In rural Nepal, some families are so impoverished that they sell their daughters to be virtual slaves. Many of these girls are abused, almost none attend school, and some are forced into prostitution. After spending their childhoods as servants, the girls face great challenges learning to support themselves. Now boys are also being sold into bonded servitude.
The Nepal Youth Foundation is eradicating this abhorrent tradition. NYF’s Indentured Daughters Program rescues girls from virtual slavery, brings them home to be educated, and empowers them to be self-sufficient.
The pioneering Indentured Daughters Program uses a multifaceted approach to free girls who were sold into servitude. For only $100, the Nepal Youth Foundation liberates a bonded servant, brings her home, gives her family a piglet, goat, or sheep as compensation for her wages, and ensures she can go to school – often for the first time in her life. NYF is eliminating the inhumane practice of enslaving girls in Nepal through a vigorous public awareness campaign that turns communities against the practice, as well as by rescuing bonded servants.
NYF has freed 11,951 girls since the program began in 2000. 7,433 of them are currently receiving scholarships. NYF has now liberated more than 90% of the bonded girls and is close to its goal of ending the custom.
The program has been so effective that schools in the area began to overflow with former indentured servants. To ensure they have access to quality education, NYF constructs classrooms in poorly funded schools. The organization has built 58 classrooms to date.
Some of the girls NYF rescues are orphans and others are rejected or abused by their families. The organization has placed 357 of these girls in children’s homes where they are surrounded by other former bonded servants and feel a sense of family.
Due to the success of the project, wealthy families began buying boys instead of girls. A recent survey estimated that 1,814 boys younger than 14 were indentured in Nepal. NYF began to address this in 2011–2012 by liberating 650 of them. 547 are currently attending school.
Sustainability of the Program
Now that the vast majority of the bonded girls are free, the Nepal Youth Foundation has shifted its focus from rescuing them to empowering them to be independent and successful. In 2011-2012, almost 500 former bonded servants participated in trainings about topics such as cooperative management, marketing, self-employment, and small business management. These programs develop their confidence as well as their skills and enable them to start their own businesses. NYF arranged training in political activism and human rights for about 100 of the most dynamic girls who show the greatest potential to become leaders of the movement against bonding.
Under NYF’s guidance, many of the girls have formed cooperatives that create financial opportunities for themselves and their families. They invest in the coops to become members, and collectively decide how to use the money to generate income. They also borrow money from the cooperatives to start business ventures. Due to the girls’ determination and newfound confidence, as well as the trainings provided, the coops have been extremely successful. To date, liberated girls have established 16 cooperatives and are in the process of forming 12 more.
Furthermore, former indentured servants have formed an NGO called the Freed Kamlari Development Forum (FKDF). NYF trains its members to carry out the awareness campaign against servitude which NYF started, and since June 2010, all of NYF’s work in the program area has been conducted through FKDF. FKDF is now organizing marches and public speeches, as well as mobilizing youth clubs, community leaders, and the media in the campaign to oppose bonded servitude. In collaboration with FKDF, NYF convinced the government of Nepal to fund the education and vocational training of all formerly bonded girls.
Because this money was not being allocated properly, in 2011-2012, NYF arranged for the leaders of FKDF to meet repeatedly with the President, Prime Minister, Education Minister, and other high-ranking government officials. The Prime Minister promised that the government funding for the liberated girls would get to where it was needed.
Through FKDF and the cooperatives, former indentured daughters have established an extensive network throughout Western Nepal that empowers them to fulfill their dreams.
Despite the efforts of the Nepal Youth Foundation, desperate families in rural regions of Nepal continue to sell their own children into bonded servitude. Now that NYF and the Freed Kamlari Development Forum have helped to educate the Nepali public about the practice, which has caused an uproar against the selling of young girls, these families are turning to selling their sons, who, as indentured servants are known as Kamlar.
Regardless of the gender of the child, this practice must stop! Your donations are helping to turn the tide of public opinion against this practice. Yet there are thousands of children who still need our help and are crying out to be rescued.
And, now, next Wednesday, March 14 ONLY...... because we appreciate every dollar you have given to support our program, NYF is thrilled to invite you to participate in GlobalGiving’s Bonus Day event.Wednesday, March 14, 2012, GlobalGiving.org will match 30% for every dollar you donate! $50,000 in matching funds are available, but only on March 14. This 30% matching offer begins right after the stroke of midnight, March 13, and runs only until the $50,000 is claimed. Once the funds are used, no more matching funds will be applied. Add even greater value to the gifts you give NYF. Mark your calendars for NEXT Wednesday, March 14, 2012.And, GlobalGiving will make this 30% match for single contributions up to $1,000! That’s $1,300 value for a $1,000 donation.What this opportunity means for the Indentured Daughters Program is that the $1,000 gift that would normally fund the rescue of 10 enslaved children, will, on this one day, March 14, 2012, provide enough money to rescue a total of 13 little girls and boys to come home and return to school for the same donation. PLUS –
Thank you again for your support of the Nepal Youth Foundation. Namaste!Links:
In 2011, the Nepal Youth Foundation helped to rescue a total of 1111 girls from virtual slavery in five districts of Nepal. Many of those rescued joined the Freed Kamlaris Development Forum (FKDF), an organization begun and sustained by the rescued girls and young women.
During the last eight months, the FKDF has grown more and more effective in its ability to influence and persuade Nepal government leaders to make available the funds already earmarked for education of former bonded child laborers. In 2011, FKDF delegations met with two Prime Ministers who occupied the office, sequentially. Currently, the government continues to experience some instability following the end of a decades-long civil war, which resulted in the shift from a monarchy to a republic.
Yet, even in light of this instability, the FKDF delegates successfully gained agreement for support of the comprehensive Kamlari Rehabilitation Guideline and timely release of the scholarship stipend. In addition to meeting with the Prime Ministers, the delegation teams met with the Finance Minister, the Education Minister, the Department of Education, and the Center for Child Welfare Board, the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights and the National Human Rights Commission.
This successful campaign for increasing attention on Kamlari issues resulted in a Department of Education commitment to increase the scholarship amount. In accordance with Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai’s directive, responsibilities were assigned to respective ministries for immediate action. The Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office has been charged with bringing the rehabilitation issue to a productive conclusion.
Thank you for supporting this historical evolution to enlighten one government’s attitude toward the treatment of children. With the Nepal government ready to educate them, there is more reason now than ever to do all we can to liberate the remaining few thousand girls and nearly 2,000 little boys that are still sold into bonded slavery. Look into the faces of these children here: http://bit.ly/uv6is2.
Phulbasni Chaudhary -- Freed and Paid
Many girls who have been sold into bonded servitude by their impoverished and desperate parents are "purchased" by well-to-do middle-class and upper-class Nepali families. Yet, this does not guarantee that they will be treated any better than household slaves. Despite promises of fair treatment and education, these children are usually worked without respite, day in and day out, while provided only the bare minimum of food and shelter.
However, with the help of the Nepal Youth Foundation's successful efforts to challenge this illegal practice, these "employers" are not only being forced to release these children, they are also being pressured to pay the wages for the work performed.
Often the threat of a lawsuit or a formal complaint with the local police are sufficient to compel the employers to comply with the law and release the girl from her obligation. Now, too, through the dilligent efforts and persistent pressure from the Former Kamlari Development Forum (FKDF), an association of formerly indentured girls, these employers are agreeing to pay back wages, too.
One such case is that of Phulbasni Chaudhary whose employers agreed to deposit five years of back wages into a bank account for her education. In addition, these people signed an agreement not to employ bonded children again.
Thank you for your support and interest. You may read more about this and other programs of the Nepal Youth Foundation on our website www.nepalyouthfoundation.org. Follow this link to watch our new 4 minute video:http://bit.ly/uv6is2.
The Nepal Youth Foundation has started to rescue children with HIV/AIDS! The New Life Center in Kathmandu, Nepal provides excellent treatment to children with HIV/AIDS while teaching their parents to live hygienically and cook nutritious meals. This training dramatically reduces the risk of acquiring the illnesses that make HIV develop into AIDS, and lets HIV-infected people lead fulfilling lives. Find out more about this pioneering project!http://www.nepalyouthfoundation.org/programs/health/newlife.html
NYF's founder Olga Murray describes falling in love with NepalShe also discusses NYF’s diverse programs for children and the organization's plans for the future, in an interview in the Napa Valley Register. http://bit.ly/8XzPn6
Read an interview about NYF's life-changing projects!Read an interview with the Nepal Youth Foundation's Development Director, Gregg Tully, about NYF's work to end child slavery in Nepal, scholarships, and children's homes. Also watch a video in which a blind Nepali girl describes the happiest moment in her life.http://bit.ly/9Fihbt
NYF earns its fourth consecutive four-star ratingBecause of our exceptional fiscal management, the Nepal Youth Foundation received its fourth four-star rating – the highest possible – from Charity Navigator, America's largest evaluator of charities. Only 8% of the charities evaluated receive four consecutive four-star ratings. This indicates our extremely efficient and effective implementation of the funds that you, our donors, contribute.
A hair salon held a fundraiser to rescue enslaved Nepali girls! Salon Amour in Walnut Creek, California donated 100% of their proceeds for a day to NYF, and raised $5,000 – enough to rescue 50 girls! Find out more about how they did it at http://www.callandresponse.com/blog/?p=753. Can you hold a fundraiser, too? Read about many creative and fun ways you can help NYF rescue needy children:http://www.nepalyouthfoundation.org/howtohelp/supporters.html
Please donate today to enable the Nepal Youth Foundation to give unimagined opportunities to some of the most destitute children on earth. It only costs $100 to rescue a girl from bonded servitude and let her get an education.
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.