3 Angels Nepal
Through experience and research, 3 Angels Nepal has found that the most powerful agent of change is education.
3 Angels Nepal was founded in 2004 by Rajendra Gautam and his wife Sarah. Rajendra had lost his father when he was 4 years old and his mother at age 8. He then grew up in an orphanage and was sponsored by Asian Aid Australia becoming well educated in India. His time in India allowed him to become aware of the enormous numbers of young Nepali women trafficked across the border into the brothels of India. In one brothel just down the street from his orphanage there were 35,000 girls and Rajendra learnt that 30,000 of them were Nepali. He was angry and determined to somehow do something to one day make a difference in the life of even just one child.
Sarah, a nurse, and Rajendra, a new theology graduate, had only been married only a couple of months when they rescued an 8yr old blind girl whose grandfather was looking to give her away as the burden of her care was beyond him. She had no other family and they knew she too would become a trafficking victim if they did not help. Before long they had rescued 14 children and loved them as their own and sent them to school. However, the children suffered terribly at school with discrimination due to their low caste. The caste system had been outlawed in Nepal, but the attitude of discrimination and abuse of low castes was ingrained. Rajendra became determined to change that wherever possible. He had been born high caste Brahmin but had lived in the orphanage with lowest caste children and knew how false the caste system was. So, in 2010 they started the 3 Angels Mission School with the mission of breaking caste barriers and fighting human trafficking.
The school started with 26 students and now has over 500 from preschool through to year 10. They have the license to go to year 12 but no room…they are ‘bursting at the seams.’ Their students have excelled in every area winning awards in academic, sporting and cultural competitions. The school is a caste breaking mix of the 150 children from the 3 Angels Children’s Homes and 400 full fee-paying students from surrounding communities.
As well as the 12 family model children’s homes and the school, 3 Angels Nepal have a Safe Haven home for 40 rescued young women. It’s a place of healing where they receive love, good food and medical care as well as counselling, education and vocational training to give them new lives. The aim is always to reunite the rescued with their families, but this is not always possible. There is often shame and stigma attached, and the girls are sometimes not welcomed back by their families or communities especially in the more remote areas. It can be life threatening to return some to their community and these are the girls who 3 Angels help establish a new life in a new community.
3 Angels runs a tailoring school and the Safe Haven girls can learn this skill. They make the school uniforms for their own school as well as those for other schools in the community. They have a bakery, teaching baking skills as well as providing fresh bread and baked goods daily. 3 Angels Nepal also have their own small printing press producing books for the school and teaching aids for use in communities to educate and protect against the threat of trafficking.
The border between India and Nepal is where most of the trafficking easily occurs so 3 Angels Nepal staff 6 border monitoring stations working closely with police checking for trafficking across this open border and intercepting many victims being trafficked. The trafficked girls often think they are going to a glamorous job or some offer of a better life but that is not the case. Most girls change hands many times and end up in the brothels in sex slavery never to be seen again. 3 Angels Nepal focuses on prevention as better than rescue.
They run Initiatives of Financial Sustainability (IFS) and provide interest free and low interest loans to help young women and poor communities establish a business and become self- sufficient. 3 Angels IFS teaches communities, that once only survived by trafficking and prostituting their women, other skills to support and feed themselves.
3 Angels also works to educate at every level through the 3 Angels Community Radio Station reaching most areas of Nepal. They broadcast messages to educate about the dangers of human trafficking and how to avoid falling victim. They give information on women’s and children’s rights and health education.
All donations from Australian are fully tax deductible.