The innovative Indentured Daughters Program rescues girls who were sold into virtual slavery. For only $100, the Nepal Youth Foundation gives each family a piglet or goat as compensation for the girl’s wages and enables her to go to school, probably for the first time in her life. The Nepal Youth Foundation is working to end the tradition of enslaving girls in Nepal.
In the Dang District in western Nepal, many indigenous families from the Tharu ethnic group subsist as farm laborers. Unable to make ends meet, they have been forced into a desperate trade – selling their daughters to work far from home as bonded servants in private homes or as dishwashers in tea houses. Some of these children are as young as six.
Alone and far from home, these “indentured daughters” have no knowledge of the ways of city people or of other cultures, and most speak only the local dialect. Their living conditions are entirely at the discretion of their employers. The bonded girls seldom attend school and have no prospects for a decent future. Some are ultimately forced into prostitution.
Working closely with local communities, the Nepal Youth Foundation and its founder, Olga Murray, provide a creative, humane alternative for these families, helping them keep their daughters at home and putting the girls in school.
Almost as important as the rescue of the children is our vigorous awareness campaign to turn the community against this pernicious practice. Local community leaders have made the project their own. We always start programs gradually to gauge the community’s response and ensure that the local people we are working with are reliable and motivated.