Raksha Nepal (RN) is a non government, non-profitable social organization, established in 2004. It is working for sexually exploited girls, women and their children. It also empowers and provides care and support to them. RN is run by women and girls who have been sexually exploited. Therefore, the organization is dedicated to those women and girls who have landed knowingly and unknowingly in the dance bars, massage parlors and cabin restaurents, where they are sexually exploited by the owners as well as the customers. RN is committed to making these women and girls aware of how to protect themselves in their current roles. RN also empowers them to build their capacity to identify alternative livelihood oppertunities to start a safe and respectful life. Raksha Nepal believes that if women are confident and educated the entire family benefits from it. This is one of the reasons that the organization is determined and committed to work towards the overall welfare of women and girls who are exploited and marginalized from the society.
Nepal being a patriarchal society, Nepali womenface multiple forms of discrimination. Existing culture and legal inequalities are also some of the basis of abuse and exploitation. Women who have been working in dancebar, massage parlor, cabin restaurant as such are the most marginalized groups in the country, who face a higher risk of gender based violence than in any other job sector. This is serious issue and RN is stepping up and working with the beneficiaries to tackle this problem in the work place violence.
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.
Activities in Details
Skill Trainings: Raksha Nepal has been conducted various skill trainings for selected women group members. Trainigs has basic level such as 3 months basic training on Tailoring, where 15 women were participated, 3 months basic training on SPA, where 21 women and girls were participated and 3 months basic training on beauty parlor, where 3 women were received parlor training. After completed these training they were very happy and hopeful to get new job or start new business as per their skills.
Peer Education Training: Raksha Nepal has conducted peer education training coordination with international volunteer from USA. 10 women ere participated on that training. Peer Education trainings main aim is to provide practical knowledge to the training participants and these participants later will transform to the other group members. 10 participants of the training were from different women's group. Training mainly covered these areas such as; leadership devlopment, phycosocial counseling, health, life skill and spritual. 10 women from different groups are ready to get training for next phase.
Women Network Meeting: women network meeting has conducted as thier schedule, every 2 months network meeting have conducting at Raksha Nepal. Members of the network are chairperson from their different women groups. Through this network women discuss and raise their problem and oppertunity for the solution. Raksha Nepal facilitate them and did plan for the solution. This networks main aim is to colaborate among the women groups and build up strong voice against women violence.
Peace Rally on Raksha Nepal's 10th Anniversary: Raksha Nepal has celebrated its 10th anniversary and organized peace rally against all kinds of women violence. Raksha Nepal appeal to all related stakeholders, women group members, individuals from the women sector and government line agencies as well. More than 8 hundred women and girls were participated on that peace rally. Raksha Nepal completed its 10 year journey with women who are victim of different violence. Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister was chief guest on that program and he also promise to women mass, he will make the policy for implementation especially from thoe women who are working in informal entertainment sector and who are working at risk.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
Raksha Nepal (RN), has been dealing with issues of girls and women working in the dance bars, massage parlors and cabin restaurants for the past nine years. It’s significant working experience in the field has enhanced the organizational capacity to work more effectively with targeted groups as well as with other stakeholders. The ultimate goal of this project would be to create decent working environment by enhancing the capacity of young girls and women in so called entertainment sectors and make free from risk of exploitation and trafficking.
Once the target groups are capacitated with knowledge on their rights and roles, aware of legal aspects they will be able to form an association of their own. This Union ultimately will be acting as an advocate for workers in the entertainment sectors. To reach to its goal, RN has to follow several steps in parallel with the programs mentioned below.
Regular Activities with the target groups
As in the past, this quarter aslo Raksha Nepal conducted counseling program for 85 girls and women working in the entertainment sector.
In the next quarter, Raksha Nepal plans to hold more group counseling programs in the 20 groups formed during the past program, so that these groups are motivated to remain in the group activities.
Raksha Nepal has been supporting the victims of rape, domestic violence and sexually exploited as well as victims of polygamy. those who are unable to fight legal battle are supported by this organization through providing lawyers to look into their respective cases.
In this quarter, 5 domestic violence victims were supported.
Raksha Nepal is also regularly conducting awareness programs on human and women rights in its target groups.
Raksha Nepal has been conducting one hour per week radio program through the local FM station. Most of the episodes focus on the experience sharing by the target group individuals or experts from different walks of life are also invited as interviewee. This program is heard not only in Kathmandu but also 5 other districts connected with it.
In the last quarter, it aired 12 episodes, where 10 women from the groups shared their experience on the struggles. One international and one national volunteers shared their experience in Raksha Nepal.
As this program has good impact which is evident in the volume of victim women visiting Raksha Nepal, this will be continued for another year.
Saving and Credit Cooperative:
This cooperative has been established with the membership of the target groups to support the them by micro saving and credit. Raksha Nepal's all 20 group members are saving their small portion of the income regularly.
In this quarter, 6 women received loan in minimal interest to establish their own small business or expand their existing business. All these women had received skill development training from Raksha Nepal.
Under this support, Raksha Nepal has been supporting victims of rape, domestic and sexual violence with rescue, shelter and legal battle.
In this quarter, it facilitated to release 33 girls and women who had been in the police custody with this and that charges. All of these women were brought to Raksha Nepal and were oriented to be aware of rules and regularions on their profession.
Raskha Nepal in coordination with different organizations has been supporting women to build their capacity. In the last quarter, 18 women received different training on bakery, handicraft making, cafeteria managing.
Raksha Nepal is planning to provide training to 25 women on sewing cutting, cookery and beauty parlor.
Greetings from Raksha Nepal Team
We would like to thank you all and would like to share our organizational activities in summarised version. We have been conducting various activities through different wings. We are very excited to share you with the same, for the women and girls for awareness raising program and capacity building program.
We still are struggling to include other women and girls who are at risk in this sector, so we would like to humbly request to you to please support us, as we want to conduct more capacity building trainings for the needy girls and women.
We hope you all will support us as in the past.
Thank you very much for your kind support.
Raksha Nepal (RN), has been dealing in this issue for past eight years. It’s significant working experience in the field has enhanced the organizational capacity to work more effectively with targeted groups as well as with other stakeholders. The ultimate goal of this project would be to create decent working environment by enhancing the capacity of young girls and women in so called entertainment sectors and make free from risk of exploitation and trafficking.
Raksha Nepal conducting PAST project for women and girls especially those women and girls who are sexually exploited and working in so called entertainment sector. This project uite them in a group and counseling them; Raksha Nepal working for build up their capacity, project focusing on protect their rights, protect and promoting women rights, raising voice against women violence and project provide them various capacity building activities, awareness raising programs, skill trainings, non-formal education support program and also conducting saving and credit program through Raksha Nepal's sister organization Rakshyashree Saving & Cooperative.
After completing all above activities group members will have skill and they can change or make better their life through establish their own new business as per their skill. Project's ultimate goal is to support them and create safe environment for them, unite them and make them strong and will raise their voice against all kind of vilonce them self.
We would like to thanks you all and would like to share our organizational activities in summarise. We have conducting one project 'PAST' for these women and girls and this project funded by DKA/KFB Austria. We are very excited to share you this project will also support these women and girls for awareness raising program and capacity building program.
We still in trouble to include lot of number women and girls who are at risk in this sector, so we would like to humbally requst to you all please support us for them, we are going to conduct more skill trainings for those women and girls who are at risk and who don't have any skill.
We hope you all will support us as before.
Thank you very much for your grat support.
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