Our partner, Kingdom Investments Nepal (K.I. Nepal) works against trafficking on numerous levels, including prevention and finding the source of the problem. In one particular village, they began visiting a few years ago and building relationships because it was considered a high-risk community. As they learned more about the people and their circumstances, they realized that the lack of running water put girls and young women at risk of being assaulted and trafficked. Here is a story of one of these individuals:
My name is Maya. I grew up in a small village in Nepal. My family has always been very poor. Our village did not have running water, I had to travel by cycle for one hour just to get clean water for the house. One time when I was going to retrieve water , three men stopped me along the path and abused me.
Thankfully, K.I. Nepal was already working in my community because it is considered a high-risk trafficking area. Since their staff knew me well, they noticed a change in my behavior. I told them what happened, and they invited me to live in the safe home for six months. There I would learn sewing and beautician skills, and have a safe place to heal from the trauma. The safe home was wonderful. Not only were the staff kind and nurturing, but I became very close with the other girls. While there, I healed and learned the skills quickly, and became a role model in the home. I was also a spokesperson for my community and led a small group there to empower other young women. Recently I moved to the Kathmandu safe home to study for my SLC exam and get further education. My confidence has grown significantly, and the opportunities I will have with further education will not only help me provide for my family, but also give me a promising future, free of the fear of being abused or trafficked.
*Name changed for protection
In photo: Maya meeting with her women’s group to record their progress in sewing training
I (Abby) had the privilege of living with and getting to know Maya. She taught me many things. I am blessed to know her, and deeply encouraged by her bright future! K.I. Nepal not only helped raise money to put two wells in this village, they continue to help with other needs to keep girls like Maya safe from trafficking. Their work has helped countless girls and young women.
In photo: Maya and me during a trip to the village (face covered for protection)