Nepal

Oct 11
2016

Celebrating Girls with New Initiatives!!

Nepalese GirlOctober 11th is International Day of the Girl established by the United Nations in 2012. There are 1.1 billion girls in the world today. They are smart, creative and talented but limited in opportunities because of gender inequality, lack of education and violence. I witness this potential when I spend time with the rescued girls in the safe houses in Nepal.  They have been denied education, suffered abuse and violence in their homes and deceived by traffickers. They come to the safe house wounded and broken, but they find the love from the other girls and staff that they have possibly never known before.  They work hard to recover from the trauma they’ve experienced and build a live filled with hope.

 

If you are a friend and supporter of Eternal Threads, you have been part of that amazing process. Giving young women training to have a business is the most valuable gift we can give them. I’ll be traveling to Nepal next month to work on a new training center for the girls. We are excited about that and I’ll definitely keep you posted.

Tailoring business

I started giving sewing machines to girls in India several years before Eternal Threads began. I realized then how valuable a tool it is for women in the developing world.  Since its founding our mission has always been to give women and girls the opportunities that will help them achieve more than they might have dreamed. We need your partnership to be able to do this.

This fall we launched TWO GREAT NEW INITIATIVES that we hope will help us continue to help our artisans around the world and accomplish even more for them as well as be a benefit to your mission or business.

If you have a shop or you know someone who does, please recommend our WHOLESALE program to them.  If you can help us sell  more products, we can give our artisans more sustainable income year round.

Many of you have been Gathering Hostesses for us in the past and sold the artisans goods at church events, schools and homes.  We couldn’t have accomplished all that we’ve done in the past few years without you!!!  We have now redesigned this program into our new HOST A SALE.  We hope this program which allows you to make a profit for a cause you care about will bless your organization or church at the same time you are helping our artisans in such a meaningful way.

Please join us in continuing our mission of empowerment.

Blessings,

Linda

 

May 6
2015

Birthday wishes for Eternal Threads

I usually don’t celebrate birthdays, but maybe the milestones are different. I’m not sure why they should be, but certain milestones give us a way to celebrate life!

Even more rare than celebrating a birthday is having someone ask me what I want for my birthday, so when the Eternal Threads Board asked me what I wanted for my 65th birthday, I had to think about it. I didn’t have to think very long, however.

On May 18th we are celebrating my birthday and more importantly the 15th anniversary of Eternal Threads. When you talk about celebrating life, the last 15 years of the mission of Eternal Threads puts that in capital letters for me. LIFE AND HOPE to hundreds of women and their families. That’s something WE can all celebrate.

We have given over $1,000,000 of income to the women we serve just since 2005!!!! What more can we do?

Here’s what I wish for:

  • $3500 to help Rafiatu, in Ghana expand her business so she can employ more women and girls.   A production unit to make their own recycled beads and sandals and 6 sewing machines to train young women to sew.
  • Help Rosemary expand her market in Uganda with rent for a local shop so she can have the funds to educate her four younger siblings.
  • $8000 for 80 rescued girls in Nepal to have sewing machines enabling them to start businesses when they return to their home villages
  • $10,000 to support another anti-trafficking border unit in Nepal that can rescue 200 girls in a year…$50 a life!
  • Support for our Afghan partner and his family. They have received visas to go to India from Afghanistan where they felt increasingly at risk; as well as continuing our project in Afghanistan that his mother-in-law will oversee.
  • Expand our market in order to support our artisans with consistent orders and sustainable income. Contributions to Eternal Threads allow us to improve our products, website and marketing strategies.

The board has set the goal of 1000 donors to give $65 each for this celebration. (Write “Celebration” in the Program:Other window). Those funds could enable us to do all of this and much, much more. A great celebration indeed!!!

This celebration is for everyone who has supported Eternal Threads with donations, purchasing products, volunteering or hosting a sale. CELEBRATE LIFE AND HOPE in your own life and that of so many women you have served.

GRATEFULLY,

Linda

Aug 31
2013

Kathmandu

Even though we flew completely different routes, amazingly we all arrived within a few minutes of each other at the Kathmandu airport on Friday morning.  Unfortunately some of the luggage for Abby’s extended stay here in Nepal didn’t make it, but they will be here on the 2nd.

After a quick rest, shower and some lunch we went to visit the new offices of of our Nepal partner which up until now had been in their home.  Our partner had invited a young woman to join us that he wanted me to meet.  Her name is Rashmi.  A beautiful young women with amazing blue eyes who has been deaf since birth.  Her husband signed and translated for us.  She is a very accomplished artist naturally and is now studying at Kathmandu University.  She draws all of the anti-trafficking posters that our partner distributes to police stations, bus and train stations, schools, etc.  She wants to use her art to help with the anti-trafficking work.  I wish she could meet our great friend, Ruth Jackson, who never stops thinking about the ways in which she can use her art for good.

Rashmi, along with her paintings, has started doing painting on canvas shoes.  We all thought they were fantastic and think there is a potential for selling them….especially to benefit the Red Thread Movement.  She wants to train the girls in the safe house to do the painting which will give them an income, but will also give them a way to express themselves.  They often can’t articulate what they have gone through in either the spoken or written word, but can express their feelings in art.Image

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After leaving the offices we visited our partner’s family at their home which is where the sewing center activities take place as well.  We were able to meet some of the girls doing the sewing and see the new cutting machine that they have available to them.  It was great to meet Rosni who is now completely in charge of all the shipments that we receive of bracelets and other goods.  Before returning to the hotel they prepared the most wonderful Nepali meal for us all to share.

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Aug 29
2013

Team Visit to Nepal

An Eternal Threads team departed on Wednesday, August 28th for a visit to Nepal.  The team includes Eternal Threads’ founder, Linda Egle, board member, Diane Rose, and two staff members, Breahna Jordan and Abby Youngblood.  Breahna is the director of the Red Thread Movement and Abby will be remaining in Nepal to live in the safe house for nine months.  We are so excited that she will be able to serve this ministry in such a powerful way…spending time with the girls and helping our partner with so many tasks.

UPDATE: With a little more drama than we would have liked at the DFW airport today, we are all on our way to Nepal.  We are going different routes, but will meet up in Frankfurt for the last legs to Delhi, India and Kathmandu.  Don’t you love that name – Kat-Man-Du!!!!  I always get a kick out of saying it.

I’m very anxious to see our Nepal partner, the staff and especially the rescued girls in the safe houses.  It is always the greatest blessing and the reward for traveling half way round the world to be able to be with them.  They are the reason for it all and they are worth it!!!  Their courage, resiliency and their willingness to build a new life is inspirational in ways that are hard to describe.  They have come from remote mountain villages where they may have never had an opportunity to go to school, where they helped with household chores from the time they were little girls that most women never have to do…collecting wood and feed for animals, building open fires for cooking, and carrying water home from the stream.  Their families are desperately poor and they may have even suffered abuse in their own homes, which made them especially vulnerable to traffickers.  As most Nepalese people are, they are sweet and humble even after being deceived and abused by the traffickers.

It is the love and compassion they receive from the young women “manning” the border stations who rescue them, the house mothers and other rescued girls in the safe houses that gives them the confidence that they can rebuild their lives.  Receiving vocational training in sewing or beautician training gives them the practical skills needed for that life.  Every time you give a “gift” of a sewing machine to someone from our website, you are empowering these girls.

I’ve never been on the border at exactly the right time to witness a rescue first hand, but I love to hear the dramatic stories of their rescue.  This news report appeared in a Nepal newspaper of one such rescue.  Usha Gurung who did the rescue is the most senior staff member of KI Nepal.  These girls are amazing…knowledgeable and courageous.  They are not willing to let anyone slip through their grasp.  I can’t wait to tell Usha…”good for you and thank you.”

BHAIRAHAWA – A teenage girl from Tanahu district, who was being trafficked to India by three men, was rescued from Belahiya border in Rupandehi district on Wednesday evening. …an organization working against human trafficking, rescued 17-year-old Sima Thapa as a group of traffickers were trying to take her across the border. The three men fled leaving behind Thapa when they were stopped at a check post. Thapa, a native of Arunodaya VDC-3 in Tanahu, was drugged by the three men she had met in a passenger bus headed for Bhimad Bazaar.  “When I woke up I was in Belahiya. They threatened to kill me if I did not do what they told me. I relented and walked along with them,” said Thapa. While two of the traffickers walked ahead to cross the border, Thapa was instructed to walk along with the third man and identify him as her uncle if inquired. Usha Gurung, in-charge of … Belahiya check post, said Thapa’s nervous expression suggested something was suspicious about her being there with a man. “When we stopped them for questioning, she first said that the man was her uncle. Not convinced, we pressed her to tell the truth when the man ran away. She later told us what had happened to her,” said Gurung. Police Inspector Mohan Bahadur Khand of the Belahiya Area Police Office said Thapa was handed over to her parents on Thursday.

Stay tuned…hopefully we’ll be blogging several times during the visit.

Aug 24
2012

A journey worth making!!

An Eternal Threads team made a trip to Nepal in June of this year.  We traveled a lot of miles to visit our partner, but our journey seems insignificant to the one that rescued girls must take to restore the life that was almost taken from them.  Here is the story of their Journey of HOPE ~

Border Girls

It begins here…young women in purple uniforms in the blazing sun for 12 hours a day with only a handkerchief to block the heat at a far western border crossing in Nepal.  They stand at the entrance to the “buffer” zone and claim the lives of young girls who will be lost to the brothels of India if the traffickers can get them successfully into that zone.

They never divert their attention from the task even when we are interviewing them.  More girls are taken through this crossing than any other in Nepal, and they are not willing to let even one slip through their grasp.  They are tenacious and equally courageous.  They know their only hope of saving these young women is convincing them of what danger awaits on the other side.

Eternal Threads and the Red Thread Movement funds two of the border units that our partner in Nepal has established to stop the trafficking of young Nepalese girls (more than 12,000 girls a year are trafficked to Indian brothels).  At this station as many as 300-350 girls are stopped each month to interview they and their companions as to why they are going to India.  Out of these as many as 35 are saved from the fate that awaited them and either returned to their homes or taken to safe houses for a period of restoration that may last six months to a year.  Eternal Threads also supports one of these safe houses. (November 2011)

We have visited three safe houses on this journey and the experience is both numbing and exhilarating.  To think of what they have gone through and the healing that must take place is a task we cannot imagine, but with the help of loving house mothers, spiritual counselors and each other they are meeting the challenge head on determined to leave their past behind them and begin a new journey.  It takes time, a safe place and HOPE for that new life…something tangible to build on. (read Gita’s story in our April 2012 blog)

Vocational training in tailoring and cosmetology provide the hope that they will be able to stand on their own, provide for themselves and never again have to depend on someone who might betray them.  By the time they leave the safe house they have the skills to establish their own businesses and return to their villages as professionals and leaders.

A sewing machine for a new business.

On this journey the team visited a young woman who returned to her mountain village 3 years ago.  She has since started agricultural projects to employ young women as well as a tailoring training school.  Some of the young women in her sewing classes walk a day and a half to be able to take advantage of an opportunity that will likely save them from the deception of the traffickers for “job opportunities” in India.  Eternal Threads has sent funding for the sewing machines to put five of these young women in business in their home village where they will not only have a business but will train others.

Linda Egle and ET Staff member, Jennifer Patterson, at a sewing center.

Young women also receive training in sewing centers in cities along the border where girls are vulnerable to traffickers.  One such center has trained 300 girls…40 of them have started their own businesses.

Purchasing a sewing machine or a sewing certificate for a young woman in Nepal gives the gift of Hope!!

You can also purchase beautiful products made by the girls in the safe house giving them income to start their new life when they leave.

Be sure and watch this short video produced for Eternal Threads by one of our team members, Matt Pinson.

Also check out, Erik Tryggestad’s article and blogs for the Christian Chronicle.

Jul 10
2012

Family Challenges

To begin our Out of the Darkness countdown (more information on our Facebook page) of some of the factors that contribute to sex trafficking, we start with “family challenges” which affect many of the girls and women we serve. As a reminder, all of this information is from an internal study done this year with partners of Eternal Threads.

Family challenges include broken families or families with a dysfunctional background including families with widowed or single mothers or polygamous backgrounds. It also includes families where one or both parents are working away from home in order to provide for their children, and families in which there are too many children for the mother or parents to care for adequately. As you can imagination, whether with good or poor intentions or even neglect, these situations put children at great risk for being trafficked. They need more support and protection.

These family issues are present in numerous countries, but were specifically reported in Nepal, Ghana, Mongolia, and Nigeria. In these countries and every country, Eternal Threads helps by partnering with those who work to stand in the gap of family challenges. By providing jobs and often emotional support for girls and women, we strive to give them the resources they need to be successful in making their own living and taking care of themselves and their families.

Check in tomorrow to see how you can make a specific difference in the issue of Family Challenges.

A Story of Restoration

There are stories of rescue and restoration that need to be told. This is one of those stories that is similar to the stories of so many that are deceived and exploited by traffickers ~

She is eighteen years old and over the past several months has been training to be a beautician in a vocational training program along with others who are receiving tailoring training. With extreme talent, she has been chosen to work in a micro-enterprise salon business, through which she will be able to earn enough money to support herself in her new community.

Just one year ago, her story looked much different. Living in poverty with her father and stepmother, she was asked to be married to a man from a higher social caste. Her parents quickly agreed. However, the man which posed as a potential groom was actually a trafficker working for a trafficking ring in India. She realized through an overheard conversation that he had no intention of marrying her, but in fact was taking her over the border to a brothel.

On the day that they attempted to cross the border, dedicated anti-trafficking agents stopped the couple and separated the two for questioning. Broken and scared, she asked to be rescued, as she knew where he was taking her and she did not want to go. The trafficker was taken into custody and she was taken to a safe house for restoration and healing with other girls that had similar stories. Although the organization that rescued her reached out to her parents, they were unwilling for her to return home. The rejection and betrayal that she felt was heavy, and even in the midst of a loving and caring environment, it took a long time for her to heal.

Today, she is an excellent beautician and is thriving in her new community. She is ready to get started in her own business and continue to train other girls as well as give back to the program that made such a difference in her own life. In talking about her rescue and restoration, she says, “I have never been loved by anyone in my entire life like I have been here in this place.”

Nov 15
2011

“Safe” Home and Sewing Center

From the Founder. Nepal

I guess learning to sew in 4-H when I was 9 years old is paying off even though I haven’t had time to use my own sewing machine for years. I recently spent 2 days in Kathmandu, Nepal sourcing fabric, product ideas and materials for the sewing center we want to establish at one of the safe houses for rescued girls. Somewhat laborious, time-consuming and often frustrating, but necessary to our process. Now it’s all coming together as we begin to set up the sewing center at the safe house.

In our world, a “safe” home constitutes one free of any and all potential dangers from accidents or mishaps. We attempt to cover all the bases…covers on electrical outlets, cleaning supplies in locked cabinets, non-slip rugs and floors, alarm systems and more. Most homes in the rest of the world don’t have the luxury of such safeguards, so I had to pause and think about what “SAFE” means to this house. For the rescued girls who live here it is above all else a place to be safe from the deceit of those that would do them harm and also a place to be rescued, restored and redeemed. A place to find new confidence in themselves and build a new life!

This safe house is just such a place. It is filled with light and fresh air with lots of room. The girls have their own garden so that the home never has to buy vegetables and everything they eat is organic.

Picking vegetables

They share all the responsibilities of cleaning, cooking and maintaining the garden. I hear them singing and chattering happily together as they do their work and also learn new skills of sewing, knitting and crocheting on which to build that new life, not only as a means of income, but as a way to regain their sense of value and worth. Saturday morning I was able to witness the fruit of this safe house when I attended a fellowship with the girls. One of those rescued was the leader for that day. She led the fellowship with poise and stature, a strong, confident voice and a great depth of understanding for one so young. It was a clear testament to the growth that comes from this safe place.

THE RIGHT TEAM

Nirmal RajBusantiThe greatest need we had for establishing a really successful sewing center was finding the right team. We were blessed to find just that team in Nirmal Raj (left) who will be doing the advanced tailoring training for a year and Busanti who will be the sewing center manager. Both have the skills we need and with their combined efforts we are well on our way.

DEVELOPING SKILLS
Helping Each Other
Gaining skills that will help you have income is crucial for these girls, but it also gives them the confidence to build that new life because they have something to value in themselves. It is wonderful to watch them working together and sometimes teaching each other how to master a new skill. They have some good basic skills and with Nirmal and Busanti’s help they will be able to advance their training.

DEVELOPING PRODUCTS
Teaching the girls to be creative and entrepreneurial is part of our goal so making a small jewelry pouch out of scraps of fabric is more than just coming up with a new product. Busanti got right to work showing the girls how to make them and pretty soon they were going through all the scraps of fabric that had been discarded to see if they could find pieces big enough to make a jewelry pouch. Picking up the pieces of your life and making it into something useful is a powerful image.

I was pleased to see that the girls were already working on a new product of their own…a crocheted hat. Their design was good, but they needed a little help with color combinations so we went to the yarn shop and did a little designing together. We’ll hopefully have them in the warehouse before Christmas.

Jun 10
2011

A new partner!

DolmaIn our recent travels to Nepal, we were blessed in meeting a wonderful Tibetan refugee woman named Dolma Pasang. Sitting under a shade tree making lovely jewelry is where we found Dolma on our first day in Pokhara. She remembered our founder who had talked with her on a previous trip and our friendly conversation easily found it’s way to business. We asked her to make some of her extraordinarily beautiful jewelry for a special sale event at Eternal Threads and she enthusiastically agreed because she needed the money for her children’s school fees. We were so pleased with the uniqueness and quality of her work that we ordered more than we actually thought she could produce in such a short time. We worried about it, but found there was no need for worry.

It was then that we realized we might have a new partner and jewelry project because Dolma, just by being who she is, showed us that she is the embodiment of the Eternal Threads mission. She enlisted needy women in her refugee community to help so that they too would benefit, she helped us source product with honesty and commitment to help us with our goals for Eternal Threads and then she did something really amazing…

We had given her our brochure and business cards so she had a friend help her look up the Eternal Threads website on the computer. The day before we left she came to deliver the last of the jewelry that she and the other ladies had made and told us about seeing the website. She was so happy to see the work of Eternal Threads and in her words, “how hard you are working to help so many women.” She brought a bag full of beads that she uses to make her own jewelry to sell, but she wanted to donate them to Eternal Threads saying that she wants to be part of helping carry on our work.

Dolma is the kind of partner that Eternal Threads has been blessed with in all of our projects. We are hoping that her jewelry is a big success (it will be on the website as soon as we can) so that we can start a project with her and the women who need the help in her community.

Watch our YouTube video of Dolma making a piece of jewelry.