Harambee Arts has trained a team of 7 Nepalese anti-trafficking activists to help girls recently rescued and those at risk of trafficking. Our team is based in Kathmandu, and offers workshops and education with the goal of ending human trafficking. We use visual arts, dance, storytelling and theater to alleviate the effects of trauma on girls who endured forced prostitution, and to provide education to reduce girls' vulnerability to trafficking. We seek funds to develop additional trainers.
Women trafficked from Nepal are sometimes rescued, then repatriated after their traumatic experience, returning to Nepal with no feeling of connection to their country of birth. Rejected by their families, they are stigmatized, isolated, and HIV+. Unresolved trauma is a huge barrier to their becoming independent. Shakti Samuha, our Nepalese partner, operates a system of shelters and the Harambee Arts staff offers Expressive Arts Therapy so the girls can work through their trauma and regain hope.
In order to establish a credible, sustainable program, Harambee Arts has developed a model to develop the capacity of survivors themselves, rather than bring in Western trained therapists. The survivors are trained to work with other survivors and vulnerable girls within their own communities. The project for which we are seeking funding will allow our original team of Nepalese trainers to develop seven additional trainers to expand the program's reach beyond Kathmandu to remote rural areas.
All of the Harambee Arts trainers have become activists in anti-trafficking, as well as in HIV advocacy and direct support. The seven women now provide Expressive Arts Therapy to hundreds of women in Nepal and are developing another group of seven trainers. They have been invited to present at international conferences (2015 Hong Kong, 2017 Canada) about the model that transformed their lives and gave them skills to teach others how to reduce their vulnerability to trafficking and violence.