Kusum, in her school uniform
By early 2009, 12-year-old Kusum had already been working four years at the carpet looms near Kathmandu, Nepal, following in the paths of her two older sisters. All three of them, in fact, had been sold by their alcoholic father to labor brokers – Kusum was worth only $14 to her father. Besides being separated from her sisters, Kusum grew up without her mother, who died as a result of her father’s violence.
Kusum endured the harsh conditions of the carpet factory, toiling hour upon hour, day after day, with little hope that anything would ever change. But on March 9, 2009, it finally did. A GoodWeave inspector found her, rescued her, and brought her to a GoodWeave rehabilitation center.
Today, Kusum is 13 years old. She has started school, and spends her days studying, playing and talking with children her own age. For the first time in her life, Kusum is happy.
In a recent report from Bahadure, a GoodWeave factory inspector in Nepal, he talks about how individual children like Kusum are helped through rehabilitation and schooling:
“At first, when they were brought to Hamro Ghar (Our Home - the GoodWeave rehabilitation center), most of them were shy, frightened, and physically weak due to the exploitation... they have become confident, recouped their energies and spirit, and now speak and interact without hesitations and fear. They find ways and opportunities to bring out their hidden talents and show the world they are no less than children from rich families.”
GoodWeave is proud of Kusum and the courage and confidence she has developing since her rescue almost two years ago. In the below video, Kusum tells part of her story in her own words.