Today was an eye-opening adventure as we visited two more border units and two sewing classes.
At the first unit, the girls expressed how glad they are to have the job of rescuing victimized girls. They remained alert, even while we spoke with them, watching for girls. According to a border girl, an average of three victims are rescued every day at her station. It takes incredible courage for these girls to approach those crossing as they demand to see legal documents, facing much harassment. She said, “Sometimes I am afraid of the pimps, they can be dangerous. But the police here are helpful.”
We watched as one of the border girls approached a group to question them. It was a family, taking their daughter just past the border to send her off to be married. The fiancé did have marriage documents, so it was not likely a trafficking case. Just the same, the border girl spoke with them for a long time to inform the young woman of trafficking and to give her opportunity to second guess the man she was with. The border girls cannot force anyone to stay, but they must do their best to convince the trafficked girls to not continue to India.
The second unit was not far away. When we stopped at the border unit, a mob of men began to surround us. We decided to casually ‘walk away’, but as soon as we made it out of the mob, they all just turned and followed close behind us. When it was evident the crowd was only getting larger and not leaving, we knew it was time to go. Our KIN leader exclaimed, “I have never seen this before! They do not stare when it is just me!”
The rest of the day was spent meeting some amazing girls who are part of the sewing classes. With support from Eternal Threads, the local NGO began their first sewing club for at-risk girls two years ago. The sewing skill provides the girls with a sustainable income making them less likely to be trafficked. The girls in these villages are high risk to being trafficked because they are hard workers who know nothing about trafficking but want to provide all they can for their family.
This is where Red Thread Movement comes in. Today, for the first time, we asked the girls if they would be willing to help spread awareness of trafficking throughout their community by giving their friends the same red bracelets we wear. When asked how many people they could share the bracelets with, both groups of girls claimed about 10 per person was manageable. This means we would need to donate about 250 Red Thread bracelets to each sewing club. We decided to begin a new project within Red Thread specifically for this. For three dollars we can wear the Red Thread bracelet and raise awareness in America. For an additional three dollars, you can pay for a Red Thread bracelet that will help spread awareness in Nepal. Words cannot describe how eager these girls are to start being ambassadors in their community, and it is exciting to them that we are doing the same in America with the Red Thread Movement. These sewing clubs are only the beginning of a viral spread of sex trafficking awareness in Nepal.
The trafficking will only end when all girls in every village and community are educated on the issue and know how to refuse the traffickers. We invite you to buy a bracelet for yourself and for a girl in Nepal. With help we know that this project will flourish!