STOP Girl Trafficking
The problem is huge. Every year, as many as 20,000 girls from the poorest parts of rural Nepal are trafficked. They and their families are tricked with false promises of good jobs or lured by proposals of marriage from handsome strangers. They end up in brothels, in homes and factories as slaves, or forced into child marriage, their young lives cut short by trauma and abuse.
How can this happen? Grinding poverty, caste discrimination, and the belief that women have little value: a girl is an extra mouth to feed until she is married off. If she can leave home to earn money for the family, they may be too desperate to look closely at what her fate might really be.
Education is the way. Our partner, Dr. Aruna Uprety, pioneered the idea of combatting trafficking by preventing it—stopping it before it happens. If a girl has value, in her own eyes and her family’s, she will not “go missing”. How to give girls value? By educating them.
With AHF’s support, Aruna and her organization, RHEST, go into the villages, find the girls most at risk, put them in school and keep them there so they are safe. They also educate the girls and their families about the realities and dangers of trafficking and early marriage, and weave a protective web of trusted people around the girls so they can reach out if trouble does arise.
For a small investment we can keep a girl safe for an entire year:
$100 pays for school fees, books, uniforms, mentoring, and tutoring.
keeps a girl in school for a year and safe from being trafficked
And it works. The girls are motivated to study harder, and the drop-out rate is just 3%, well below the national average. As the girls learn, they gain confidence, are more respected by their families and communities, and become role models for other girls. SGT girls even influence their classmates to study harder.
We started with 54 girls. Now we have 12,000 girls safe in 500 schools across Nepal, on the path to a future full of hope instead of dread.