An amazing transformation is happening in Nepal. Vulnerable girls who were rescued from the Kamlari system of child slavery are now free — and they’re becoming powerful young women who are leading the way to a better life for themselves and their communities.
In 2000, NYF began a campaign to end the practice of Kamlari, a centuries-old system of indentured servitude embedded in the culture of rural Nepal. Our Indentured Daughters Program was twofold: to rescue the girls who had been sold into slavery and to abolish the practice going forward. Nearly 13,000 girls, some of whom had been enslaved since the age of six, were rescued and returned to their home communities, deeply wounded and lacking any education.
NYF’s Empowering Freed Kamlaris program (EFK) helps former Kamlari girls become healthy, happy and independent young women. The program also stimulates the cultural and economic development necessary to ensure that no girl will ever again become a victim of Kamlari.
The EFK program served 8,000 young women this past year, with 10 full-time staff providing leadership training, mentoring services, and financial and business management training in conjunction with other NYF programs.
EFK staff provides training in leadership skills, organizational management, political literacy, accounting and financial literacy, entrepreneurship and business management for the 6,500 young women who have created the Freed Kamlari Development Forum (FKDF).
There are now 43 FKDF business co-ops in Western Nepal with over 12,000 members. The cooperatives, started with $40,000 in NYF seed funding, now have USD capital of $246,000, and will play an important role in sustaining the economic development of the freed girls.
Career Training and Counseling
The EFK programs works closely with Vocational Education and Career Counseling program to support the freed Kamlaris. Our staff provides structured counseling sessions and assessment tests, and then helps girls enroll in top-quality training programs for a wide variety of careers. 90% of graduates are currently employed — a remarkable achievement given that the rate of youth unemployment and underemployment ranges from 40-50%.
Our Ankur Counseling Center staff trained 150 FKDF peer counselors to provide emotional support for other former Kamlaris, and offer referrals for additional help.
Watch the ABC7 News video about NYF’s work to free girls from slavery.
Read the Time Magazine article about NYF’s work to rescue the last Kamlari slaves.
Get the background on our original Indentured Daughters Program.
The Kamlaris endured endless hardship as children. Your support provides the services they require to heal from the trauma and lead healthy, productive lives.