Shanti, peace found in Nepal :

Sewing workshop to rehabilitate sexually exploited women

Why ?

The patriarchal system and the hierarchy of castes in Nepal promotes violation of the cultural, social and economic rights of a large proportion of the population. Girls and women are traditionally lacking in rights in Nepal, both in society and in the family. Village girls are very often illiterate people, victims of violence, extremely poor. Looking for any opportunity to earn a little money, many of them go to the city to seek work.

However, in Kathmandu, the leisure sector is particularly demanding for docile and gullible young recruits. 40,000 to 50,000 young women are hired as waitresses, masseuses, dancers or singers, and 50% to 75% of them are, in fact, prostitutes, propelled to provide sex “services” to clients as well as the bosses. Violated, abused, and exploited, almost all are underpaid and exploited at will. One-third are children and it is estimated that the vast majority were recruited before turning 18.

How ?

With this programme and thanks to its local partner, Planète Enfants & Développement helps young Kathmandu prostitutes and their children out of sexual exploitation. Its drop-in centre offers secure accommodation, as well as psychological and medical support.  (see project ‘Not for sale’) and access to professional training including a Shanti sewing workshop

Nepal Shanti is a sewing workshop that caters to young women from the Centre who wish to be reintegrated by learning how to sew quality products.

The programme takes place in 3 stages: integration, empowerment and reintegration.

Women are trained to sew in the Shanti workshop then they participate in the production of the Shanti brand bags as well as the sale of the products in the local market. They are then trained in the management of production and sales. They are finally reinstated in Nepalese society through professional integration within a company or encouraged to start their own business.

For whom ?

Six young women are trained for a period of 6 months. Altogether about 15 young women benefit annually from the Shanti project

Location: in the District of Nakhu, Kathmandu
Project duration: 3 years +