|It's back to school time.|
Will these girls get to go?
|Upwards of 20,000 girls from the poorest parts of Nepal are
trafficked every year - sold by their desperate parents or lured by the false
promises of traffickers. These girls, sometimes as young as nine, end up in the
brothels of India
where they become slaves. Many are HIV positive within two years, and are dead
before they are out of their teens. |
Our approach to combating this modern-day slavery is simple
and surprisingly effective: education.
|Donate Now. $100 keeps a girl safe in school for a year. $1,000 takes her all the way to graduation.|
Why does this happen?|
Poverty, ignorance, and a system that does not value
women. The Nepali quote "educating your
daughter is like watering a flower in another man's garden" sums up the
cultural attitude towards girls. That
the best a girl can hope for is to be married off very young and spend her life
working in the fields makes her very vulnerable to traffickers. They promise the parents that their daughter
will have a good job and send money home every month. Or promise to marry the girl and take her to
a bright life in the city. And another
girl "goes missing".
We go to the source, into the villages where girls are at risk, and
put those girls in school. For a small investment - $100 pays for everything:
school fees, books, school uniforms, tutoring - we can keep a girl safe at home
and in school for a whole year. And the longer the girls stay in school, the
more they learn, and the more their families learn to appreciate their worth.
Education frees them. It gives them a way past hopelessness.|
Changing the Game
Dr. Aruna Uprety, our visionary partner, went to the
brothels in India,
where over a hundred thousand Nepali girls are trapped. They told her over and
over, "it is too late for us. If we had known anything, if we had been able to
go to school and learn and work, we would never have landed here. Please, keep
this from happening to other girls."
The heartbreak of their situation pushed her to focus on
prevention - breaking the cycle of trafficking and violence from the start. She
pioneered the approach of getting at-risk girls into school. In the beginning,
she had to go door to door in each village to convince the families that
sending girls to school was worthwhile.
That first year we started with 52 girls. This year we have
7,000 in 400 schools across Nepal
and with your help, we can add 1,000 girls every year.
It works. How do we know?|
Finally, reluctance to send girls to school is dropping
away, and whole villages are asking to be included in our work. People now see
that educating the most at-risk girls in a village spreads enough knowledge to
keep traffickers at bay. Our girls are motivated; they pass their high school
leaving exams at double the national average. And we have not lost one girl to trafficking.
Donate now, and give a girl a chance to dream again.
$100 keeps her safe in school for a year.
$1,000 takes her all the way to graduation.
The American Himalayan Foundation supports vital education, health care, and cultural and environmental preservation throughout the Himalayan region, and helps Tibetans with their struggle to survive and maintain their culture.