When traffickers take a girl, they are attempting to take everything from her.
Approximately 90% of girls rescued on the border have already been abused, and the social stigma for trafficked girls is very difficult to overcome. Even today, we were walking in the street by the safe house with some of the girls, and a few of the locals commented, “So these are the sold girls.” They are seen as an egg whose shell has been cracked, even if by another person, and many cannot return home after being trafficked because they are “shamed.” However, if a girl goes back to her household and village with a skill she can offer, such as sewing, she returns with both dignity and a reason for her lengthy absence, as she can say that she was in vocational training.
So, the safe house is a place where the girls can both receive this training and claim back what was taken from them.
Some of the girls at the safe house have been very sad recently, and one was crying as I sat next to her today. Our Nepalese partner explained to us that some of them are getting ready to leave the safe house; they are flying out of the nest. He said that it is a scary thing, flying for the first time. But he promised us that he will not let them fall. Leaving the safe house is a part of these girls’ ultimate rescue, as they go back to the lives they had before being trafficked.
You see, traffickers took a lot from the girls I have met, but they did not succeed in taking everything. There is a bravery and a hope in my new sisters that cannot be stolen, and these things are going to give them ultimate victory over what has happened in their lives!
We also visited a village where 25 girls have begun something similar to a micro-lending self help project. These girls are being given an education in business and an opportunity to use their skills. As a result, they have dignity and self-respect, and it is programs like these that will ultimately end sex trafficking. Traffickers prey on, and appeal to, girls who do not have any hope for their lives; the girls are tempted by the idea of a marriage or job in India. If these girls have a purpose for their lives and respect as women in their villages, the source for slavery will disappear.
These girls, who we refer to collectively as the Ambassador Club, have also been going out to speak to girls in villages nearby, to let them know about sex trafficking and how to avoid becoming a victim. Their goal is to put signs up in the villages that say, “No girls have been trafficked from this village.”
The older girls in this group mentioned today that they would like to learn how to sew, as they are now in need of a skill they can make a living with. The programs to teach girls how to sew can train 40 girls at a time, so our partner put these village girls in charge of finding the 40 girls and a facilitator to teach them how to sew; he put us in charge of raising a one-time amount of $1400 (or $35 per girl) to fund this project.
We are asking you, and anyone interested, to sponsor a girl by giving a one-time gift of $35, by making a donation at http://www.EternalThreads.org. The girls have a proverb they abide by, “If you are planting for one year, plant crops. If you are planting for ten years, plant trees. If you are planting for a hundred years, invest on men.”