Today, we’ve got a special post from our friend Jacqui at White Deer Graphic Design who is raising funds for young girls, victims of the sex slave trade in Nepal. – Ky
“They forced me to sleep with as many as 50 customers a day. I had to give [the pimp] all my money. If I did not [earn a set amount] they punished me by removing my clothes and beating me with a stick until I fainted, electrocuting me, cutting me.”
~Kolab, sex trafficking survivor from Cambodia
Human trafficking is still very much a brutal reality in our world. Over 21 million people in our world are still being trafficked. This isn’t a stat from the past, it’s todays reality.
As a young person in an extremely blessed country, I can’t just sit by and watch as this injustice continues on around me. Girls my age and younger, are forced into a life in the sex industry. A life they did not choose for themselves.
These girls are treated inhumanely, they are beaten, tortured and abused. Taken from their families, their friends and their homes. All for greed, for money, for power, for selfish pleasure.
Last year I was lucky enough to hear a group from Nepal share their stories – they were from the Lighthouse Foundation Nepal. They explained that the Nepalese had a strong caste system where people are valued less and less depending on the people group they are born into.
This system was abolished into 60’s but is still extremely prevalent in their culture. The Badi people, the lowest caste, are so low they are considered “untouchable”. It’s this group of people who suffer the most from the sex slave trade in Nepal. It’s almost expected that this is the life these girls will have. They are trafficked into the brothels of India and lose all hope of a life that can ever be fair or beautiful and they never feel worthy of what they deserve.
Raju Sundas, the leader of The Lighthouse Foundation Nepal, shared his heartbreaking story of how he met these beautiful Badi people. He began to think of ways he could help and has since started a safe house (amongst other ventures) where girls can be rescued, restored, loved and trained. Giving them a life beyond the sex trade.
As well as Raju’s story, we heard from two young women, saved from this unimaginable world as they shared their stories. Tears welled in my eyes as I sat face-to-face with these beautiful humans who had gone through hell, and come out the other side.
They told their stories pain, torture and injustice. But the story didn’t end there. They had been rescued. They had been taken somewhere safe, where they could sleep at night. Sleep safe and sound without fear. Somewhere where they were valued and loved for who they were, not what their bodies could give. Somewhere where they were trained and educated. To give them a chance at not just surviving, but thriving.
Ten us of decided we wanted to help. We have organised a trip to Nepal where we aim to spend quality time with these girls and the organisation. We hope to help with building projects, have the physios in our team teach the girls some skills as well as help share their stories through photography, design and film.
Our time there however will only be short; just 2 weeks. So to make a real, lasting impact we are aiming to fundraise $30,000 before we leave. This will go directly towards fully funding the build and a running costs (for a year) for a project that is based right in amongst the Indian brothels – creating a connection point to build trust and give love for the girls trapped in this world.
We have already raised $12,000 and know with generous support of our nation we will reach $30,000 and make a real and tangible difference to these young women.
If helping young women, that have no power, change their lives is something you feel passionate about we’d love for you to help.
Ther are a few ways you can get involved and take a stand against human trafficking.
Look out for the Free the Girls Project.
If you’d like to keep updated be sure to like our Facebook page.
Movie night: On Wednesday 18 May we’ll be holding a movie night showing “Untouchable – Children of God”. This is a beautifully filmed doco that depicts the real story of what is happening in Nepal. Come along 7:30pm for the film and a complimentary supper afterwards.
Tickets are $20 with ALL proceeds going towards this project.
Traffic light tin collection: We’re lucky enough to be able to conduct a tin rattle in Bendigo on Saturday 21 May at 3 intersections. We need hands though! 96 helpers to man the intersections. There are 2 hour slots up for grabs. Comment on our page or contact Jacqui on 0417 888 512 if you’d love to help!
Prints: Myself, as a graphic designer, wanted a way I could help. As such I have designed 10 different prints that will be available for purchase at the movie night. If you’re not in Bendigo, pop on over to my website to make your purchase.
Our thanks to Jacqui for talking to us about her fundraising campaign and upcoming trip. Please share this story and help these beautiful people raise funds to help young women desperately in need. ~Ky