Photo: Anita Jaisinghani, founder of Queen Scarves, seen with our survivor artisans who have just begun making scarves for her scarf company, to benefit the girls and their program with fair trade proceeds.
We currently have 11 girls (ages 16-25) living at our Nepal trafficking rehabilitation home, nine of whom recently completed their skill development training course where they learned how to make popular Nepali dress designs and key ring designs using woolen yarn. These nine girls graduated this past weekend, and many of them are planning to start their own tailoring businesses after graduation. In addition, the girls learned how to cook popular Nepali cuisine, and they are growing tomatoes and corn in the rehab home garden — we look forward to a bountiful harvest of these crops in October. Two of the girls will remain on to complete more coursework and help greet new girls who will be joining the home soon.
Our Executive Director, Kirby Trapolino, reports:
I’ve just concluded my visit to Nepal and things are going really well with our programs there. I traveled to Nepal via India with Anita Jaisinghani (owner of local Houston restaurant Pondicheri) and my friend Edward Sanchez, who is an award-winning documentary filmmaker. He captured footage and interviews that he will compile into a brief piece on our She Has Hope and orphan care programs in Nepal, pro bono.
We spent some time first sourcing some special fabrics in Anita’s hometown of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, for a special scarf company she is launching. Edward was able to capture some scenes of this process to include in a segment about She Has Hope’s role in this venture.
Anita then held a 5-day training program at the She Has Hope rehabilitation home to help the girls meet certain quality standards she is setting for the cutting and stitching of the headscarves. Girls who have shown excellent skills and a strong desire to be professional tailors will help Anita make the scarves while she donates a generous amount of funds per scarf sold to support our programs and the artisans for each scarf they make.
I’m happy to report that a good group of these young women were able to learn the special skills needed to work two specific stitching machines (the Interlock and Pico machines) we purchased for the project, and Anita was satisfied with the results. She will launch the company in September using her Pondicheri shops as the first test markets for the scarves. This is very exciting and promising! The scarves look fantastic!
We will also be selling the scarves at our pop-up shops in the Houston area, and eventually online at SheHasHope.org as well.
We organized trafficking awareness programs in two different schools in May where we trained 85 girls (ages 12-18). We taught the girls how to use their mobile phones and social media safely and responsibly, and to not trust people they do not know. Our trafficking awareness programs are formatted in a workshop & discussion style, which give the girls a safe environment where they are empowered to recognize the deceit of traffickers and make wise decisions.
We are happy to report that 13 of our children (ages 13-16) recently participated in an essay writing competition at their local school. One of the children, 15-year-old Anjali*, scored the highest of all the students in this competition. We’d like to share her prize-winning essay — we are so proud of her hard work and how she has excelled in her writing skills:
When the time of spring has come, it brings back the beauty of nature that had been faded due to the long winter and falling of chill snow. The flowers start blooming and their fragrance covers the whole forest. Their fragrance wakes the bees and butterflies that have fallen asleep during the chill winter. They come flying from their homes just to taste the nectar of spring. The flowing of sweet rivers wakes the fishes and the animals of the seas. The birds that had gone to a warmer place come flying to their own sweet homes, sit in the branches, and sing the song of spring. Their merry sounds comfort the farmers that work from morning till the evening, and the girls and boys who look after their sheep and goats. The men of the village play their flutes, the women sing the song of spring, and the whole village and forest dance with their music. The June Bells happily dance with the wind that has come to meet its friend, spring. The fishes in the rivers jump up and down, forgetting the sorrow they had during the winter, and frogs come out from the mud for their prey and to sing with the rain. The cute little squirrels come out from the trees yawning and gazing at the sight of spring. They make their eyes big and stare at anything they see. The colorful butterflies roam to places far and unknown. The little children who see them enjoy running after them, and knock on neighbors’ doors calling out, “Spring has come and this place is beautiful like paradise!” The chirping of sparrows make the hearts of all the people delighted. The trees move their branches with the wind, and say they really want to dance because they are no longer naked as their leaves have grown once again. Their ugliness has gone and once again their youthful age has come. Nature and humans join hands together for the happiness that has fallen upon them and they sing the song of spring. I hear all of these merry sounds and I know that truly, spring has fallen upon the world from the heavens, glorious and all. Nature is smiling again and I know it’s all because of the spring season.
Take a Closer Look: view more photos from this project and others
* Story names are changed to protect our program participants.