My name is Shama and I am the founder of Resilient Steps, a non-profit organisation empowering disadvantaged youth in Nepal, particularly girls rescued from trafficking.
I grew up in India. At an early age I became an orphan. That was when my challenging journey started, which brought me to work as a maid where I faced physical, psychological, and sexual abuse. This circumstances led me to feel a loss of identity, insecurity, instability, fear, confusion and lack of love.
In my case, I was fortunate that a Spanish family reached out of their comfort zone to adopt me. I was 10 years old at the time. Their support opened to doors to a new world of opportunities, which had a major impact on my life. I became educated, independent, and dignified. My compassion learned through positive experiences, knowledge, and drive and to serve others in a meaningful way has led me to the founding of Resilient Steps, in return of my gratitude.
Why to help girls in Nepal? Due to extreme poverty and lack of education in Nepal, girls are much more vulnerable to trafficking, child labour, health issues, child marriage, gender discrimination, and the right for identity.
Through my personal experience, I realise how past trauma can be overcome in girls who faced similar situations. I understand how much support, energy, and time it requires to heal from such horrific experiences. What I went through is past is still an everyday reality for thousands of girls in Nepal — and for many girls, their situation is much, much worse.
Adolescent girls in Nepal face poorer health outcomes, are more likely to become socially isolated, are less likely to make the transition to secondary school and have fewer income-generating opportunities.
Evidence shows that by investing in girls, there can be long-lasting economic returns. This evidence has helped to see why investing in girls is so important and helps us to create a global commitment to empower girls and women through the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 5.
As someone who understands some of the difficulties of poverty, loss of family, child abuse, child labour and trauma, I feel it is my social obligation to give back this gift that was given to me.
Resilient Steps is building a children’s home in Nepal for girls who were victims of human trafficking and childhood trauma.
*Human trafficking is a fact and it is happening everywhere! Everyday, thousands of humans are trafficked in the name of the money and power.
Trafficked for forced marriage.
Trafficked for drug dealing.
Trafficked for prostitution.
Trafficked for house servants.
Trafficked for slavery.
Trafficked for factory work.
We all deserve freedom.*
It is time challenge ourselves to stop human trafficking and give support to victims. Resilient Steps is supported by the organizations below to achieve our dreams and aspirations for the future. These organisations share with us their years of experience in community development and give us guidance.
• Conscious Impact: https://www.consciousimpact.org
• Saathi: https://saathi.org.np
• ABC Nepal: http://abcnepal.org.np
• SOS Bahini: https://www.sosbahini.org/
Resilient Steps aims to support the most disadvantaged girls while providing the girls with:
* A safe home, food, education, and health care.
* Financial literacy and entrepreneurial skills.
* A skills-based community learning center.
* Sustainable agricultural skills on our farm.
* University studies funding.
Resilient Steps has completed Phase 1 of our children’s home project: a 5 room dormitory home built with an eco-friendly earth-bag technique. We also planted dozens of fruit trees to provide abundance for years to come. Thank you to all our donors and volunteers from around the world, as well as the local community who helped us complete the home.
Resilient Steps is very grateful for our partnership in Pokhara, working through the Lachila Charan Nepal ==organisation.
How can you help us to bring a bright future for Nepalese girls?
Support us in Phase 2!
• We need $12,000 to construct washrooms, a kitchen, a learning centre and library, fencing, and more. We also need essentials such as electricity and wifi. Further, the funding will provide employment for workers in the local community.
• Come to Pokhara and learn how to build a kitchen, toilet, learning center and community library (December 2019 to March 2020).
• Sponsor a child from 14 euros per month. This will cover the school fees, uniforms, books, extra-curricular activities and contribute to the running costs.
Looking forward to seeing you in Nepal :)
Shama and the Resilient Steps Team
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