By Olga Murray - Rescuing 1700 Girls from Bonded Labor
We have rescued 800 girls in our target area and have arranged with another NGO to rescue 800 more. Currently, our project is planning to rescue the remaining 100 girls in our target area. Since we have just about defeated the bonding practice in our target area, we are moving in January to another area where the practice exists. This is truly a success story for us.
Last week, we paid a visit to this project (the cease fire called by the Maoists made this possible), and I was so proud to see how much we have accomplished there. We met hundreds of young girls formerly bonded looking smart in their school uniforms (including the youngest kid we encountered, a 6 year old who is now in third grade), and went to the new classrooms we built there to accomodate all the girls we had brought home from their labors. We also visited a new aspect of the project, a vocational training program to teach sewing to the girls who are older and want to drop out of school after several years. They have a ready made market for their product - the school uniforms we buy each year for the hundreds of girls who have returned home.
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