FKDF officer speaking at a rally
Former Kamlari Development Forum (FKDF)
For more than a dozen years now, the Nepal Youth Foundation (NYF) has been rescuing girls from bonded servitude through our Indentured Daughters Program (IDP). Even before the Nepal government ruled that this practice was illegal a decade ago, NYF was helping little girls return home and get back into school. However, even though this age-old practice was outlawed, many impoverished families have continued the practice in order to earn enough money to support the rest of the family.
Now, a group of young women who lived the life of bonded servants, or Kamlari's, have banded together for the purpose of rescuing the remaining girls and ending this custom forever. The girls have created their own NGO and call themselves Former Kamlari Development Forum (FKDF). Trained by NYF staff in the methods of liberating bonded girls, members of FKDF are very effective in defending the rights of these younger girls and gaining their release. Sometimes this is achieved by simply making it very clear to the parents and the "employers" that the practice is illegal and has been for some years. Other times, threatening legal or criminal action gains compliance.
One area in which they have also been gaining success is in convincing employers to pay back wages for the girls who have served in their households for years without pay.
Many of these former Kamlari's are now in college or have started their own businesses to provide work for themselves and their freed "sisters." And, it is the intention of NYF to enable the women of the FKDF to take full control of the Indentured Daughters Program in the next few years.
To read more about FKDF, our Indentured Daugters Program and NYF's many other projects for the welfare of Nepalese children, please visit our website, www.nepalyouthfoundation.org
Former bonded girls in local costume