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.

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.