The Himalayan country, Nepal, has always been a travellers’ favourite, because of the magnificent mountain and its beautiful landscape. Some regard Nepal as the country closest to heaven. However, in the eyes of local children, it may be a place closest to hell.
Natural disasters, contaminated water sources, unstable governance, inadequate infrastructures, and the caste system have all contributed to the society’s oppression on the grassroots people, impeding their well-being and development. To survive, many families will not send their children to school, or they may pull their children out of school to work. This has given opportunities for human traffickers to provide “job referral services” for their children, then later engaging their children in forced labour or sexual exploitation. After the two earthquakes in 2015, life for many families became especially hard; as the demand for means to earn better income increases, human trafficking activities increase as well. 
CEDAR’s Nepal partner, Viva Network, works with a network of local organisations and churches to provide shelter for children vulnerable to human trafficking at Child Development Centres. Last year, this network has accommodated 125 children in six centres, providing a safe and healthy space for them.
Another partner, Asha Nepal, also serves trafficked women and children by providing rehabilitation support. Martha* (obscured) had begun living in Asha Nepal’s residential home since she was 7 years old. Her mother grew up in a small village in central Nepal. When Martha’s mother was 16, her boyfriend betrayed her and sold her to Kamathipura, one of the biggest red-light districts in Mumbai, India, where Martha was born. Boys and girls grew up in Kamathipura had similar fates: boys became criminals and girls ended up like their mothers as sex workers.
Martha’s mother decided to send her away to live with a relative in Nepal. Three years later, an aunt from Martha’s hometown found Martha prone to be trafficked. She brought Martha to one of Asha Nepal’s residential homes. Martha has grown up and graduated from university. She has a stable work and recently got married. Martha thanks Asha Nepal for providing her a safe environment to grow up in.
“I have always liked living here! Asha Nepal gave me parental love and care which I was always deprived of. The best part is I know Jesus who was always there for me. He used many people to rescue and restore me. I believe that God had a plan for me from the beginning, and He let these things happen to me so I could testify that He is the only one true God!”
Please pray for CEDAR, Viva Network and Asha Nepal’s anti-human trafficking work:
- Thank God for using Viva Network and Asha Nepal’s work to rescue and restore children at their centres.
- Pray for God’s presence and work in the fight against human trafficking at the borders of Nepal and India and sex slavery activities in red-light districts.
- Pray for the children born in red-light districts that they can be saved from a miserable life.
- Pray for needy families in Nepal that they will not fall prey to selling their children to human traffickers.
- Pray for the hearts of human traffickers that they will repent and stop hurting others for self-interest.
*Martha’s story was also published in SHARE July-September 2017 issue