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Feb 21
2020

Nepal Team Visit 2020

My best intentions of blogging while on a trip always seem to succumb to incredibly bad or non-existent internet, constant travel and fatigue, but also the desire to be totally involved with what we are experiencing.  It’s always good to have some time to reflect on what you’ve seen and heard. Learning about the trafficking of young girls is not an easy thing to take in, but we were able to see the incredible blessings that come to them when people working on the ground have the courage and compassion to change their lives.

 

This JOURNEY began for us in the same way it does for the girls….at the border! They have been deceived by traffickers that they are going to India for a job, and it is only at this border that they can be saved.  Young women employed by our partners stand on the border watching as throngs of people cross into India. Some are simply going for shopping or visiting family, but these young women know the signs and who to stop and question further. Some of the border girls were rescued themselves, and are very adept in warning  a girl of what might be about to happen to her

If a girl is rescued, she is first taken to a transit home near the border where they will call her parents.  She may be there for several days while the parents travel long distances from mountain villages.  If it is determined that a girl cannot return to her village and needs further care and rehabilitation, she will be taken to a safe house to receive trauma counseling and loving rehabilitation.

 

This amazing organization has rescued 10,000 girls in the last decade.  These are the results of the work at this border station in 2019.

  • 3450 girls stopped and counseled
  • 129 girls reunited with their parents
  • 18 girls were taken to a safe house

 

 

Meeting these courageous young women at the border, the dedicated staff at the safe house and the rescued girls was the greatest privilege for our team.  I’m sorry I can’t show some of their faces, but they have to be protected.

When the girls have healed and recovered at a safe home they are offered the opportunity to spent up to 6 months in a residential skills training center where they receive not only vocational training, but leadership and small business training.  Every girl that we met wants to start her own business. They establish tailoring shops, grocery marts, men’s and women’s hair salons and restaurants.  We got to visit some of the businesses that have been started by these amazing girls, and had one of the best meals on our trip.

Our entire team came away with a new appreciation for the power of restoration, and the spirit of these young women who start a new life.  I hadn’t visited the project in over three years and the progress that has taken place in expanding their programs is inspiring. So many people have dedicated their lives to making sure they have the best chance possible.

I met one of them when I was there for the first time over 12 years ago, and I couldn’t wait to see her again. Her name is Usha.  She had just finished 10th grade when she came to work for our partner’s organization, and now she is a District Manager and married with a child.  My partner believes that in the future this organization will be completely run by women.

Our partners have told us that the greatest need they have now is funding to for start-up business costs for the girls.  Eternal Threads is going to do our best to provide as many as we can.  $1500 will establish a business for 3 girls.  You can donate online if you want to be part of our mission now.

Check out this “Rescuing Nepalese Girls” video on our website.

There will be updates to this “journey” as we GIVE HOPE to these precious girls.

Blessings, Linda

 

 

 

 

Nov 15
2018

Journey to Freedom

When girls and young women are enticed by traffickers to leave their mountain villages for the false promise of a job or marriage, the journey is long and often treacherous.  They spend two days getting to the Nepal-India border…one day of walking and another day on buses. Sadly, along that journey many of the girls are abused.

 

When they reach the border where Eternal Threads’ partner has anti-trafficking units, they are approached by young women in purple who watch the border diligently. By this time some of the girls have realized that they have been deceived, and ask to be rescued. Others have to be convinced by the girls in purple what might happen to them if they cross the border into India.

 

 

When they are rescued, the best part of the journey has begun. There are many words to describe it…healing, restoration, redemption, transformational and miraculous!

This is Gita’s story ~ 

I met Gita for the first time when I visited the safe house in Nepal. She had just been rescued from traffickers.  As you would expect, she was withdrawn and traumatized. She kept to herself and had not yet become friends with the other girls who welcome newcomers with open arms. When I visited again a year later, she was sitting on the porch making red thread bracelets with the other girls. It is a pastime that gives them community, and money for a savings account. The transformation was incredible.  She was smiling, chatting and laughing with the other girls. At one point she threw her head back and smiled in an amazing display of absolute joy. She has since returned to her home village and finished secondary school. She is now enjoying that new life that comes from a journey of restoration. One of her greatest passions is warning other girls in the villages about the dangers of trafficking.

Whether you have thought about it or not, as a supporter of Eternal Threads you have walked every step of the journey with these girls, and the women we endeavor to serve around the world. Giving a woman education, vocational training and income for their handmade products is transformational in the developing world. It is a major leap on that journey to sustaining their own lives. It GIVES HOPE which is tangible and inspiring.

We need help in being able to continue the vital work we do for these women. Eternal Threads is launching a fundraising drive on GIVING TUESDAY (the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.) Would you help us expand our reach by sharing our blog, newsletters and FB posts over the next two weeks…it can make a huge difference.  Please like and follow our Facebook so you can share our posts.  You can also “like” our Instagram posts so that other people will see us.

Thank you for joining us on the journey!

 

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May 9
2018

Rafiatu’s Journey

I’m jumping ahead 10 years in the timeline of the Eternal Threads journey, but it’s an important story to tell now because we have the opportunity to take part in a one day crowd funding venue on May 15th to raise funds for Rafiatu and the women she serves.

I had traveled extensively over the years, but had never been on the continent of Africa when I decided in 2010 to go to Nigeria to visit a young woman that Eternal Threads met at Abilene Christian University, and also to Accra, Ghana to meet a young woman that we hoped to work with in the future – Rafiatu Adams.

Rafiatu had spent much of her growing up years in the home of Christian missionaries in one of the poorest regions of northern Ghana. When her father died, her family wanted to marry her to an older man when she was only 16 years old, but Rafiatu had other plans for herself and for others. She wanted to do something with her life that would make a difference for the poor women in her community.

After graduating from high school she went to the capital city of Accra where she did menial jobs to save money for university. She was accepted to university, but life on campus was difficult economically because she didn’t have a means of sponsorship. That’s when she decided to use a talent she already had to earn some income. When I met her she said, “I love making beaded bracelets and usually gave them to my friends as gifts, but then I thought…hmmm, maybe I could sell them!” An entrepreneur was born!! A generous woman give her a small amount of money to get started and she knew she was taking a risk, but she spent it ALL on beads. She sold them on campus and in the city on days off, and then reinvested to buy more beads.

We met her when she was finishing her university studies in Sociology. She had a dream to go back to her rural village and teach the women to make jewelry so they could earn some desperately needed income. Before we left Accra, we gave her the first order for her new venture. She started with twenty women and now employs seventy five women.

Eternal Threads helped her establish Beads of Hope, a non-profit organization through which she does training for the women and provides start-up kits for their jewelry making and sewing as well as sponsoring children to attend school. She has since established a social enterprise through which to sell the goods, Detiina which means…BE THE HOPE.

Rafiatu NEVER stops working for her dream and the women. She regularly travels 14 hours on the bus to go to Accra to get raw materials and market their goods in hotels and gift shops. Eternal Threads has helped her with funding to build jewelry cases to showcase the goods in the hotels and shops. See their beautiful designs on EternalThreads.org.

Because it is difficult to sell enough jewelry to keep the women working full-time, Rafiatu has a new plan to provide the women with chickens to raise and sell in the market place. She has so many plans to become a sustainable enterprise. Your help would be amazing…She is Priceless

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