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 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.
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.
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.
Raksha Nepal, since last 10 years, has been actively working for vulnerable girls, women and their children. Its target groups are the victims or those vulnerable to sexual exploitation, domestic violence, trafficking, victims of polygamy and neglect, etc. RN also raises voices in favor of its target groups targeted to respective institutions so that the victims could get justice.
In the same context, since 2011, RN has been implementing “Prevention Against Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking” (PAST) project in support of KFB/DKA. This project is targeted towards those girls and women who work in the informal entertainment sector (dance bar, massage parlor, cabin restaurant, and small snack and tea shops). After forming groups, RN staff has been motivating them through regular meetings, discussion programs, encouraging them to join in the RN saving and credit cooperative, try and find solutions to their problems. It also has been providing awareness programs and skill training for the alternative livelihood opportunities. Through its other training on the women’s rights and legal rights, these girls and women have become capable to fight for their rights. RN has been providing all these services in an integrated manner. Moreover, RN transit home has been set up for keeping the target women’s children while they get skill training and get settled in alternative jobs. Likewise, they can get access to loans with minimal interest against their savings through the cooperative. These girls and women who wish to join non-formal education are provided free education through its women’s school. RN coordinates with different health institutions and doctors etc. to organize free health check-up camps for the target women from time to time.
Children’s are the Raksha’s child shelter belongs to main target groups of this organization. Those women are who are working in Dance bar, Massage parlor and Cabin restaurants. These women’s 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 and who are not in states eyes in this way Raksha Nepal try to increased number of children every year.
Raksha Nepal starts to provide minimum facility to 8 children in 2009 but at the time 30 children are living in the shelter of age group 2-14. Raksha Nepal with a family environment and with all their basic requirements fulfilled along with their educational support and extra-curricular activities.
Challenges/problem of the Raksha Child Shelter
Raksha Nepal conducted educational tour for children, this November all the children were visited historical places. One of the famous place in kathmandu this place historical as well, all the children visited there and received more information as per their book. Another place where they visited was called Godawori, it's very famous and historical place of Nepal. It is very close with Kathmandu all children were also visited it.
Complete Second Term School Exam
Children from Raksha Child Home completed their second term exam and they got good posion on that. 5 children got 1st position among their class mates similarly, 15 more children abale to got top ten position among their class mates, rest of the children got the pass position.
Got different Grade Certificate of Taekwondo from Nepal Taekwondo Federation
Children from Raksha Taekwondo Dojang got the different grade certificates from the Nepal Taekwondo Federation in November. 8 children got the half green belt certificates and 27 other children were got yellow belt certificate similarly. After perfomed certain teakwondo technique they had successed to got those certificates.
Birthday and Various Festivals Celebrations
Raksha Nepal celebrate it's children birthday that are living in it's home. Occasionally some friends of RN who have soft corner for children, also come to RN home to celebrate their or their kids birthday. We also celebrated two big festivals Chirstmas day and New year, all the children were very happy and they had enjoying a lot with the all RN staff and friends.
1. In the last quarter we conducted awareness classes for seven of the network groups. These classes took place at the women's workplace, the same place where they regularly hold their meetings. They covered subjects such as traffiking, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, and domestic violence, and counseling. After the classes the women had a better understanding of these subjects and their existence in society.
2. We conducted one workshop with both the media and selected members from the Network groups. In the past the women tended to be very scared of the media because the media has portrayed them in bad lights. We set up this workshop with both sides to explain where the media comes from, and where the women are coming from, and allowed both sides to express their views and experiences. This allowed the women to learn more about what the media is doing and is there for, and for the media to learn more about and realize the reality of the lives of the women in this sector, and the situations that they are in.
3. We conducted the regular meetings two times in the last quarter. These allow a forum for the women to come together to discuss issues and problems that they are having in the workplace or in their daily lives. Additionally, we discussed the peer educator trainings that we are preparing for later in the year, and selected subjects to base the trainings around. 15-18 women from the different women's groups were present at these meetings. We also discussed the present situation of a rising number of police raids in the sector, and how to stay safe throughout these. This included discussing the laws and their rights pertaining to this.
4. We are continually working on building relationships with stakeholders as a way to work together to address the situation of the women in the sector. In August we conducted one meeting with the local NGOs, police, media, target group members, and other likeminded agencies. Through this we had a discussion about the women's situation in the sector and possible solutions, as well as the role we can all play in these solutions. There were 25 participants present at the meeting representing the various stakeholders.