News

Annual report 2010

2010 has been an extraordinarily successful year with respect to our aid activities for traumatized girls in Nepal. Our organization is only two years old; yet we were able to fund significant projects in Nepal, continually to increase our membership numbers, and to develop and launch an extensive information website.
 
The following report provides a detailed description of pro filia’s work in 2010.

Activities in Nepal
We provided financial support for the following MAITI-led projects in 2010:

Project 1
Shelter in Bhairahawa:
– Pro filia financed a share of the running costs.
– In addition, we supplied funds for the refurbishment of the kitchen.
– We provided money for the refurbishment of the common room and for the purchase of games, etc. 

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The newly decorated common room in Bhairahawa

Project 2
Rescue of trafficked girls from Indian brothels
– Together with Indian aid organizations, MAITI has developed a support network in Indian cities to help girls who have been forced into prostitution.
– After they are freed, Nepalese girls are brought to a MAITI-run shelter in Nepal where they receive help to develop plans for the future. 
– In the first half of 2010, pro filia funded transport costs for seven freed girls to the shelter in Bhairahawa.

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Freed girls in the Bhairahawa shelter

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Girls freed from Indian brothels are making
use of the activities available in the newly
refurbished common room in the Bhairahawa shelter.

Project 3
Support for victims at trials against human traffickers
– If there is a trial against a human trafficker being prosecuted and one of the trafficked girls agrees to testify, pro filia finances travel, accommodation and care for her and an accompanying person.
– This year funds for one girl travelling to testify at trial in Mumbai were provided.
– The perpetrator was sentenced to a three-year prison term and an 800 Euro compensation penalty for pain and suffering.

Project 4
Border guards
– Border guards are young women who have survived time in a brothel. They have been trained by MAITI and work directly at the border check points to India.
– Drawing on their own experience, border guards approach girls who strike them as in danger of being trafficked as they are about to cross into India. The guards offer the girls immediate refuge in the shelter.
– Die Unterstützung der Arbeit der Grenzbeobachterinnen liegt uns besonders am Herzen und aus diesem Grund werden wir sie ausweiten. Durch ihre Aktivitäten werden zwei Ziele erreicht:
– Because of the significant preventative effect of the border guards’ work, pro filia has transferred money for the training of a further 32 border guards. This also provides work places for these women.
– The border guards in Bhairahawa have placed 176 girls in ‘our shelter’ in the first six months of the year. These girls have been saved from being sold into brothels. They now have a chance to lead independent and productive lives. 

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Two border guards (right) at work
on the border to India.

Project 5
Information campaigns in villages around the area
– MAITI has carried out campaigns in cities and villages to inform people about the dangers associated with seemingly attractive job offers for girls.
– Pro filia has financed the development and production of information material for such campaigns. Typically these are done in picture and cartoon format, because most endangered girls cannot read. 
– In addition, pro filia has provided the funds for two large billboards containing information about the dangers of sex trafficking. These are being installed permanently at the border check point to India.

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Information campaign run by MAITI

Project 6
Life-skills training
– Girls working in bars, hotels and restaurants are particularly at risk of being targeted by sex traffickers. They are often lured away with false promises of high salaries in Indian bars and restaurants; but they end up being sold to brothels instead.
– In 2010, pro filia funded a course to teach basic life skills to nineteen trafficked girls in the Bhairahawa region. They received information about the dangers of sex trafficking; and they built a support network with each other for mutual protection. 
– Representatives from the hotel and restaurant associations, local government, and local newspapers in Bhairahawa were provided with information about work done on the course.

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Participants of the life-skills training course

Publicity materials
– In 2010 we designed and printed a new insert page for the pro filia flyer describing the shelter housing project and the border guard project.
– A second insert page describing the rescue from brothels project, the information campaigns and the support for testifying at trials is under development.
– We have had an English version of our website since 27 October, 2010.

Activities 2010
Besides receiving many private donations, in 2010 we also organized a variety of pro-active functions to collect money for our projects in Nepal.
– Doppelkopf tournaments (Doppelkopf is a popular German card game)
– Profits from a lunch put on by a Muenster event organizer
– Cake sales
– Boule tournaments
– Collection at birthday parties
– Two church collections
– Donations from the German-Turkish Association
– Report about our work in the magazine ‘chrismon’
– Donation from BASF

How are things looking for pro filia at the end of 2010?
Donations
The donations received by pro filia (private donations, company donations, and money collected through special activities) have allowed us to further expand our support for traumatized girls in Nepal. In 2010 alone we were able to transfer around 47 000 Euro to our Nepalese partner organization MAITI.

Membership
Our membership continues to increase: we now have seventy-two members!

Finances
The general meeting on 30.10.2010 accepted the annual financial statements from 2008, 2009 and 2010 (the latter up to 21.9.10) which were presented by the executive committee.

Executive Committee
The current executive committee has been re-elected to serve for another year by the general meeting.

Standards of transparency in charitable work
In Germany there is currently no legal obligation for charities to provide transparent documentation of their work. But such documentation of both our organization and our work is important to us. We have decided to sign the voluntary declaration of commitment by the Initiative Transparente Zivilgesellschaft, which has been launched by Transparency International Deutschland. We have thus represented our work by appeal to the ten required criteria on our website. And we have been recognized by the Initiative Transparente Zivilgesellschaft for this, having received permission to display their logo on our website in the context of our voluntary declaration of commitment.

pro-filia in the UK
Two members of pro filia who live in Oxford are in the process of extending pro filia’s work to include local activities in the UK. With the launch of an English version of our website a major pre-requisite for this has been achieved. The next step will be to open a bank account in Oxford and obtain charitable status for it. Once this is done activities in Oxford will be able to contribute to our work in Nepal.

What are we doing next?
Projects in the second year of our contract with MAITI
In view of the high level of donations – particularly in response to the chrismon report – we have expanded our contract with MAITI. From 1.11.2010 we are financing the following projects: Our part in the funding of the shelter in Bhairahawa is in fact to be reduced. This is because the shelter has in the meantime received sufficient funding from other sources. As a result we are covering the entire funding of the shelter Pashupatinagar at the Indian border with Darjeeling. This includes the funding of salaries for the local border guards (whose previous funding has just run out). We are also paying the salaries of ten further border guards next year. The support of the border guards’s work is especially important to us; and thus we have decided to increase our efforts along this dimension. Support for border guards achieves two key objectives:It is preventative work – girls in danger of being sold are saved from sexual slavery just before crossing into India. It creates much-needed jobs and hence the chance of an autonomous life for traumatized girls recently freed from Indian brothels.There will also be an expansion of information campaigns.

Activities
The following activities have been planned for the next year:Given our excellent experience with the report about our work in chrismon, we are now writing to other magazines like Emma, Brigitte, Brand eins, etc.
We will hold an information evening together with a photography exhibition about Nepal.On 20.5.11 we will host an art auction in Muenster. Several renowned artists have generously agreed to auction a piece of their art for the benefit of pro filia.

The next annual report will be published in January 2012 on this website.


December 2010
Dr Johanne Feldkamp
Director pro filia e.V.