Nepal (CAM) — Throughout rural parts of South Asia, thousands of stories have emerged about human trafficking involving minors.
Child trafficking is a multi-billion-dollar industry in Nepal. Every year some 7,000 to 10,000 Nepalese girls are taken across the border into India and sold against their will into prostitution. Others are sold into the Middle East or Southeast Asia commercial sex trade. Some of the girls are as young as nine years old.
Pimps take advantage of unsuspecting Nepali families, promising to take their daughters to a large city or even another country where they can receive good wages for work as domestics. In some cases a man may visit a village and identify himself as a successful businessman who is looking for a wife. Flattered and in need of money, the parents of an attractive teenage girl may view this offer as one they cannot refuse.
Boys are not safe either. They, too, may be sold into prostitution rings or placed into a circus where they work long hours with meager pay. They are lured by the dazzling descriptions of performing before crowds, earning a regular wage, and receiving an education. Some families have sold their children to circus traffickers for 1,000 rupees ($13 U.S.).
By the time these youth discover the reality of their situation, it is already too late. Far from home and without resources, they have no one to turn to for help. Sadly, many parents never hear from their children again.
“The Lord gave me a burden for these vulnerable children and their families,” said a Christian Aid partner (your link to indigenous missions) who operates a girls´ rescue ministry in Nepal. “I want to warn them of the dangers. At the same time, I see their need for hope and their desperate environment.”
Trafficking was such a problem in her own city of Hetauda that this compassionate believer decided to do something about it. Along with her husband and an assistant, they organized a program 14 years ago to educate villagers about the tactics traffickers use to snare children. Other women joined their team and received training to instruct more groups of people.
Through the ministry’s Awareness Film Program, more than 8,000 Nepali girls have learned the cunning ploys of those who might bring them harm. The Christian team goes from village to village showing the films, encouraging residents to report suspicious activity and lending insight into how to protect their daughters. More importantly, the workers brought the good news of the Savior Who can restore their broken lives.
The couple sought to provide a place of healing for girls left scarred by exploitation. In the early years they opened their own home, providing meals and shelter and sharing the love of Jesus Christ.
In 2011 the ministry was able to purchase a facility to use as a safe house, thanks to gifts from Christian Aid donors. Ten children are currently living in the residence. Emotional adjustment becomes more challenging when some try to return home only to face rejection by their families. Many are uneducated and lack job skills.
The ministry offers a vocational training program that prepares these women for employment in tailoring, weaving, and jewelry-making. They also receive counseling and participate in Bible studies.
This past spring 35 girls and women, all victims of trafficking or domestic violence, participated in the counseling program. Six of them committed their hearts to the Lord.
• That the Awareness Film Program will educate thousands more Nepali families about the dangers of traffickers and save many children from a life of degradation and misery.
• For the rehabilitation and vocational training programs to provide young women with the confidence and tools they need to rebuild their lives. Pray especially that they will find their self-worth in Christ and experience His unconditional love.
• For the $1,150 needed to build a compound wall around the ministry´s safe house.