Free Bonded Nepali Girls

by Nepal Youth Foundation (NYF)
Vetted
One of the first Kamlaris to graduate from college
One of the first Kamlaris to graduate from college

Namaste!

It was another challenging year for Nepal and children and families we serve.

Just months after two major earthquakes devastated the country, political unrest and a prolonged blockade at the Indian border brought Nepal’s recovery efforts to a near standstill.

Petrol, cooking fuel, food, medicine and building materials were in short supply and prices more than doubled, causing even more suffering.

The crisis slowed us down, but it couldn’t stop NYF’s dedicated staff from doing everything they could to care for some of Nepal’s most impoverished children.

They rode bicycles when there was no petrol. When the cooking fuel ran out, they built outdoor fires to keep the community kitchens operating. They worked 16-hour days to help people who had lost everything.

We are so proud of what the NYF Nepal team accomplished in face of these hardships. We could not have done it without your friendship and support.

Thank you and dhanyabad!

With warmest wishes for the year ahead!

Nepal Youth Foundation

Early childhood education
Early childhood education
Standing tall...NYF staffer measurers a young girl
Standing tall...NYF staffer measurers a young girl
Girl in a pink hat
Girl in a pink hat

Links:

Street theater
Street theater

Using street theater, leaflets, posters, radio broadcasts, counseling sessions and house visits, NYF staff and counselors are working hard to encourage young women freed from the practice of indentured servitude known as Kamlari to stay in school and resist family pressure to marry early.

Last year, counselors reached more than 4,000 former Kamlari through orientation sessions, street drama, house visits and leafleting public bulletin boards. Counselors are creating support groups for boys and we're bringing families into the effort by forming “Guardian Committees” comprised of parents and community members.

The project is part of NYF’s Empowering Freed Kamlari program which helps former Kamlari girls become healthy, happy and independent young women. NYF has rescued more than 12,700 girls since launching our campaign against the Kamlari system in 2000.

While marriage before the age of 18 is illegal, police and community members have tended to ignore the issue. Families often view their daughters as an economic burden and pressure them to marry, and this has been a particular problem for the girls we have rescued from Kamlari slavery.

NYF hopes to end the practice of early marriage by making girls, boys and their families aware of the negative health and economic consequences of dropping out of school and marrying young.

Thank you for your continued support!

Links:

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

Links:

 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Nepal Youth Foundation (NYF)

Location: Sausalito, California - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.NepalYouthFoundation.org
Project Leader:
James McIntosh
Sausalito, CA United States
$239,766 raised of $325,000 goal
 
2,630 donations
$85,234 to go
Donate Now Add Project to Favorites

Help raise money for this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page for this project.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.