Friday, February 3, 2012

Maiti Nepal

I was in touch with my friends in Nepal again this week. Maiti Nepal touches the deep corners of my heart, and it is impossible to think of it really - ACTION is far more preferred.

Maiti Nepal was first introduced to me in 2009 by my Swedish teacher, my dear friend, who is in the board of Sweden Nepal Society. Having visited the country tens of times as a translator, as a tourist, as a friend and as a tourist guide, she was able to give insight to the faraway culture in a way that I don't think many can.

MAITI Nepal was born out of a crusade to protect Nepali girls and women from crimes like domestic violence, trafficking for flesh trade, child prostitution, child labor and various forms of exploitation and torture. A group of socially committed professionals like teachers, journalists and social workers together formed Maiti Nepal in 1993 to fight against all the social evils inflicted upon our female populace. Most of all, its special focus has always been on preventing trafficking for forced prostitution, rescuing flesh trade victims and rehabilitating them.  Maiti's focus has always been on prevention of girl trafficking, a burning issue for Nepal.

More than 17,000 women and girls from Nepal become sex slaves every year. Many end up in India, China or other Southeast Asian countries, and roughly half of them are children.  Anuradha Koirala -- the 2010 CNN Hero of the Year -- has been fighting to end this sex trafficking for nearly two decades. Since 1993, she and her organization, Maiti Nepal, have helped rescue and rehabilitate more than 12,000 women and girls.

Rehabilitation, although not literally possible especially with former prostitutes, is one major challenge they have accepted in their work. The practical steps would be to counsel them and provide non-formal education on health, laws, basic reading and writing. They are also trained to develop income-generation skills and provided Maiti's shelter until they are ready to stand on their feet. The campus is beautiful, and the wonderful people there would in my mind all deserve a trophy for their pure existence - both the workers, and the inhabitants.

Werannas Warehouse is participating in the funding of Maiti Nepal by reselling Lace flower blankets and cushion covers made by Maiti workshop. When visiting Nepal during the fall, I spent time in the workshop, as well as in Hospice to show the talented girls how to make crochet lace flowers.  They learned quickly, and the work is now supported by Mahaguthi, a local fair trade organization with good heart.

 I would love to tell you more about the visit, but I can't. I don't know how to describe the hope and the sorrow, the ice cold hands on a warm sunny day, the warm laughs and the eyes staring into the distance.

By purchasing one of these non-profit products from Werannas, you help Maiti Nepal to continue their invaluable work.

hyväntekeväisyys, sisustus, käsinvirkattu torkkupeitto, käsintehdyt sisustustekstiilit

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