I am writing this with great excitement and great hope.
With your help, we are poised to expand our services to Nepal during
the spring of 2012. Shakti Samuha, our partner organization, was
founded by Nepali women who have been rescued from slavery, including
forced prostitution in India, and returned to Nepal. Having struggled
to reclaim their own lives, they are reaching out to help other
trafficking survivors by providing desperately needed shelter, legal
aid, vocational training, and counseling.
Tragically, trafficking is a major export industry from
Nepal to India and other countries. Traffickers prey on young people
desperate to get out of Nepalese villages beset with hunger, their
economies paralyzed by fighting between Maoists and government forces.
Shakti Samuha staff members (survivors of sexual
trafficking) during expressive arts training, April 2010
In 2011, I taught a two-day training to Shakti Samuha's
core staff of 26 (all survivors of trafficking). During the training
it became apparent that these women had not been given the
opportunity to heal from their own traumas stemming from unspeakable
degradations they had experienced. I was invited to return in 2012 to
provide in-depth therapy to each staff member, and then to lead an
extensive two-week training in expressive arts therapy. This work is
crucial to support the skills and confidence the women need to really
make a difference in the lives of young girls rescued from
trafficking. A core staff in Nepal has already been identified and a
seed grant in the amount of $10,000, earmarked for the partnership
between Shakti Samuha and Harambee Arts, has just been pledged.
This seed grant enables us to launch the first two-month
phase of our ongoing project, providing six weeks of in-depth therapy
to each staff member and offering a two-week training. The
total cost for this phase will be $30,000. Please help us build on
the momentum of our first gift by making a tax-deductible
contribution toward this vitally needed program.