Hi Friends and Board Members of FAIR Girls
Last night, I openned our FAIR Girls mail to find a small package. What was inside so deeply moved me that I wanted to share it with all of you. Inside the small brown package was $265.00 that came from a young woman who I'll call Little Miss N. Little Miss N was 19 when I first met her, and she is from rural Nepal. Her first memories are of tending goats and playing in the garden with her sisters. She's about 4 ft 8 inches and full of energy!
Little Miss N's family came to her on her 17th birthday to tell her that she had won a dream come true -- a U.S. visa lottery enabling her to move to the United States with a green card! LIttle Miss N was so excited to go to America, study, and become a school teacher. It was a dream come true!
Only, when she arrived to the U.S. Embassy in Nepal, her parents told her that they owed over $2000.00 to debt collectors and that she could help them repay her debt by marrying a man three times her age. So, LittleMiss N married him in desperation and honor for her family. She arrived to Washington D.C. full of promises of a new life. Only, she quickly learned that the beautiful life she had been promised was a lie. Her husband already had three other wives, and she had been bought to repay a debt and to work by day in a cafe and at night in a life of sexual abuse. She was constantly watched at all times by the father of the man who had bought her. Miss N had become a modern day slave.
Little Miss N was quiet. She followed their rules and never told a soul about her life of exploitation, sadness, and abuse. She served sandwiches to over 100 people a day -- no one ever suspecting her plight. Only, her sadness did not escape another girl who worked at the cafe. This American girl had also been a modern day slave and had been helped toward freedom by FAIR Girls just that very same year. She knew something was not right with Little Miss N. She noticed the bruises, shyness, and isolation that are symptoms of a girl sold into slavery. The American girl wanted to help Little Miss N.
One day, the American girl showed up at FAIR Girls doors with Little Miss N, asking for help. We let her in and quickly realized that she was a victim of trafficking despite having a green card. While we met with her, her husband/trafficker had his father circling the cafe looking for her. We knew that time was really short and even I was truly scared of what this man might do to her and to us. Little Miss N's employer came to our office two hours later giving us about $1800 dollars that he said she had earned in the past month. Somehow, I think that he added a little bit to that amount - a gift to help her toward freedom. We then gathered up a suitcase from a volunteer and clothes that had been donated to us. We put it all together and contacted a shelter out of state where Little Miss N could run to for safety. We stayed the night in in our office and figured out what to do. The next day, we took a taxi to the train station and bought the $265.00 ticket to the out of state safe house.
We didn't think we would ever hear from Little Miss N again. We told her not to call. We told her it was not safe. Only, just over one year later, she has saved $265 dollars and sent it to us. She said she's better now. She's in college and happily living her American dream of freedom. She even has a new boyfriend. She hopes that the $265 she sent will help the next girl. We know it will.
She can't read this, but I want to say thank you so much, Little Miss N. She did not have to give. We gave her a path to freedom with no expectations. We hope she is happy and we are so grateful to know she is free.
Thank you to everyone who is supports our work to empower girls like Little Miss N. Every dollar you give is truly needed and enables us to help more girls like Little Miss N. Thank you.
With love to Little Miss N and all the girls at FAIR Girls--