemothers with a balloon hat on, and Lyn painting the little girl's toenails at one of the hostels.  Also our first completed doll.  The others are coming.  We only have 7 of them all together, and we will be selling them when we come home.

Sunday 21, Clowns, Face paint, Dirty nappies and games


Finally , I have been able to get back to the blog.  We have had a very full few days.  The team from our old church arrived, 11, and really filled the guest house.  Then today, Trish arrived.  So we had 24 in residence.  WE have been deluged with rain the last two days.  Our main  road was a river and nearly impassible.  I'm sure I saw the animals two by two.  Anyway,  it caused  the power to go out so we were 28 hours without power, except for one half hour in the middle.  A couple of hours after the team arrived we went to church then out to dinner.   They were very weary.  Someone said it was sensory overload.  They have enjoyed every minute.   The team was divided into three, each one going to see different things.  Some of the ladies went to the Miriam centre to see our babies (toddlers now) and enjoyed playing with them.  Then they offered to help with anything and to their surprise they were offered the opportunity of washing the dirty babies nappies in cold water, by hand.  Now if that is not a servant heart, I don't know what is .  Aaron and Hannah visited two hostels and did their balloon art and face painting.  It was a huge hit with the kids.  The third team visited another hostel, and played games with the kids, which they joined in very enthusiastically.   Tonight, we found trouble finding places to sit and eat dinner, and then in the lounge room later, the young people  are sitting on the floor playing cards.  It is really quite nice to sit here and listening to everyone interact sharing all the highlights of the day, and teasing each other.  Anyway I'm off.  


Friday, 19 September 2014

Thursday Party time

We had our party time today and we had great fun.  Above is the beautiful afternoon tea and the girls cooked all the food.  Then it was on  with the fun.  The rule is that you have to hold your mouth right, squeeze that balloon between your knees and go for your life.  Also passing a tennis ball from one to another under the chin caused great hysterics.  Lyn in the blue dress doing her thing, and right at the top, we were doing the Hokey Pokey,  (you put your bottom in, you put your bottom out, etc. etc.).  Also, the girls putting some finishing touches on their dolls.


Thursday, 18 September 2014

Wednesday 17th. Hob Nobbing at the Hyatt


How cute is this little girl on her way to school.  Gloria took a photo of her this morning .  Gloria, Danielle and Annette decided to just wander into the Hyatt, nearby where we live, and have morning tea.  All along the street, and down the driveway, were about 50 riot police, with assault rifles.  Apparently, there was a conference there, with important people from a number of nations.  So the three of the ladies, just went in, made themselves at home in the restaurant, sipped home made lemonade with mint, and pretended to be the upper crust for the morning.  Of course, it was short lived, as they had to join the real world and get back to training.  I'm jealous.  I must try to get there  myself, as I have never been that daring.  I always thought you had to be a guest to be there.  Tomorrow, we are having a little party with the girls, as it is the last day for our classes with this group.  We plan a few funny games and definitely some dancing.


Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Tuesday 16th, Living dolls and ones in progress


 Danielle and Emma showing off their beautiful new Nepali outfits, just arrived  from the tailor.    They are looking forward to a reason to wear them now.  I guess they will get all dolled up  for church on Saturday.   Also, my lovely girls very intent on the job at  hand.  They sit there working and singing.  Life is pretty  full for them nowadays.  They are learning so many new skills.
Tim began today. He repaired a scooter in a couple of hours, that the bike shop was unable to be fixed.  He also had 11 boys in his training this afternoon, training in bike repair.  He has no interpreter so communications are quite difficult.  Tim hopes  to download tutorials to show the boys how things work.  Tomorrow Lyn and Kate arrive at lunch time.  Team is growing.


Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Monday again. New arrival

No! Not a baby.  Tim arrived at lunch time, and also Raju and his wife from Singapore.  Kate arrives on Wednesday and then the 11 team members from VACC on Saturday.  No photos today. sorry.  I didn't have my camera on me when the cooking team were doing the Hokey Pokey in the kitchen.  One of those moments I wished I'd been here for.  All training is going on well, and the Aussies are enjoying building relationships with these lovely people.  Tim is a first class motorbike mechanic, so he has lots of work ahead as everyone has a motorbike, and he will also train some of the young men in maintance.  Emma and Josh continue to assist in school, and also with the self defence.  The dolls have all their body parts together and  are now being adorned with hair.  Saris are next on the agenda. Some of the ladies on team have bought gorgeous material and are having  lovely outfits made at the tailor.  The grand sum of about $5 to make an outfit.  I'm sure that will be a photo opportunity.  It must be time for bed, as all the dogs have woken up, and are starting to bark at everything that moves.  There are at least four or five barking in unison right now.  Motorbikes are passing under the window and big metal gates  to each house are being dragged shut and locked up for the night.  Most houses have  high brick walls around them, with broken glass or nails or metal spikes on top, and then large solid metal gates locking out the street.  Thankfully, the locals go to bed reasonably early, but they are early risers, and begin walking and talking under the windows from 5am, which, of course, sets off our four legged friends once again.  The weather is beginning to cool off a little, thankfully.  Still rain in the afternoons.


Monday, 15 September 2014

Monday 15th. Another great ride

Yesterday, after my morning class, I needed to go to do more interviews with the girls.  It is always a bit of a juggle, finding a suitable time for an interpreter, when it suits the hostel parents and when the kids are not at school and when I am not in a class or shopping for food.  Anyway, when the time came it was raining and I was being collected on the bike.  I was really looking forward to it, as I enjoyed it so much last time.  Having no rain gear, I wore my winter coat and a broken helmet to keep my hair dry.  So we made it, in the rain, through potholes full of water and the mad traffic.  I still have more interviews to do so I will have another chance to ride through the streets of Kathmandu.  Yahoo!!!!!!!!!