This is a true story. I am sharing this story to give you a better understanding of how things work in Nepal and why it's so critical that we provide a safe place for young and vunerable girls. The events in this story don't involve girls as vunerable as the ones we provide a safe place for. Our girls are from extremely poor families and live in slum conditions at home. Their mothers, and fathers, are gone 12 hours or more a day working as day-laborers and earning barely enough to survive. Their daughters are home alone most of the time and that's where the high risk orginates. In our story, the girl involved is from a well-to-do family and lives in a nice part of town, works, or rather did work in a nice office for a big company. While working, a boy at the office took a shine to her and started to sieze every opportunity to be in her company; at lunch, going to or from work and so forth. Rumors began that perhaps a romance was in the air, but both denied these rumors and were firm that they were only friends.
One day, our young suitor invited the girl to a fancy hotel. She assumed there was a meeting, or some other event taking place there and went to the hotel. The young man had other ideas and told her that unless she'd engage in an affair with him, that day, in that hotel, he'd tell everyone that they were having an affair. If she would agree, he offered, he'd keep it quiet. The girl refused and filed a police case against him for harrassment. So far, you may be thinking, that's great, in our culture, that's exactly how it should be and the police action was warranted and that will put an end to this. No, it's not like that in Nepal. The police case only began the problems. Once others became aware that she'd filed a case, the rumors started flying that she must have been romantically involved. Her family disowned her, she was too ashamed to return to work, all her friends left her and everyone assumes, she was indeed having an affair with this boy. To day, 11 boys have refused to marry her older sister over the shame our herione brought upon her family by her affair, and affair recall, that never happend. When we spoke to her a few days ago, she was on the verge of and threatening suicide. Really.
This is what it's like in Nepal. This is the kind of life our girls would find themselves in if we didn't protect them from predators and the results, the shame, the societal pressure would be on them the same as our herione. That's why we have this project.
Our heroine is not going to take her own life. I can't leave you hanging with that thought. She's going to work for us in our volunteer program and will live in our volunteer house, since she's much, much older than the girls in our shelter. Sitll, she's scarred perhaps for life by an event that never even took place. The hint of it is enough to ruin a girl in Nepal.
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