In rural Nepal, impoverished families traditionally sold their daughters into bonded servitude every year to supplement the family's scant income. Without the $50 to $70 they receive for their daughters' labor, some families couldn't afford the food to feed the remaining children at home. These girls are often taken far from their villages to work in distant cities. They are typically forced to work long hours, are mistreated and sexually abused, and some disappear forever.
NYF rescues indentured girls, returns them to their families, gives each family a piglet or goat to replace the income from selling their daughter, and ensures the girls have the opportunity for an education. Since nearly eradicating the bonding practice, NYF has shifted its focus to empowering girls to be leaders of the movement against bonding. NYF provides training in political activism and human rights to carry out an awareness campaign. Former bonded servants are now strong leaders.
Not only have former bonded servants achieved personal freedom and dignity, they are creating lasting social change and future educational and professional opportunities for their sisters. The Nepal Youth Foundation trains these girls to speak out against bonding by effectively organizing themselves to perform street plays about the abuses they suffered, organize marches, create and distribute anti-slavery posters, host a radio show, and hold press conferences with international media.
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