Woman Honored for Fighting Sex Trafficking in Nepal
Having assisted more than 12,000 sex slaves, MAITI Nepal rescues girls from being sold into brothels and helps heal the physiological and physical wounds of those who have served in them.
Nominated as one of CNN Hero, Anuradha Koirala founded MAITI Nepal, an NGO that rescues Nepalese girls from brothels in India. She survived an abusive relationship of her own and when she was able to leave the relationship, Koirala opened up a small store, hiring victims of sex trafficking.
The call to make an even bigger difference in these women’s lives drove her to start MAITI Nepal, which roughly translates to “mother’s home.” Though there is no direct translation, it alludes to a woman’s place when she no longer belongs to her family, but to an outsider, usually her husband.
Working members of MAITI Nepal raid brothels and trafficking cartels in Nepal and India. Once the girls and women are found, they’re housed and provided with resources to help nurture them back to a healthy state.
“The hardest part for me is to see a girl dying or coming back with different diseases at an [age] when she should be out frolicking,” Koirala told CNN. “That’s what fuels me to work harder.”
More than 400 displaced women are housed by MAITI Nepal, where they are given therapy, legal advice and health care. The organization staffs teachers, counselors, social workers and medical personnel, many of whom are rescued sex slaves to aid in the rescue and rehabilitation process. The girls are also provided with job training since Koirala’s goal is to enable them to become economically self-sufficient, helping them to assimilate back into society.
In addition to the rescued, MAITI Nepal also takes in victims of domestic abuse, rape and displaced children.
“I cannot say no to anybody. Everybody comes to Maiti Nepal,” Koirala said.
To see a video on Koirala’s work, view the other nominees, or submit a nominee of your own, visit CNN Heroes http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/cnn.heroes/index.html.