We won’t stop until trafficking is history

In Nepal, children are sometimes treated as a commodity. Some parents are taken in by traffickers’ promises. Others know the ugly truth, but agree to it because they know the money will feed the family.

Fifteen-year-old Leli travelled to the city in the hope of escaping poverty at home. She was introduced to a man who claimed to know of a job opportunity. He took her to a hotel, exchanged her for $100 and walked away without a backward glance. The hotel owner ran a brothel and Leli recalls what followed:

He forced me to sleep with many guests. I cannot say how many, it is something I hide away in my mind.’

Alone and penniless, Leli felt trapped. Then she met a local man who directed her to a church where he said she would receive help. The church welcomed her and took her to a refuge where she was given medical care and counselling.

Viva works to rescue children like Leli from abuse, but also to prevent thousands more from having to experience it at all, by tackling the root causes of trafficking.

People are most susceptible to the traffickers’ offers when they are poor and unaware of the risks, and when their children have dropped out of school.

Viva’s partner network CarNet Nepal tackles these issues, working to bring a solution instead of a sticking plaster.

Struggling single mothers are given training so they can set up small businesses to support their families. The network helps get children back into school, and provides after-school clubs. And they spread the anti-trafficking message wide, so the public knows exactly how to spot and stop abuse.

Because CarNet Nepal brings together 500 churches they can draw on thousands of volunteers who will do whatever it takes to keep children safe. They are determined, and they won’t stop until trafficking in Nepal is history.

Viva’s big dream in Nepal is to see children grow up free from exploitation and trafficking.