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May 26, 2020

Empowerment Center Construction Updates

GHYANGPHEDI, NEPAL -- Construction is moving along on our Girls Empowerment Center & Dormitory in the Nuwakot District of Nepal.

Workers have completed the excavation and retaining wall, and are now preparing the foundation. This process takes a long time due to treacherous terrain and being in one of the largest earthquake-prone environments of the world. Careful architectural design and engineering are necessary and this phase should not be rushed.

This project is building a dormitory and learning center in the remote access Nepali Himalayas.  Our center will provide equal access to education and accommodation for girls who live over a 2.5-hour trek from school and are at-risk for child sex trafficking and orphan trafficking. A dormitory has been identified by communities in this District as a very clear way to ensure girls can attend school since 70%  of victims are illiterate, disempowered, and living in poverty. 12  This project also supports the Nepal Government National Plan to eliminate child trafficking, outlined by the United Nations International Organization for Migration (IOM).

We are starting to develop the leadership & self-development program with our partner Community Leadership Nepal and RedPanda Women's Group, and we are creating the social entrepreneurial component with NMB Bank

 

NEPAL & RESILIENCY

The Nepalese are some of the most resilient cultures I've encountered. The country was hit with two national virus outbreaks in less than six months, yet still, construction on our center is moving along.

When I flew to Nepal last October to begin construction, I arrived on the coattails of a Dengue Fever outbreak, and then in December, with China looming to the north, arrived the COVID pandemic. The country has been on total lockdown, destroying the economy, and stalling the delivery of construction equipment and materials at the Indian border.

Nepalis aren't new to pivoting quickly and have gone through adversity before when the 2015 earthquakes killed 10,000 people, destroyed one million homes, and crippled 50% of the economy. But what I absolutely love about the Nepali people is their flexibility. Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls.

As Olympian Kara Goucher says, “Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road… but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.”

 

JOB CREATION

We are constantly working on finding sustainable solutions to address economic challenges within the region. As new methods are discovered, we are malleable. 

Instead of transporting bricks seven hours from the capital, we are working with Build Up Nepal to provide interlocking brick training, using local materials suited for rural communities. This model ignites sustainable economic engines within villages, creating secure jobs, and collectively reducing 70-ton CO2 emissions annually. Once this project is complete, we are donating the brick-making machine to the local women’s group RedPanda, to create continued income generation and social enterprise for the poor within the area.

Economic Development is one of our three pillars for preventing child trafficking within this region.  I'd like to think this is a major silver lining, and we are increasing impact more than we can imagine!

 


EMPOWERING THE GIRL

We mustn't forget why we are doing this.

Nepal is one of the largest trafficking hotspots in the world. Their low economic status makes manipulation easy and brothel customers request Nepali girls above any other race due to their physical beauty. Up to 12,000 women and children are trafficked out of Nepal every year. Compared to California, which is of similar size and population, there are 1,221 (5-year average) human trafficking cases per year. 1   

We envision a world in which children are able to stay together with their families and orphan and sex trafficking are largely reduced. Where no child is forgotten or separated because of economic disadvantage in health, income, or circumstance. We envision the reverberation of a world in which the familial value will have an exponential impact beyond the individual!

Our strategies and approaches will challenge the inequality built by an oppressive system and transform young girls into independent free thinkers. By providing girls an educational environment conducive to their learning potential will positively impact local and frontier economies and ultimately set them up to be leaders and changemakers within their communities.

 

IT TAKES A VILLAGE

The African proverb "it takes a village" means that an entire community of people must interact with children for those children to experience and grow in a safe and healthy environment. That's why we understand the value of creating partnerships that extend far beyond the walls of Global Orphan Prevention.

 

OUR ASK

We are asking for help in reaching the remainder of our funding goal!

We have been successful at reaching our funding goals for Phase 1 & 2, and half of Phase 3. Now we are fundraising for the remainder of Phase 3, and Phase 4-5 (see graph above).

An entire village of little girls are depending on us and we could never do this without the help of our supporters, near-and-far! I hope that you see our vision fully and the incredible value this Center will bring to the lives of these beautiful souls while stopping child trafficking at the root. 

I wholeheartedly value each and every one of you and I'm honored you've been part of this experience.

As movie director Dee Rees says, "When you choose the hard things, it takes longer than you think to get it done, and if you choose the hard thing and have a very particular way you want to do them and are uncompromising in that, then sometimes it takes even longer."

Changing the world and thousands of years of social indoctrination isn't an easy feat, but something that needs to be accomplished. Our programing is constantly growing as the organization's capacity grows. We're in this for the long haul; expanding, scaling, and changing the narrative for our girls.

Oh, and we just received the 2020 Platinum Seal of Transparency from Guidestar, given to the top 0.5% of nonprofits. Check it out

Please, join us on our journey. Any amount helps, as even just one drop of water can eventually turn into an ocean.  Learn more about this project!

 

Love to you all,

Katie Hilborn

Links:

Jan 7, 2020

Nepal Empowerment Center Construction Underway

Ground-breaking Ceremony
Ground-breaking Ceremony

GHYANGPHEDI, NEPAL -- What has been a four-year dream in the making has finally come into fruition. We are happy to report that construction has finally begun on our Girls Empowerment Center & Dormitory in Ghyangphedi, in the Nuwakot District of Nepal. 
After the devastating 2015 Nepal earthquakes, Global Orphan Prevention founder Katie Hilborn and her team stumbled upon a village with an inordinate number of "missing girls" while delivering disaster aid. In the chaos after the earthquakes, sleeper agents in the village were activated and did a large sweep of children, selling them to for-profit orphan homes or Indian brothels. The silver lining of the earthquakes were that they occurred in Nuwakot, the #1 child trafficking of Nepal, and brought much needed international attention to a centuries-old problem. 

Since that time, Global Orphan Prevention has been on mission to stop trafficking dead in its tracks, and the idea of a Girls Empowerment Center & Dormitory was born.

The project is building a 55-bed dormitory located next to a Secondary School in a remote-access region of the Himalayas, providing equal access to education and accommodation for girls who live over a 3-hour trek from the school and are at-risk for child sex trafficking and orphan trafficking. A dormitory has been identified by communities in this District as a very clear way to ensure girls can attend school and supports the Nepal Government National Plan to eliminate child trafficking, outlined by the United Nations IOM division.

The center will include a leadership and self-development program through our partner Community Leadership Nepal and Red Panda Women's Group, and an accompanying entrepreneurial training program from NMB Bank. Project completion and enrollment are slated for Summer 2020.

The laying of the foundation stone and bricks and lighting of the candle concluded a three-hour ceremony to mark the launch of a new center. The founder of Community Leadership Nepal, Trevor Moyle was present and spoke on behalf of Global Orphan Prevention. The local provincial government elected representative Radhika Tamang lit a special commemorative candle. The ceremony was attended by many local governments and community representatives and supported by over 150 community members.


The subject of trafficking is a very delicate one in the community and conversation needs to be treated lightly. Overall, the Center is designed to improve access and participation in school education and would be part of a range of programmes. During the ceremony, Trevor announced that we would make a strong commitment to talk and listen to the various community stakeholder groups. His words were received with very good applause.

Trevor concluded by saying, "it was gratifying that both Radhika and the most senior political party leader made specific reference to the value of the Center in reducing the incidence of trafficking of girls in the community."

Stay tuned for more updates from the field, and be sure to subscribe to our blog and follow us on social media: FacebookInstagram, & LinkedIn for faster updates!

Community leaders
Community leaders

Links:

Sep 9, 2019

Fundraising Gala a Smashing Success!

Our inaugural fundraising gala for Global Orphan Prevention was a smashing success! The number of high-level humans under one roof with a single purpose to create change was incredible.

Thank you all so much for joining us on our journey. The energy and love about the room on Saturday night created such a buzz, and it's all because of you. 

The objective was to raise funds for our Girls Empowerment Center in Nuwakot Nepal, reducing the 25% of adolescent girls who are abducted annually and sold to the for-profit orphan homes and Indian brothels. Any remaining Gala revenue would seed our brand new Denver program!

Our on-stage program began by showing a documentary that Charlie Whiskey helped me film and edit, taking the viewer through our long-standing missing girls' investigation in Nepal and India. We finished by outlining the vision to help the girls in the region we operate through the implementation of our very first Empowerment Center & Dormitory. Establishing this center and educational facility will challenge the inequality built by an oppressive system and transform young girls into independent free thinkers. By providing girls an educational environment conducive to their learning potential, it will positively impact local and frontier economies and ultimately set them up to be leaders in their communities.

There is one commonality regarding the rise of young women, there is one thing that everyone needs to create success and fulfillment in this world, and that starts with education and realizing their potential.

I stated in my Keynote that we needed to raise $85K to build the first center. I’m happy to say we grossed $113,643 through the live auction, silent auction, ticket sales, sponsorships, and the after-party.

This is our first-ever event of this magnitude and was produced by 100% volunteers (except the bartenders) and we got 90% of the product & services donated.

Because of an incredible team of dedicated volunteers and in-kind donors, we netted around $95K, exceeding our goal, and achieving something unheard of for a first-year gala.

It also means we have money left over to begin our Denver program, which will address the foster care system and the fact that 80% of human trafficking victims in America have once been a product of it (stay tuned for the debut later this year).

It’s amazing what happens when a small group of dedicated humans from Denver Colorado decide they want to create large systemic change. Each and every person plays an integral part – some small, some large – but never doubt that all our needed on this journey.

I fly to Nepal in October and will be blogging from the field and providing updates. 

Thank you again for helping us exceed our goal and build our Empowerment Center. I am so happy that you are joining us on this journey. 


With Gratitude,

Katie Hilborn
Founder & CEO
Global Orphan Prevention

 
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