News

Annual report 2012

We are very happy that in 2012 it was possible not only to continue running our on-going projects in Nepal, but also to expand them significantly. With the help of donations from the art auction in 2011, we are now in a position to provide partial funding for a rehabilitation centre in Nepal. The centre offers rescued girls a place to learn skills which necessary to lead a self-determined life, including vocational training. In that way, pro filia’s activities now cover a wide range: from preventative support (such as informa‚tion campaigns and establishment of local help networks), to emergency assistance at the Indian border and in the shelter houses, as well as to rehabilitative measures.

pro filia is four years old and has 114 members to date. Membership fees, donations from various activities and the energetic voluntary work by supporters make it possible for us to provide sustained support for the radically disadvantaged girls in Nepal.

The following annual report describes pro filia’s work in 2012 in detail.

 

1. Activities in Nepal

1.1. Co-operation with MAITI Nepal
2012 represented the third year of joining efforts with MAITI and co-operation continued to be constructive.


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Girls in care, in the garden at MAITI in Kathmandu

1.2. Current situation of projects for girls in Nepal

pro filia-Project 1
Information campaigns and building of local support networks in Nepalese villages

Objective 1:
To inform people about the dangers of trafficking and slavery inherent in seemingly attractive job offers and promises of marriage for girl. Abject poverty also drives young women and girls, who are ignorant about the imminent threats of trafficking and slavery, into bigger cities.

Objective 2:
To improve reintegration of surviving girls, who often experience outright rejection on return.

For this sort of information to be accepted by local people is crucial to involve village dignitaries in presentations of it.

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Educating through demonstrations


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Educating through information events


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Establishing a support network for women tea pickers


Results 2012 in the Pashupatinagar region:

  • Orientation for 68 police and custom officials to sensitize on the issue of human trafficking
  • Participation of 21 people from various organisations in the “Awareness programme on Cross border Trafficking”
  • Meeting of 31 representatives from Indian and Nepalese NGOs, Government authorities from both border sides, local clubs, Women’s group and Community Safety-net members to develop better co-ordination with the district-level stake-holders and draw future strategies to combat human trafficking and gender violence.
  • Sensitizing of 31 tea-leaf pickers on the issues of Human trafficking and gender violence
  • Orientation programmes to 66 students on the issue of human trafficking and gender violence
  • Training of 66 hotel owners and drivers concerning the problem of trafficking girls.
  • Organisation of a networking meeting on the international women’s day with 40 participants
  • Information event with 127 participants in key positions in the local society.
  • Capacity building trainings like ToT (Training of Trainers) for 18 Community  Safety-net members
  • An income-generating training for 15 women
  • Participation of 11 women at training on computer hard-ware
  • A door-door programme reached 120 households
  • Orientation programme for 31 women on the occasion of the International Women's Day
  • Marking the Anti-trafficking Day by observing with an interaction programme and screening of documentary to 107 people
  • Building of help networks in villages for more protection and less discrimination of single women.

     

Results for 2012 in the region around the Transit home Bhairahawa:
At events similar to the ones above and several large-scale events, MAITI were able to reach more than 1200 people in 2012.

For the information campaigns to be effective, it is vital that they constitute regular and sustained sources of information, coupled with the continued active maintenance of networks.


pro filia - Project 2
The Transit homes

The Transit home Pashupatinagar:

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In 2012, pro filia took on the full funding of this Transit home.
The following results were achieved in 2012:

  • In 2012 in Pashupatinagar, 1073 girls at the border to India were provided with information about the risk and dangers via personal conversations. 16 000 cars, lorries and rikschas were checked at the border.
  • Of the 1073 girls, 392 triggered intervention: 99 remained for the time being in the shelter and 293 were taken back to their families. Almost all of them were illiterate; the youngest was 12 years old.
  • The Transit home also represents the central contact in the case of other kinds of violence against girls and young women.  The first half of 2012 saw 22 searches for missing girls, 9 of whom were found and returned home by MAITI. In addition, the shelter provided refuge to 17 girls who were victims of domestic violence and rape victims.


The Transit home Bhairahawa:

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We reduced our funding in line with increase in other source of donations.    


pro filia - Project 3
Border guards

Border guards are mainly staffed by young women who have survived periods of enslavement in brothels. They have received training by MAITI with financial assistance from pro filia and have been given work directly at the busy border check points to India.

In light of their own experiences, they speak to girls who appear to them to be in danger and they offer these potential victims of trafficking immediate refuge in a shelter house.

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Border guards, supported by a customs official

  • In 2012 in Pashupatinagar, 1073 girls at the border to India were provided with information about the risk and dangers via personal conversations. 16 185 cars, lorries and rikschas were checked at the border.
  • Of the 1073 girls, 392 triggered intervention: 99 remained for the time being in the shelter and 293 were taken back to their families. Almost all of them were illiterate; the youngest was 12 years old.
  • pro filia funds the salaries of 19 border guards at present. Every border guard places around 50 girls into a MAITI shelter house per year. That is, the pro filia-financed work of border guards annually saves around 950 girls from being sold into a brothel and provides them with an opportunity to lead an autonomous life.


In addition, 2012 saw the transfer of funds for the building of a small house for border guards. The house used until now was in terrible condition.

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Old border guard house

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New border guard house in Bhairahawa


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In the border guard house:
Placement of a girl into a shelter


pro filia - Project 4
Freeing of girls sold into Indian brothels

Together with Indian aid organisations, MAITI has build up support networks for girls forced into prostitution in Indian cities. Aid workers who pretend to be clients visit brothels and try to gain the trust of enslaved girls, so that they do not hide during the next police raid. After their rescue, the Nepalese girls are brought back to Nepal into one of MAITI’s shelter houses, where they can slowly rebuild their lives.

In 2012, only one person was rescued from India and exploitative situations and  -  arriving at the Transit home Pashupatinagar – provided with all they needed. It is a pity that only a few girls have a chance to be rescued an repratiated.


pro filia - Project 5
Rehabilitation home Itahari

Sometimes rescued girls cannot, or do not want to, return home. If they wish, they are placed in a MAITI rehabilitation home where they receive training in ‘life skills’ to lead an independent life, learn to read and write, and are able to pursue some vocational training. Among the courses offered are, e.g.  modern agriculture, cooking for hotels, sewing and tailoring, etc.

In 2012, 43 girls were provided with services from the home. Among the 43 girls 37 were provided with trainings on skill development.


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The Rehabilitation home Itahari


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Girls learn to read and write in the Rehabilitation home


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They learn to sew and tailor …


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… and to embroider sari material

… and other courses – such as modern agriculture and cooking for hotels!

In conclusion:
There is currently a nice balance between preventative and rehabilitative projects at pro filia!

The aim is to continue running the above described projects. This will require activities to increase membership and to raise funds, such as art auctions, information events, Doppelkopf evenings, as well as newspaper and magazine articles, talks and private initiatives.



1.3. Projects planned for 2013

pro filia is committed to fund the following projects next year:

  • information campaigns and building of local support networks in the Bhairahawa region
  • all the running costs for the Transit home in Pashupatinagar at the Indian border to Darjeeling
  • the salaries for 20 border guards
  • partial financing of the Rehabilitation home Itahari – if the fundraising is successful enough, we aim to cover the total costs
  • partial financing for a mushroom farm, which employs rescued girls

Beyond these fixed commitments, any further donations raised goes to funding information campaigns in the region Ilam/ Pashupatinagar.


2. Activities


2.1. Activities in 2012

2012 saw a great variety of activities in support of our projects in Nepal:

  • Letters to newspapers and magazines (Emma, Zeit, Geo, Welt am Sonntag, dm-Zeitung, Stern, Kirche und Leben, ADAC. Brandeins) with the request to portray pro filia’s projects – without success so far.
  • Presentation of pro filia’s work at Zonta München (16.1.2012). Result: Zonta-art auction 2013  in München for pro filia!
  • Printing of postcards with Nepal pictures by photographer Sandra Konold and a brief description of pro filia’s work.
  • Competition entry WN-Weihnachtsaktion 2012.
  • Application for the HanseMerkurpreis für Kinderschutz 2012.
  • Presentation of pro filia’s work at Biodanza Münster (31.10.12). Bio-danza held two charity dance events in aid of pro filia in 2012.
  • Organization of two Doppelkopf evenings (2.3. & 16.11.2012) at Le Midi in Münster. Each time we received generous donations.

Last but not least, we received many private donations in 2012, including collections and gift donations for birthdays, weddings and funerals.

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Doppelkopf evening in Le Midi

  • A member of pro filia held the - by now annual - Boule tournament in the Schlossgarten in Muenster.

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Boule tournament participants

  • At the annual Kreuzviertelfest (25./26.8.2012), pro filia set up a stall which offered coffee and cake and provided information about our activities in Nepal. We received donations and were delighted to welcome several new members.

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pro filia stall at the Kreuzviertelfest


We want to express our heartfelt gratitude to all those who supported these activities, made donations, did shifts at the stall, baked a cake, and so much more!

The executive committee of pro filia thanks all members and supporters for their help in 2012!


2.2. Planned activities 2013

We have planned the following activities for 2013:

  • Presentation of our projects at Soroptimist Münster-Mauritz
  • Presentation of our projects at the Universitäts-Frauenklinik  Würzburg
  • Information stall at the Kreuzviertelfest im July 2013
  • Company-level fund raising
  • Information stalls at the weekly market in Muenster
  • „pro filia  dinners“, where members invite non-member friends to their homes for a dinner-talk about pro filia’s work. We have put together a power-point presentation about pro filia for such private events, as well as summarized key information supplementing the slides and emailed these documents to all our members. The slides and text may also be requested at any time from pro filia directly.
  • Doppelkopf evenings on 1.3. and 11.10.2013 in Le Midi, Münster
  • Continuing our efforts to contact newspapers, radio and television
  • Art auction 20./21. April in Münster and – on the same day - in Munich via Zonta München-Friedensengel.

The following suggestions were made at the last general meeting:
handing out flyers the Muenster weekly market, organic market and Christmas market; information stalls at other street festivals; contacting travel agencies which specialize in Nepal travel; use of pro filia postcards for personal correspondence (postcards may be requested at pro filia).


3. What is the situation for pro filia at the end 2012?


Number of members:
We now have 114 members!

Finances
At the general meeting on 9.11.2012 the financial statements for 2011 and 2012 (status: 31.10.2012) were presented by the executive committee and approved by the members.

In total 35 000 Euro were transferred by pro filia to MAITI in 2012. Overheads of about 3000 Euro (improvement of webpage, PC and Banking costs) were either provided free of charge or paid for with donations by the executive committee members. All other income from donations was used 100% in funding the projects in Nepal. About 20000 Euro will be carried over into 2012.

The detailed financial statement for 2012 – as well as the financial statements for 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 – is available to be viewed online on our homepage (see ‘Voluntary declaration of commitment’).


Executive Committee
The election at the general meeting resulted in the re-election of the current executive committee for another two years. Members who are interested to participate in the work of the executive committee were invited to join committee meetings as guests.

We are starting the year 2013 with confidence and hope!

 

 


January 2013
Dr. Johanne Feldkamp,
Director pro filia e.V.