A Safe Space Amidst the Chaos
On a busy street in the congested downtown area of Kathmandu, Nepal, a red brick adorned complex stands out. Beyond the brick walls is a place that hundreds of Nepalese women and girls have once considered home. This complex is where Free for Life, with our partner organization Peace Rehabilitation Center (PRC), provides shelter and services to former victims of human trafficking. Each building is surrounded by lush vegetable gardens that produce nearly all the nourishment required by staff and residents. A lone cow wanders the grounds, providing all the milk consumed by PRC occupants. A massive bowl-shaped structure on one of the building’s rooftops collects and stores drinkable water that is consumed in times of drought. Our rescue shelter is a model of self-sustainability providing for virtually all basic needs
Typically, the way we first encounter our girls is through our Border Monitoring Program. Once trafficked women and girls are rescued, our skilled staff carefully examines their situation. They can choose to reunite with their families and place of origin, or if circumstances don’t allow for that transition to take place, they can choose to stay at the shelter located in the Kathmandu complex. Those who choose the shelter have personal autonomy and are allowed their own floor of the complex as living quarters. A housemother who is a former trafficking victim manages the shelter with grace and kindness.
Every Need Accounted For, Free of Charge
Counseling services are offered for victims to facilitate the restoration of both emotional and physical welfare. Medical care is provided for those who have suffered abuse, neglect or injuries at the hands of their captors. Literacy and educational programs are offered and designed to bolster mental capacity and self-sufficiency. All services are provided free of charge to the victims. Women and girls are able to stay at the shelter as long as is needed to complete their rehabilitation and restoration.
The women and girls residing at the shelter also have the opportunity to participate in tailoring and jewelry-making classes throughout the year. Each girl who graduates from the tailoring course is presented with a scholarship that covers the purchase of a new sewing machine. Skills-training such as this grants financial stability, as well as a sustainable lifestyle, to former trafficking victims. Most importantly, a sustainable lifestyle offers security to these women and girls, security that breaks the cycle of re-victimization.
This is a photo of a new garden that is just beginning to produce at our safe home.
Free for Life & PRC – A Guiding Light
In the dark world of human trafficking, Free for Life and Peace Rehabilitation Center represent a guiding light toward freedom and sustainability for former victims. From the very beginning the desire to see justice for those enslaved in trafficking has been a driving force. We remain committed to always continue in this fight.