Raksha Nepal (RN) is a non government, non-profitable social organization, established in 2004. It is working for sexually exploited girls, women and their children. It also empowers and provides care and support to them. RN is run by women and girls who have been sexually exploited. Therefore, the organization is dedicated to those women and girls who have landed knowingly and unknowingly in the dance bars, massage parlors and cabin restaurents, where they are sexually exploited by the owners as well as the customers. RN is committed to making these women and girls aware of how to protect themselves in their current roles. RN also empowers them to build their capacity to identify alternative livelihood oppertunities to start a safe and respectful life. Raksha Nepal believes that if women are confident and educated the entire family benefits from it. This is one of the reasons that the organization is determined and committed to work towards the overall welfare of women and girls who are exploited and marginalized from the society.
Nepal being a patriarchal society, Nepali womenface multiple forms of discrimination. Existing culture and legal inequalities are also some of the basis of abuse and exploitation. Women who have been working in dancebar, massage parlor, cabin restaurant as such are the most marginalized groups in the country, who face a higher risk of gender based violence than in any other job sector. This is serious issue and RN is stepping up and working with the beneficiaries to tackle this problem in the work place violence.
The rehabilitation centre’s experience showed that RN is the only organization who is taking this particular group in the shelter. Mixing with any other group of GVB victims, sometimes, proved to be difficult for RN and its staff members. The approach to psycho-social counseling also had to be specific for girls/women from this background as they have been through a lot of trauma which needed trauma counseling also.
Activities in Details
Skill Trainings: Raksha Nepal has been conducted various skill trainings for selected women group members. Trainigs has basic level such as 3 months basic training on Tailoring, where 15 women were participated, 3 months basic training on SPA, where 21 women and girls were participated and 3 months basic training on beauty parlor, where 3 women were received parlor training. After completed these training they were very happy and hopeful to get new job or start new business as per their skills.
Peer Education Training: Raksha Nepal has conducted peer education training coordination with international volunteer from USA. 10 women ere participated on that training. Peer Education trainings main aim is to provide practical knowledge to the training participants and these participants later will transform to the other group members. 10 participants of the training were from different women's group. Training mainly covered these areas such as; leadership devlopment, phycosocial counseling, health, life skill and spritual. 10 women from different groups are ready to get training for next phase.
Women Network Meeting: women network meeting has conducted as thier schedule, every 2 months network meeting have conducting at Raksha Nepal. Members of the network are chairperson from their different women groups. Through this network women discuss and raise their problem and oppertunity for the solution. Raksha Nepal facilitate them and did plan for the solution. This networks main aim is to colaborate among the women groups and build up strong voice against women violence.
Peace Rally on Raksha Nepal's 10th Anniversary: Raksha Nepal has celebrated its 10th anniversary and organized peace rally against all kinds of women violence. Raksha Nepal appeal to all related stakeholders, women group members, individuals from the women sector and government line agencies as well. More than 8 hundred women and girls were participated on that peace rally. Raksha Nepal completed its 10 year journey with women who are victim of different violence. Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister was chief guest on that program and he also promise to women mass, he will make the policy for implementation especially from thoe women who are working in informal entertainment sector and who are working at risk.
Dear Donors and Supporters,
We are currently working to support these regular activities through the continued donations that we receive. All these donations are vital to keeping our programs going, and to helping to provide better lives for these women and children. We greatly appreciate your continued support and suggestions as well.
Ideally, every child needs to belong to a stable, secure and loving family. It is a widely-accepted value that children should be provided care and protection so that they can grow and develop. It is also an internationally accepted value. However, due a number of reasons-natural and human-induced-we are not always able to translate this 'intention' into a reality.
From last 10 years, RN has been working for the protection of the rights of women, children and to fight for the prevention of incurable disease, HIV/AIDS. When RN started to give shelter to the women, from that phase it has always realized the need of shelter to support the children of these women in their education and their other basic needs.
Children’s are the Raksha’s child shelter belongs to main target groups of this organization. Those women, who are working in Dance bar, massage parlor and Cabin restaurants. These women are at risk from the different forms of violations. These women cannot provide to their children’s minimum requirements like enough food timely, no education and no child protection environment at their periphery. From 2009 RN decided to give shelter to the children of targeted women with delicate economic condition, orphan children and the displaced children of arm conflict. RN want to provide facility to more children from this sector who are at risk, in this way Raksha Nepal try to increased number of children every year. Raksha Nepal start to provide minimum facility to 8 children in 2009 but at this moment 32 children are living in the shelter of age group 2-12.Raksha Nepal with a family environment and with all their basic requirements fulfilled along with their educational support and extra activities.
Final Examination: Children from the shelter are just completed their final examination in school. Total 28 kids were participated in final examination. They all done well, based on conversation with them and waiting for results finally. Children from Nursery 2, from Lower Kinder Garden 3, from Upper Kinder Garden 1, from 1 grade 9, from 2 grade 2, from 3 class 5, from 5 class 1, from 6 class 2, from 7 class 1 and from 8 class 1 finally from 11 class 1 has participated in examination.
Belt test Examination (grading) of Taekwondo: Raksha Nepal organized Belt Test Examination program. 32 children and girls were participated on that occasion. They all performed well and got promotion to next grade and 7 children were got double promotion with Green Blue Belt and rest of the children has got Yellow Green Belt. Program has been started of speech with Lawmaker Rameshor Phuyal as a chief guest, he congratulate and wish them for their bright future, there were chairperson of Raksha Nepal, Instructor, General Secretary of Raksha Dojang, President of UUNTF Nepal Chapter and International Referee and Instructor also participated.
Dance performance on the occasion of Raksha Nepals 10th Anniversiry: Children have performed on the occasion of 10th anniversary program of Raksha Nepal; 8 children performed jointly and 4 children have performed sepretly as well. Children were also participated on rally program also, Raksha Nepal has organized rally program at same day of anniversary program. Around 8 hundred women and representatives from different agencies has participated on that occasion. Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister has chief guest on that occasion and he congratulate to Raksha Nepal for its welfare program.
Children Selected for the International Game: Raksha Nepal coordination with Raksha Taekwondo Dojang have been succeded to select 6 children for International Taekwondo game in South Korea. This program will held in June 2014. 6 children have selected and receiving special training from the Instructor. Raksha Nepal expected after participate these program children will get confidence and also more opportunities within the country and outside the country as well.
Raksha Nepal in 2004 was formed by the group of young women who also were the victims of gender based violence (GBV). In the earlier days, RN started running with few target groups coming to one room rented place of the Present for basic reading/writing classes and sharing of the ordeals those girls/women went through. In course of time, with small contributions from local donors, it was able to expand its programs in advocacy and media mobilization and recently (in 2009) with the rehabilitation and reintegration. Combining both the advocacy and shelter proved to be more effective and successful. The radio programs covered whole nation, effect of which was issues on GBV and forced prostitution was able to form 21 listener clubs in many parts of the country. The same listener clubs have been mobilized in the grassroots level to advocate and aware people against above issues.
The work initiated during the past years has prompted that the flow of girls/women joining this profession and use of sophisticated means to lure the victims also has been increasing every year. This means that there is an urgent need for action to identify various strategies and stakeholders to tackle this situation. One of the strategies would be to organize girls/women in this sector to through empowerment and make them capable to assert their rights. In the process there is also a need to involve other stakeholders, such as employers, law implementers, police and policy makers, youth organizations and parliamentarians.
Involvement of the past victims who have already spent some months in RN’s temporary rehabilitation centre as resource persons while designing this project has been crucial. By and large, the project has been developed in consultation with different stakeholders including target groups therefore; the activities for intervention have been designed in line with their request.
Mjor Activities of the Quarter:
Activities in Details:
1. Conduct basic vocational and skill development training for alternative livelihood (sewing/cutting, cookery, SPA and beautiparlor)
In the past three months a total of fifteen women were trained in various skills. Nine were trained in sewing-cutting, 3 in beauty parlor, 2 in cookery, and 1 in driving. All were trained at the basic level. In the next phase Raksha will select women from this group for the advanced training. These trainings were held in different places. Sewing/cutting was held at Raksha Nepal, and the rest of the trainings were held at various training institutes. The trainings are held from October-December.
One woman, Shrijana Tumbahamfe (Name Changed), who was recently trained in sewing/cutting, said that she is very happy to get this training and to gain new skills. She worked very hard to be able to get the next level of training, because she wants to get advanced level skills so that she can eventually open her own tailoring shop and leave her old job in the entertainment sector. Sumi Sapkota (Name changed),who was trained in beauty parlor, said that she also wants to get the advanced training, and that she either wants to get a job in an existing beauty parlor, or to gather the funds to open her own beauty parlor in the future. She is happy to get this first level training and to gain these new skills. Maiya Awale (Name Changed), who received driving training, said that she is also very happy. She wants to be a professional driver, and this gave her the skills to work towards this. If Raksha Nepal had not supported her, she would not have been able to get this training. The training is normally very expensive, and she would not have been able to put together the funds for it otherwise, so she is extremely happy that Raksha Nepal could help her with this.
2. Rescue of girls from police custody.
Many times the police arrest women and girls from the cabin restaurants, massage parlors, and dance bars, blaming the women for prostitution. Raksha facilitates with police, explaining the reality of the situation, and rescues the women and girls from police custody.
Sometimes the police will also send young girls to Raksha Nepal for shelter. 25 girls and women were released from police custody in the last three months, and four girls came to Raksha Nepal for shelter. Raksha provided them with counseling and use of the transit shelter. After counseling, Raksha sent them back with their families.
In one case, a girl was rescued who was from India. She was trafficked from India to Nepal before being picked up in Kathmandu. Many organizations think that the trafficking works going from Nepal to India, only, but we can see from this case that that is not true. A restaurant owner took this girl from India and forced her to get involved in prostitution. The police know about things like this, and arrested this man, and the girl was sent to us. Raksha Nepal counseled her and contacted her parents in India and called them here. After they came to Raksha, the girl was sent home to India with her parents.
3. Interviews conducted with various media outlets such as TV, radio, and newspaper on the subject of women’s advocacy.
Raksha Nepal’s Chairperson, Menuka Thapa coordinated advocacy through a partnership with the media for women’s rights, especially those women in this sector. She gave interviews to various media outlets such as Mountain Television, Himalayan Television, NTV 2, E24, BFBS Gorkha radio, Image FM, Kantipur FM, and also newspapers such as Kantipur Daily, The Kathmandu Post, The Himalayan Post, Saurya Urja, etc. Through this media she raised the voices of the women and girls who are victimized through forced prostitution and sexual exploitation.
4. Counseling services to the women and girls.
In the last three months nearly 300 women and girls received general counseling from Raksha’s office. They came to the office after hearing about Raksha through various sources. Raksha’s counselor met with them and listened to their problems and helped them, and gave suggestions. If they come needing psychosocial or trauma counseling Raksha will help them. In this period of time two girls received psychosocial counseling.
After hearing about Raksha Nepal through the radio program or through other sources, many women come to Raksha and ask for help and support from the organization, but Raksha cannot always able to support all of the women who come. Instead, Raksha works to counsel them, and to refer them to other related organizations or government agencies who can help them more immediately.