This morning I woke up to a wonderful message from our partners in Nepal with the attached pictures and the following subject line: "Dashain wishes from Hamro Ghar kids."
Hamro Ghar (meaning "Our Home") is the transit center in Kathmandu for rescued child weavers that you help support. And Dashain is one of the most auspicious and most anticipated festivals in the Nepalese annual calendar. It commemorates the victory of the Goddess Durga, in all her manifestations, over the demon Mahishasura and more broadly, good over evil. For Hindus, the holiday is an important reminder of the universal principles of truth, justice and virtue that prevail over deception, injustice and wickedness.
Throughout the country, you will see people flying kites or enjoying bamboo swings, both of which are featured in the beautiful pictures drawn by our beneficiaries, including Ishwor. On July 25, 2013, our inspectors rescued him from a carpet factory where he worked from 4:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. Now, Ishwor wants to become a policeman so he can "punish all who do illegal activities" like the contractor who held him in debt bondage.
Perhaps Ishwor takes inspiration from Durga. From all of us and all the kids at Hamro Ghar who you've helped to triumph over injustice -- we wish you a happy Dashain!
Thank you so much for all your GlobalGiving support to GoodWeave’s Rescue And Educate "Carpet Kids" In South Asia project. I wanted to send you a quick note that we are entered in GlobalGiving’s 2013 Photo Contest in the Give Support category. The winner will receive a $1,000 bonus to support their work and will be featured on the GlobalGiving homepage for a full day.
The voting takes place now until Monday next week (July 29) at noon EDT. With your vote today, we can help rescue, support and provide education for even more exploited child weavers. Please consider leveraging this moment and vote today.
GoodWeave Executive Director
Every year around this time, we pause to remember one young boy whose story is so captivating that it launched the organization behind this project.
Iqbal’s childhood wasn’t just stolen. It was sold for the equivalent of just $12. At the age of four he was sold into bonded labor, forced to work 14 hours a day in Pakistan’s rug industry. While other children were making friends and learning to read, Iqbal worked six days a week. His hands bled, but his spirit never broke.
When he escaped at age 10, Iqbal made it his mission to save other "carpet kids" like him who were trapped slaving in the handmade rug industry. He traveled for two years sharing his story and lending his voice to the fight against child labor. Rare footage of him during this time is shared in the link in this report.
On April 16, Easter Sunday 1995, Iqbal was brutally murdered. His voice silenced by the carpet mafia he exposed.
Iqbal is gone, but his legacy lives on. It lives on in this project that you so generously support.
Two weeks ago, on Valentine's Day, our team in Nepal found 13-year-old Rajkumar toiling on a carpet loom. He was forced to work to pay off a debt owed by his brother. In other words, he was a victim of bonded labor.
We want to share three photographs that capture critical moments of Rajkumar's rescue.
The first picture was taken shortly after he was found. His clothes were torn, and he was still afraid, but you can see the hint of a smile developing across his lips.
The second picture is Rajkumar being counseled by our veteran staffperson. Drona has been with GoodWeave for the better part of two decades, and is incredibly compassionate and adept when working with vulnerable children and communities.
The third picture was taken the next day, after Rajkumar had been brought to our transit center in Kathmandu. This is the moment he walked out in his brand new school uniform. Before that afternoon, Rajkumar had only been enrolled in school for three months of his 13 years.
These three moments - and the many more uplifting ones to follow for Rajkumar - are what this project is all about. This is what your support makes possible.
From Rajkumar and all of us -- thank you.
We recently received an envelope from our rescue center Hamro Ghar in Kathmandu, Nepal - home to "carpet kids" we find working on looms who have no safe place or family to return to. Inside the package were watercolors that our beneficiaries had drawn - inspired by the concept of freedom.
When asked by their teacher what freedom means to them, many of the kids answered with words like “food,” “doctor” and “education”—things we in this country take for granted as basic rights for children. Hamro Ghar provides those necessities so that rescued children can imagine even greater freedoms. The watercolor seen here, created by Sanju, offers a glimpse into that transformative moment when freedom awakens in a child. It represents her journey from the grueling, stunting, unjust work of being a child laborer—which impacts 215 million children around the world—to the happy, healthy girl she is today.
I share this with you because I want you to know: your donation not only helps us rescue children from looms—you’re giving them the freedom to shape their future as they embark on a new life. Thank you for all your support of the project Rescue And Educate "Carpet Kids" In South Asia, at this year-end season and all year long.
With gratitude and best wishes for a happy holiday season,
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Thanks to 99 donors like you, a total of $15,961 was raised for this project on GlobalGiving.
Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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GoodWeave Executive Director