The SA Foundation in Kathmandu, Nepal
Nepal is a small land-locked country situated between India and Tibet that is roughly 1/3 the size of Alberta, Canada. It has a booming population over over 21 Million, which gives it five times the people density of New York City! The average income per family is less than $210/month, and the literacy rate is 39% in males, and 25% in females.
The combined religious and cultural beliefs that greatly de-value girls and women leads to a situation that is ripe for trafficking and sexual exploitation. Each year between 12,000-15,000 young girls are trafficked across the open border of Nepal into the brothels of India! The young girls have no idea of the fate that awaits them at the end of their journey, a fate that includes being trapped in a filthy brothel room with numerous other young girls and women! They are unable to escape, beaten into submission and forced to provide services to up to 40 men per day until they are too sick to continue. At this point they are often tossed out onto the street to beg. Police raids happen from time to time, but unless there are long-term recovery services for these girls, they usually return to the brothel.
If they manage to make it back to Nepal, these young women are rarely accepted back into their families & communities, even though their sale was not their fault. Therefore, the SA Foundation gathered local leaders in the year 2000 and developed their pilot project based on the SA program model. The following programs and services are offered to young women and their children that have been trafficked and sexually exploited:
Level One Development
A 10 bed house is provided to young women who have been sexually exploited or rescued while being trafficked.
The ASK Learning Centre
As part of the recovery program, the ASK Learning Centre provides recovery training to participants half days. All participants in the front-line house are required to attend. The objectives of the program are that participants will be equipped to:
- Deal with their past issues of abuse
- Deal with any current addiction issues
- Learn to engage in healthy relationships
- Learn to deal with their emotions in a healthy, functioning manner
- Improve their quality of life
- Learn the skills to move forward with positive action in their lives
- Increase their level of self-esteem
- Learn to parent in a positive manner, breaking the cycle of abuse in the lives of their children
- Increase their level of education
This is accomplished through delivery of recovery curriculum in short, interactive classes and recreational and educational outings.
Job Shadowing and Training
As part of their program, participants begin by job shadowing in the SA Foundation’s Global Wonders handicraft business as the second half of their program days. The outcome is that they learn employability skills to be advanced into the Job Training program, where they will eventually gain full time employment.
Phase II programming is transitional housing where program participants can live for up to 3 years and either continue working in the handicraft factory, return to school, seek outside employment or raise their children full time while being involved in an income-generating program.
At this level participants are employed at fair trade wages to fulfill two orders per year for the SA Foundation’s Global Wonders handicraft shipments. At this level participants have been trained to produce jewellery needed for export and sale quality.
The Followcare program provides follow up for participants that have graduated/left the program so that they continue to be supported and remain connected to the SA program. Participants at this level are invited to events, their birthdays and other special events are celebrated and they can continue to access support as needed.
This program provides funds to return to school or the start up of business ventures for participants that have graduated from the program. As an example, scholarships have been granted to start up a tailoring business, for a participant to take a midwifery degree, and for another participant to take a beautician’s course and start in the business. Each application is carefully screened for feasibility and participants are encouraged to complete the research on their own.
Please visit their site at: www.ghfnepal.org