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.
The Nepalese Youth Opportunity Foundation (NYOF) uses an integrated approach to address the multitude of challenges facing Nepali children and empowers them to fulfill their dreams. To learn more about how NYOF’s diverse programs provide freedom for enslaved girls, nutrition, education, loving homes, and much more, visit http://www.NYOF.org .
Olga Murray, who founded the Nepalese Youth Opportunity Foundation (NYOF) 20 years ago, just turned 85. We celebrated this combined anniversary and birthday in San Francisco with around 200 of Olga and NYOF’s friends and supporters.
Watch ABC TV's VIDEO about NYOF’s work in Nepal and Olga's party!
The video shows the results of the decades NYOF and Olga have spent helping Nepali Children, including rescuing girls who have been enslaved as bonded servants.
NYOF has rescued close to 10,000 girls from slave-like servitude, and more than 3,500 have been saved in the current year alone. NYOF will soon eliminate the tradition of selling Nepali girls into bondage. Read this news article about our accomplishments:
"Happy Birthday Olga Mummy!"
Watch this adorable VIDEO of the children of J and K House, the Nepalese Youth Opportunity Foundation's excellent homes for children, sending Olga Murray birthday greetings.
In July, the government of Nepal appropriated 1.6 million DOLLARS to rehabilitate young girls freed from bonded labor. This is an enormous sum in Nepal. It is the culmination of a decade of lobbying by NYOF. The funds may be used for schooling and for vocational training. To my personal delight, and at our suggestion, the funds may also be used to provide housing and an education for bonded children who have no home to return to because they are orphans or their families are homeless.
Throughout the decade since our Indentured Daughters Program started, we have asked the Nepali government not only to enforce its own laws against the bonding of children, but to educate the young girls we have liberated. (See the last story about how a former J House boy helped in this effort.) Except for some actions by local government in the areas where we have been working, the result has been – zilch. Until this year.
March to the Central Government
In February, we brought 400 girls we had previously liberated in western Nepal on a 12 hour bus ride to Kathmandu to focus the attention of the central government on this practice. They marched through the streets of Kathmandu carrying banners, chanting slogans against bonding, and distributing leaflets. We arranged appointments for them to talk with the President, various government ministers, and the UN Human Rights Commission. We believe this high-profile campaign was a major factor in convincing the central government to make its move.
NYOF is the lead organization helping the government to plan and implement its program. We are working closely with various ministries to advise them on the most effective way to use the appropriated funds, and the government has adopted almost all of our suggestions.
This action by the government is an important step in helping us to reach our goal of eradicating this inhumane custom, but by no means the end of the line. It has relieved NYOF of the responsibility of educating the girls after we have liberated them, and as a result, we can use your donations to eradicate the bonding practice itself sooner than we had anticipated. Let me explain.
The government appropriation cannot be used to liberate the girls or to carry out the awareness campaign against bonding that we have been conducting for almost a decade. Thus, NYOF will have to continue to support efforts to identify the parents of bonded girls and convince them not to sell their daughters, and to confront employers to persuade them to release the girls from their contracts. We will also have to provide the piglet or goat that the families receive from NYOF if they agree not to bond their daughters or bring them home from their labors. And we will still have to fund the local anti-bonding clubs, a weekly radio program where girls talk about their suffering when they were in bondage, and to present street dramas against the custom in these largely illiterate communities. Without NYOF’s support, there will not be large demonstrations by the liberated girls or lawsuits against employers who refuse to release them from their contracts.
These activities, which are critical to permanently eradicate the custom, must still be supported by NYOF and our donors. Our eradication campaign, including all the elements above, costs approximately $100 for each girl liberated.
Thousands Remain to be Rescued
Next January, during the Maghe Sakrante festival at which the bonding contracts are made, our staff will fan out across the five districts in west Nepal where indentured servitude of little girls is prevalent, to bring our awareness campaign to the towns and villages where we have not had the funds to operate previously. We hope to rescue the thousands of little girls still in the bonding process or prevent them from being contracted away.
When we began to confront this cruel custom in 2000, there was no opposition to bonding away children. Fathers could hardly wait for their daughters to turn seven so that they could be sold for labor. The bus park every January was filled with weeping little girls about to be parted from their families for the first time and to go off they knew not where. Today,the practice is on its last legs in the Dang District, where we have been working since 2000, and it is on its way out in Bardiya, where we brought our campaign a couple of years ago.
But there remain thousands of girls who are the victims of this custom, so there is much left to do. We have an unprecedented window of opportunity to bring the bonding practice to an end. Now we ask your continued help in finally closing this sad chapter in Nepal’s history.
We are deeply grateful for your support. Please give as generously as you can, so that we can continue to help kids in Nepal to uncover and develop their full potential. We have a proven track record in making the most of your donations – you can do more good with a dollar in Nepal than almost anywhere else, and we spend a very small percentage of donations on administration (as evidenced by our four-star rating from Charity Navigator). We hope you will help us in our efforts to make a difference in these children’s lives.
Please let us know your thoughts by providing feedback in our comments section! Also, please tell your friends, family and colleagues about NYOF’s accomplishments!
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