Help us keep Nepali girls safe from traffickers
This Christmas we are launching an appeal to keep Nepali girls safe from traffickers. We want to raise funds to rescue and care for girls who are trapped in desperate situations, as well as delivering anti-trafficking workshops and activities to prevent girls from being trafficked in the first place. Once again all donations will be doubled through the Big Give.
Rita’s home life was miserable. Her alcoholic father used to hit her mother almost every day, and Rita couldn’t bear watching so much violence in her own home. Her mother bravely decided to leave Nepal and find a job in the Middle East. The recruitment agent suggested that she leave her daughter in a hotel where she could attend school and help out in the evenings. Rather naively, her mother agreed and left for Kuwait.
At first, the hotel owner admitted Rita to school, but her happiness was short-lived. Her list of jobs kept increasing, and soon she was doing all the cleaning, cooking and washing. She had to drop out of school to keep up with the relentless tasks, working from early in the morning until late at night. The evenings were worse. When the customers got drunk, they teased her and touched her inappropriately – with the hotel owner watching but remaining silent.
I forgot how to laugh
The worst was still to come. One day when the owner’s wife was away, he sexually assaulted Rita. He said that if she told anyone what had happened, he would kick her out of the hotel and she would have to live on the street. He continued to take advantage of her at every opportunity. Rita says of those days that she completely forgot how to laugh.
One day our team spotted her at the hotel and sensed that something wasn’t right. They asked her what was wrong, but she was too scared to say anything. They shared stories of other girls who had been rescued and then, full of tears, she led them to a quiet place behind the hotel and told her story.
Rita was quickly rescued and brought to Marigold House, our safe house for survivors, where she has started her long road to rehabilitation. Rita was understandably traumatised, and it took a while for her to trust others. But slowly she started to engage with activities such as dance classes, which led to her enrolling at school. (We have changed Rita’s name to keep her safe.)
Can you help us reach more girls like Rita?