We would like to thank the GlobalGiving community for the support in 2022 to this inspiring program. With your help we were able to help 76 girls in Nepal, India and Brazil with their fight for justice and against the sexual exploitation of children. The School for Justice facilitates this path by building their confidence and knowledge.
Find below three case stories that demonstrate how these girls fight to change the system from within.
The School for Justice in Brazil: the story of P. and R.“We want to make sure no other girl has to experience the same horrific crime"
The School for Justice just opened its doors in April 2022. P. and R. were excited to take part in the program. P. is 24 and Valentina 30 years old. Both are survivors of sexual exploitaton when they were children and were forced to live through the long lasting impact of trauma. P. was abused as a child, fled her home and lived on the streets where she was sexually exploited for six long years. She was not able to attend school and had to fend for herself without any help. R. was born to a single mother and lived on the streets her entire childhood. She experienced violence from a very young age and was repeatedly sexually exploited. Both P. and R. reflect on the lack of support they received as childrens. “Laws and policies do not protect us”. P. and R. are now enrolled in the School for Justice. P. wants to be a lawyer and R. is in training to be nurse. “I want to help girls that are in the same situation as I was as a child. I want to give back to my community”
The School for Justice in India: the story of N.“Only those that have gone through it, can truly understand the agony and horror of sexual exploitation and abuse!”
N. is the youngest daughter of her parents and had a very happy childhood. While travelling in the train with her friend, the girls took food offered by a co-passenger. This food was drugged and the girls lost consciousness. When they woke up they found themselves in a cheap hotel room. They soon found out the hotel was a brothel and became the victims of extreme physical and mental torture. After some time, the girls managed to escape and return to their families.
N. tried to move on with her live. She was afraid to press charges due to the social stigma that she was faced with within her community. Her parents decided not to tell anyone what happened. Luckily, her father came to know about Free a Girl’s School for Justice program. With her parents support, N. enrolled and decided to study law. Through counseling, she came to realize that only those that have gone through the horrific experience of human trafficking and sexual exploitation, can truly understand what other girls are going through. For this reasons, she is determined to join the fight for the rights of survivors of sexual exploitation.
The School for Justice in Nepal: the story of B.
On her way to become a brilliant laywer!
B. is from rural Nepal. Her mother married a new man when she was very little, a short time after her father died. However, her stepfather refused to accept B. as family and forced her out of the house. B. went to her neighbors for help who send her to their sister in Kathmandu. B. hoped she could continue school, but instead the neigbour’s sister beat her and emotionally tormented her for failing to finish all household tasks on time. The house owner even raped her.
After months of being beaten and raped, she fled the house. Not knowing what to don, B. started working in a dance club to earn some money. The dance club did not turn out to be a safe place and its guests soon forced her to engage in sexual acts. She was arrested following a police raid and spent three days. After she was released, the proprietor of the dance bar made her work again.
Soon after, B. was rescued and was offered a safe space at a shelter. B. told the organization that rescued her that she really wanted to finish her education. They knew about the School for Justice and introduced B. to us. At the School for Justice she was diagnosed with severe trauma and depression and has received a lot of support to regain her self-confidence and self-worth. She is a very active student and participates in almost all programs offered by Free a Girl. She is taking up all the support she can get to improve her mental health and enjoy the opportunities of the SFJ programme. She is currently studying to become a brilliant lawyer! We are extremely proud of her!
A lot has happened at our Schools for Justice in India, Nepal and Brazil these past few months. The good news just keeps on coming, and the ripple waves of change are starting to make their presence known.
30 paralegals started and completed their theory and commenced their practical placements – like internships – to apply their learnings in real life. It can be challenging in Nepal to file a police report as a woman, so to have another woman with a similar background and understanding taking your report can make a huge difference to survivors in terms of access to justice. These brave paralegals help provide safe and easy access to justice to all survivors.
We are proud to announce that the School for Justice Brazil is now open for business! The staff – including teachers, a psychologist, social worker, program coordinator, social educator and legal assistant- is excited and ready to start the school year. The year will start with 12 young girls, all amazing and brave survivors. We wish them all the best for the year ahead!
School for Justice students in India have been busy taking exams, attending counseling sessions and attending legal awareness trainings created specifically for a local context, such as the Dowry Death act. Students also conducted legal right education awareness sessions about human trafficking at a shelter home in Mumbai, to help other minor and vulnerable girls protect themselves against traffickers.
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