Maiti Nepal was established in 1993 by Anuradha Koirala to combat the trafficking of Nepali girls and women, to rescue and rehabilitate them, and to fight for the rights of women and children in Nepal.
Maiti Nepal operates a Rehabilitation Center / Shelter in Kathmandu, currently home to approximately 450 women and children. Maiti Nepal provides the residents with a safe place to live and receive an education. Trafficking survivors receive medical care, counseling, and education. Teresa Academy is part of the shelter complex in Kathmandu. It is a respected school and Maiti Nepal is proud that recently three graduates have gone on to Medical School.
Older girls and young women participate in Maiti Nepal’s Vocational education programs. Students enrolled in training classes learn to sew, to become security guards, to become beauticians, carpenters, bookkeepers, to work in retail shops, and to cook, among the many possibilities. Some receive micro-loans to start their own small businesses.
Social Justice and Welfare
An important resource for social justice in Nepal, over the years Maiti Nepal has become a clearinghouse for lost daughters, wives, and sisters. When a young girl or woman goes missing, families first contact Maiti Nepal to help find her. Police also bring in abandoned children found in the streets. In the absence of other social safety nets, Maiti Nepal takes them in. No child in need is ever is turned away.
Ten intervention outposts are operated on the border between Nepal and India, and also at the international airport, to prevent girls from being trafficked for sex and for labor. Here, Maiti Nepal volunteers (who have themselves been rescued from India and the Gulf countries) watch for young women, children, and the pimps attempting to cross the border. Since the volunteers are familiar with the devious methods, they can identify and help halt crimes in progress and prevent other girls’ lives from being destroyed. Working with police, they help identify and apprehend the traffickers.
At several of the most heavily used crossing places, Maiti Nepal operates Transit Homes which provide shelter, short stays, emergency medical care, and ensure safe passage home when that is appropriate.
Maiti Nepal also operates Prevention Homes in remote areas of Nepal for girls at high risk of being trafficked. They may be at risk because a parent has died, because a sibling has been sold into bondage, or because they live in one of the highest risk districts. At Prevention homes teens receive basic education in literacy and numeracy and also learn vocational skills, gardening, cooking, and other survival skills. Rural children aged between 8 and 14 are at highest risk of human trafficking, and Maiti Nepal intervenes with grassroots education efforts right in the rural villages when these children are most vulnerable.
Maiti Nepal works closely with Nepali police and Indian social services to improve interception and find effective ways to facilitate the return of survivors to Nepal. Maiti Nepal also works with police to apprehend traffickers based on tip-offs from local sources. At no charge, Maiti Nepal’s dedicated legal staff assists victims in bringing to justice and prosecuting their traffickers.