Welcoming New Women
The vision of Safe Nepal is to provide the necessary tools and rehabilitation so that women can live independent lives and establish a better quality of life for themselves and their families.
On November 24th after two days of travel, seven new young women joined us to become members of the safe house. Bringing their dreams and a determination to meet their goals, they will begin parlor and tailoring training, while three of them will begin school (online) to continue their studies. They have just completed a 2-week quarantine period before joining the rest of the safe house family (some of whom have HIV and must be careful of any potential health exposure or infection). Most of these girls are from the Kamaiya line practiced in the western Terai region of Nepal, a traditional system of bonded labor in which children are sold by their family to serve in rich people’s homes or to upper caste individuals (now illegal, but still in practice).
On December 5th, five more women joined the safe house from a different district.
How did the safe house hear about these girls and what do you need to do to bring them into the home?
Nepali culture is all about networking; Surendra is treasurer of the Nepal Christian Society and has connections with Christian leaders all over Nepal. Those who know about the rescue ministry will contact Surendra or one of the safe house board members when they see a problem in their village or district. The safe house office then coordinates a rescue. After those girls most in need of rescue are identified, the safe house works with the local area government office to send an official recommendation or request letter through proper channels.
This year, the safe house has been taking extra precautions in bringing in new girls in order to protect those already living there who have compromised immune systems. The incoming women cannot be brought by local bus to minimize exposure with others while traveling. Transportation must be reserved all the way from their remote villages to Kathmandu (averaging $200 each in additional expenses). In addition, the safe house covers all the expenses for a “chaperone,” who will take care of all the needed documentation and bring them safely to the city after a two-day trip. Upon arrival, the new ladies will be quarantined for two weeks before fully integrating with the resident girls.
In previous years, rescues have occurred throughout the year, one or two women at a time. This year because of the 7-month lockdown due to COVID, it has happened nearly all at once, putting an additional strain on the time and resources of the safe house. They are looking for four bunk beds to increase their capacity. And because teams have not been able to visit from the U.S., they are spending additional funds purchasing hygiene items and new clothes (rather than having those items brought by overseas visitors). Each new girl needs winter clothes, shoes, and undergarments – outfitting each girl is now costing about $45.
If you feel led to help with the extra expenses, you can give online at https://secure.givelively.org/donate/restoring-hope-nepal.
We'll keep you posted as we hear more from the girls, so that you can be praying for each one.