Today I have a guest post for you from Belinda Bow, an ambassador for 3 Angels Nepal. When I first read Belinda’s story I felt a deep desire to help. To share. To cry. To shout. To make a difference in any way possible. So here today, I want to spread the word, I want to be part of the voice that these women, these girls don’t have.
In March 2014, in conjunction with 3 Angels Nepal, Belinda travelled to Nepal with a camera crew to film a documentary on the storey of the Nepali women and girls.
The short version goes like this:
Every 26.28 minutes, a girl in Nepal is trafficked across the border into India. The average price paid is $104.63. That’s 54 girls every day, which equates to 20 to 30,000 girls each year. This is happening in 2014…
This is Belinda’s story.
Coming into this trip, I thought that I knew what I was walking into. I thought that I would come to Nepal and give a voice to the beautiful Nepali people. What I didn’t expect was how intense my work would be. That with each and every interview, my heart connected with each soul. Each soul just desperate to be heard.
I don’t profess to be a journalist and I don’t be profess to be anything other than I am. But I do know that I have given every ounce of energy and love I have in hearing the stories and walking through their tragedy hand-in-hand with these people. Not just simply listening, but hearing them.
I had intentions of writing daily blogs, but up until this point I simply could not. My heart has been so heavy that I could not comprehend or rather, my mind would not let me comprehend the human trafficking and the tragedies that unfold every week, every day and every hour in Nepal.
I have spoken with a woman from a Chaudhary community: 5 children, no husband and a debt to pay from a loan that was taken out by her family, generations ago.
I have bonded with many beautiful Nepali women who have been trafficked, locked up, beaten, tortured, raped, abused, sold again and again and have borne children from their rapists. I have spoken with a kind and gentle man who was enslaved for 28 years and lived a life of mental, emotional and physical abuse.
I sat with each beautiful soul, held her hands and listened to her story. Each equally shocking. Each equally disturbing.
I listened to stories of a woman’s newborn baby being stolen, of intense torture, of severe psychological trauma, repeated raping and more.
I listened as each woman poured her heart out. I listened as each woman described her experience in great detail.
I wept with them. I held them. And I was grateful that they could unload their burden just a little more with each tear that fell.
After all of these incredible stories I have found hope. My last interview of a very long day. Rajendra (Founder of 3 Angels Nepal), Daniel (Cinematographer) and I had listened to the most difficult stories thus far. We were at our lowest ebb and were overwhelmed with grief.
A quietly spoken girl walked into the interview room, she was timid, she was shy, she was broken. There is a long version of her story that I will share at another time, but this girl found herself captured in a room on the border of India and Nepal. She was there after being sold by her husband and was destined for a life in an Indian brothel. She remembered that when she was at school she was told about 3 Angels Nepal and in her bag that she was allowed to take with her…. there was a brochure.
3 Angels Nepal print brochures and distribute them to the communities and schools of Nepal. And this girl had one. She found her moment to grab a phone (there are many, many mobiles in Nepal) and called 3 Angels Nepal. The team then swung into action and rescued this girl.
This moment was nothing short of celebratory for Rajendra and I as we whooped in delight. This girl who had been through so much, knew who to call. This may seem like a minor detail, but this is big. This is huge. This means that the message of 3 Angels Nepal is getting through to the women of Nepal.
My heart is full to overflowing. Shine on 3 Angels Nepal.
Take a look at these incredible images from our journey taken by Melissa Histon. ps in the pic at the bottom, I am sharing some photos of my babies with them. x
Now some months after returning home to Australia, our documentary titled ‘Latitude’ will be launched on the 18th November 2014 at 7pm at Watt Street Arc Theatre in Newcastle’s CBD. You can view the trailer below or click here to find out more.
If you can’t make the documentary launch, there are other ways you can show your support:
1. Sign the petition to have the Nepali Government close borders between Nepal and India here.
2. Make a donation to 3 Angels Nepal here.
3. Connect with us at 3AngelsNepal.com or social media and please share with family & friends.
If you’d like to know more, you can connect with the lovely (and brave!) Belinda over email like I did.