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 ~
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.
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.
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.