Former servants meet with the Prime Minister
The Nepal Youth Foundation (NYF) has been rescuing Nepali girls from virtual slavery as bonded servants since 2000, and has now liberated almost 12,000 girls. Formerly enslaved girls formed an association that they called the Freed Kamlaris Development Forum (FKDF), which they registered as a non-profit organization. Since July 2011, FKDF has taken over the activities of opposing the bonding practice that the Nepal Youth Foundation conducted. NYF continues to give the girls training, guidance, and any other support needed for their advocacy, networking, and income generating activities.
One of the biggest achievements of the year was the approval of the Guideline for Scholarship and Vocational Training for the Freed Girls. NYF had been struggling with the government for the guideline for over 3 years, and eventually, with its approval, the scholarship distribution process is taking place smoothly.
So far in 2012, 535 girls were rescued throughout western Nepal. At present NYF has 7118 girls in school. 370 girls who did not have acceptable homes to return to are staying in 8 different hostels.
IDP is focusing on the expansion of cooperatives as a strategy for economic empowerment of the girls and their families. 17 cooperatives are up and running while 19 more are in the process of formation. At the end of June, there were 880 share members with combined savings of more than 16 million rupees. The cooperatives provide loans to their members to start income generation projects, such as establishing shops and purchasing agricultural tools.