(Photo copyright American Himalayan Foundation, used with permission)
RHEST girls in the classroom (front row). The Rural Health and Education Services Trust saves thousands of poor at-risk Nepali girls from prostitution traffickers by covering the educational expenses they otherwise could not afford.
I don't know about you, but I always loved school. No, I really did! I loved to read, I loved to learn, I loved getting new books, pencils, notebooks... the first day of school was always exciting for me (and yeah, the last one was too!) :-) I think most of us in the west take education for granted. A lot of children never get the opportunity, and for too many, that lack can lead to a lot of hardship and suffering.
The AHF helps over 4,000 children in school each year. The Rural Health Education Services Trust, another of AHF's collaborative projects, is one way they do it...
Too many young girls in rural Nepal are at risk of being sold to traffickers by their desperately poor families and sent to brothels in India. Dr. Aruna Uprety, AHF's indomitable partner for nine years, has discovered a real way out of this modern, and wretched, slavery - by sponsoring girls to go to school. Girls who have the chance to go to school have value - they are much less likely to be sold by their parents or lured by a trafficker's false promises. It takes only one hundred dollars a year to keep a girl safely in school, and this year AHF is sponsoring 2,000 girls, in partnership with Dr. Uprety and RHEST.
Many of the RHEST scholars are the first girls in their villages to attend school beyond fifth grade. Their success speaks volumes; 90% graduate from high school - in a country with a 40% pass rate. More than 100 of them have started college. These young women will not languish in brothels. They will live their dreams: becoming teachers, social workers and valued members of their communities.
You go, girls!!