Today’s guest post comes from Belinda Bow from 3 Angels Nepal. I spent some time in beautiful Nepal a few years ago, and as a privileged Western woman I left the country feeling an enormous spectrum of emotion; gratitude, guilt, shock, awe, horror, inspiration… Thus, I am honoured to have Belinda share this story with us today.
I am a wife. I am a mother. I am a businesswoman. I am a woman who wants to make a difference in the world.
Here’s something I didn’t really think about: Have you ever considered that where you are born can determine your potential for the future?
Every 26.28 minutes, a girl in Nepal is trafficked across the border into India.
The average price of $104.63.
That’s 54 girls every day.
Which equates to 20 to 30,000 girls each year.
There are communities in Nepal completely devoid of women & children.
Armed with this knowledge, in March 2014, in conjunction with 3 Angels Nepal, I travelled to Nepal with a film crew to film a documentary on the plight of the Nepali people.
Travelling to Nepal to shoot a documentary is a confronting prospect. Shooting a documentary to highlight the human trafficking issue is Nepal is simply overwhelming. But we did it, and it was an life altering experience as our documentary highlights the work of 3 Angels Nepal, the impacts of human trafficking and stories of heartbreak and hope.
Going into this trip, I thought that I knew what I was walking into. I thought that I would go 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 pretend 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.
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 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.
Each equally shocking.
Each equally disturbing.
After all of these incredible stories I have found hope. My last interview of a very long day I had listened to some of the most difficult stories thus far. I was at my lowest ebb and was overwhelmed with grief.
A quietly spoken girl walked into the interview room, she was timid, she was shy, she was broken. This girl found herself captured in a room on the border of India and Nepal. 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 and called 3 Angels Nepal. The team then swung into action and rescued this girl.
This moment was nothing short of celebratory.
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.
I left Nepal a changed person, in a good way. As I reflect on these interviews, I realised that each and every woman had been to hell and back, in the literal sense. And yet with each day they are rebuilding their spirit.
With each tear, with each counselling session, with each smile, they are rebuilding their spirit.
My heart is full to overflowing.
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.