Free Bonded Nepali Girls

by Nepal Youth Foundation (NYF)
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Freed Kamlari complete tailoring course
Freed Kamlari complete tailoring course

To provide economic opportunities to girls freed from the now abolished practice of child slavery known as Kamlari, Nepal Youth Foundation offers vocational skills training and job placement assistance.

NYF recently trained a group of 30 girls in tailoring using industrial machines. They are now employed at a garment factory that produces clothes for export to Europe and the U.S.

"As a child, I worked as a slave and received nothing in return....but now I make over 25,000 rupees ($233) every month and look after my family," one recent graduate said at a ceremony awarding certificates of completion.

At total of 336 freed Kamlari and their siblings received both long and short-term vocational training last year and nearly 80 percent of the graduates have been employed.

In 2000, NYF began a campaign to end the practice of Kamlari, a centuries-old system of indentured servitude embedded in the culture of rural Nepal. Our Indentured Daughters Program was twofold: to rescue the girls who had been sold into slavery and to abolish the practice going forward. More than 12,700 girls, some of whom had been enslaved since the age of six, were rescued and returned to their home communities. Our focus now is to help them to become healthy and independent young women.

Thank you for your continued support to help stimulate the cultural and economic development necessary to ensure that no girl will ever again become a victim of Kamlari.

Namaste!

Links:

Freed Kamlari display certificate of appreciation
Freed Kamlari display certificate of appreciation

Girls freed from the now abolished practice of child slavery known as Kamlari are leading the way to economic empowerment through cooperatives and business loans. NYF has encouraged their efforts through its Empowering Freed Kamlari Program, which operates 41 cooperatives in Western Nepal with 5,695 members.

The Nepal government recently recognized NYF and these young entrepreneurs on National Cooperative Day with a ceremony and a certificate of appreciation.

In 2000, NYF began a campaign to end the practice of Kamlari, a centuries-old system of indentured servitude embedded in the culture of rural Nepal. Our Indentured Daughters Program was twofold: to rescue the girls who had been sold into slavery and to abolish the practice going forward. More than 12,700 girls, some of whom had been enslaved since the age of six, were rescued and returned to their home communities. Our focus now is to help them to become healthy and independent young women.

Thank you for your continued support to help stimulate the cultural and economic development necessary to ensure that no girl will ever again become a victim of Kamlari.

Namaste!

NYF program manager Man Bahadur Chhetri
NYF program manager Man Bahadur Chhetri

Links:

Two proud college graduates
Two proud college graduates

Two young women who spent their childhoods as indentured servants have earned college degrees – the first freed Kamlari to graduate from college.

Saraswoti and Basanti were honored for their achievements by the Freed Kamlari Development Forum (FKDF) at a ceremony in the Dang District of Western Nepal in January. Saraswoti was awarded a bachelor’s of English and Basanti studied electrical engineering.

NYF rescued the young women 15 years ago and helped them get the education denied them by the dehumanizing practice of childhood slavery known as Kamlari.

More than 12,000 girls were indentured as household slaves before NYF launched a campaign in 2000 to end the practice, formally abolished by the government in 2013.

As a Kamlari for six years, Saraswoti fantasized about getting an education. “I was compelled to wash dishes and clothes throughout the day whereas kids of my age went to school,” she said.

Her father, who was also a bonded laborer, died when Saraswoti was seven and she was sold into indentured servitude.

NYF rescued Saraswoti in 2002 and she went back to school. Her family pressured her to marry when she was in 12th grade, but she didn’t let that get in the way of her education. “I continued my studies even after marriage,” she said.

Her goal is to earn a master’s degree and work to improve the lives of other Kamlari.

NYF rescued Basanti in 2001 and the young women returned to school, excelling in electrical engineering. She married and plans to continue her education.

These two young women have proven that freed Kamlari can change their lives, said Bimala, who is local chairwoman of the FKDF.

More than 5,000 girls are currently receiving support in school, junior college, vocational training or working towards a bachelor’s degree through NYF’s Empowering Freed Kamlari program, which helps former Kamlari become healthy, productive and independent young women.

Saraswoti honored for her accomplishment
Saraswoti honored for her accomplishment

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Former Kamlari at sewing class
Former Kamlari at sewing class

NYF rescued 363 girls from indentured servitude last year, bringing the total number of rescued Kamlaris to 12,702 since NYF began the campaign to end the centuries-old practice of indentured servitude in 2000.

The government officially banned the practice in June 2013, but it’s estimated that a few hundred girls may still remain enslaved in homes far from their families.

Our Indentured Daughters Program was twofold: to rescue the girls who had been sold into slavery and to abolish the practice going forward.

NYF is now focusing on helping these girls live healthy and productive lives. Some 4,403 Kamlaris are now going to school and college and another 987 are enrolled in vocational training programs. The young women have also started 51 cooperatives, with more than 5,000 participants.

Your support has helped to ensure that no young girl will ever again become a victim of Kamlari.

Namaste!

Former Kamlari in traditional Tharu dress
Former Kamlari in traditional Tharu dress

Links:

Kilkumari tailoring school
Kilkumari tailoring school

Twenty young women freed from the practice of child slavery known as Kamlari recently began a tailoring class and are already producing an impressive array of clothing.

Once they complete the three-month training, they will have the skills needed to start their own tailoring businesses. They can borrow seed money from the loan cooperative operated by the Freed Kamlari Development Forum.

Former Kamlari Dil Kumari Chaudhary started the tailoring program in Nepalgunj, Nepal in 2014 with the help of Nepal Youth Foundation. Dozens of girls have already completed the training program.

The tailoring class is a part of NYF’s larger vocational training program for former Kamlari, which prepares young women for careers in farming, hairdressing, computer techs, electricians – even motorcycle mechanics.

Thank you for helping these young women make new lives.

Namaste!

Former Kamlari at sewing class
Former Kamlari at sewing class
Traditional Nepalese clothing crafted by students
Traditional Nepalese clothing crafted by students
Dress made by girls in seamstress school
Dress made by girls in seamstress school
Shirt made by students in training program
Shirt made by students in training program

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Nepal Youth Foundation (NYF)

Location: Sausalito, California - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.NepalYouthFoundation.org
Project Leader:
James McIntosh
Sausalito, CA United States

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