News

Annual report 2013

We are delighted that in 2013 we were able – again – not only to continue with our on-going projects in Nepal but to extend them significantly. To this point pro filia had been offering a wide range of aid activities: preventative support, information campaigns, building of local help networks, emergency support at the Indian border as well as shelter houses, and rehabilitative measures in a convalescence centre. In 2013 we added, to this considerable range of services, a small mushroom farm as well – an aid initiative which completes the array of extant support we offer. Young women who are psychologically and physically traumatized by their experiences can find a home here – if necessary for a lifetime.    And 2013 also saw the start of an IT-project we are particularly happy about, one offering young women the opportunity to train for highly regarded jobs, thereby securing their livelihood and the foundations for self-esteem. In present-day Nepal IT-work is widely considered.

pro filia is now five years-old with over 142 fee-paying members. Those fees, together with monies raised via various events, along with the dedicated efforts our many supporters, make possible our sustained support for extremely disadvantaged girls and young women in Nepal.

In the following report, we describe in detail pro filia’s work in 2013.

 

1. Activities in Nepal

1.1. Co-operation with MAITI Nepal
2013 again involved productive co-operation with MAITI – our 4th year of co-operation. The pro filia executive director, together with another member of its executive board, met with MAITI officials in October (in Kathmandu).


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Meeting with MAITI on 31.10.2013 in Kathmandu
(from left: Controller Khadka/MAITI, pro filia executive director Feldkamp, concept manager Gurung/MAITI)

One topic discussed was the administrative procedures needed for successful co-operation. While the admin-based communication and reporting has worked fairly well in general, there have been particular instances of failed communication. In discussion we agreed upon measures to improve the communication between our entities.

The major part of the meeting focused on the IT project started in 2012, at the rehabilitation centre Itahari, through an initiative of pro filia. At our previous meeting MAITI partners had been very sceptical – but had been willing to trial-run IT training for some girls in the centre. At this year’s meeting they were enthusiastic about the success of that trial-run. The eleven girls and young women which were part of the training were working hard and showed great interest in continuing work in the area. Specifics of the IT project will be presented below (under ‘projects’).

We also discussed the following ideas for future projects with MAITI:

  • Emergency telephones for girls in danger: MAITI will take this proposal to a meeting with government officials, to request official logistical and financial support.
  • Increased involvement of parents in MAITI activities. Our MAITI partners acknowledged that there has been too little emphasis on this aspect of their remit– mainly due to scarce resources. But it is high on their list of priorities.
  • Female taxi drivers. Our suggestion to train young women to drive taxis (something that simply does not exist in Nepal) was received with great enthusiasm: ‘how does pro filia come up with all these excellent ideas!’ These women could offer taxi service for other women, but also for visiting representatives of aid organizations such as pro filia, who are dependent on taxi-rides, but always driven around by men. The plan is to start this project as soon as the IT project is self-funding.
     

 

1.2. pro filia-projects in Nepal

pro filia-project 1:
information campaigns

 Our goal is to make people aware of the serious danger of enslavement lurking behind seemingly attractive job offers or promises of marriage. Moreover, extreme poverty drives girls into the city without any sense of the dangers of slavery – we aim to provide them with clear and complete information about the dangers they face. In addition, we hope to improve the situation for girls and young women who have escaped sexual slavery, facilitating re-integration into their families and the larger society. Until now, they are routinely met with strong rejection upon escape from their ordeal.

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Information event in a village


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Training of trainers


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2013 outcomes in Pashupatinagar region:

  • Provision of information to 175 households via door-to-door conversations
  • Two training courses for  127 policemen and customs officials
  • One day orientation programme on gender violence and human trafficking for 474 persons in Ilam
  • Two-day information events in schools concerning the dangers of slavery and the availability of help and support
  • Training for 128 tea-leaf pickers, aimed at the maintenance of mutual support and help networks  
  • Training for 30 people who coach the co-ordinators of these help networks, following the ToT-Programme (= training of trainers).
  • A ten-day training course for 13 young women to expand their sources of income. The training 2013 focussed on mushroom- and chili- farming.  
  • Two cross-border meetings of altogether 163 representatives from Nepalese and Indian aid organizations, including local women’s groups, with the aim of improving co-operation to fight sex trafficking of young women and girls, and of further developing different kinds of support strategies for the victims of such trafficking.  
  • Organized an information event, on the annual 'Day of the women'‘, with 30 participants.
  • Organized an information event, on the annual ‘Day against human trafficking’, with 500 participants.

Outcomes 2013 in the region around the Transit home Bhairahawa:

  • Performance of street dramas, awareness programmes, rallies and distribution of pamphlets against human trafficking were done.
  • The awareness campaigns comprised of following participants: representatives from District administrative officials, local organisations, cooperatives, local businesses, students, pupils and local villagers.
  • Overall the street dramas against human trafficking were very succesfull.

Outcomes 2013 in the region around the rehabilitation centre Itahari: 

  • 84 people living in a poor neighbourhood were shown a documentary film about girl trafficking. Some were about to move abroad because they had been promised work.  
  • Several information campaigns and demonstrations about women’s rights and the dangers of girl trafficking were held, e.g. on the international women’s day (= 350 participants), on the day against human trafficking (= 700 participants) and against gender violence (= 45 participants).  
  • 50 policewomen and policemen received information about the dangers of slavery.  
  • Training course was conducted about health issues co-related with human trafficking and aids in the district’s hospital.  
  • The staff of the rehabilitation centre continue to build and maintain an effective help network in the region.




pro filia - Project 2:
Border guards

Most border guards are young women who have survived time in a brothel and who are trained by MAITI with financial support from pro filia. Their jobs are literally at the bustling entry checkpoints into India. And in light of their own experience, they talk directly to girls who seem to be in danger of being trafficked, offering immediate shelter in a refuge house - called Transit home.

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Border guards provide girls with information about the dangers ...

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... of enslavement in Indian brothels

  • In 2013 in Pashupatinagar alone, overall 1,421 girls were provided with information about the dangers of enslavement through individual conversations directly at the cross-over checkpoints into India. In addition, 15,287 cars, lorries and rickshaws were inspected.
  • In 2013 Transit Home Pashupatinagar succeeded in preventing 354 girls and women from getting trafficking by intercepting them at the border. others were returned home.  
  • 277 girls and women had stopped their journey to India realizing that they were travelling unsafely after receiving information on safe migration in Nepal-India border.
  • Additionally 790 migrants were provided information on safe migration at Nepal-India border. The youngest girl involved was 13 years old.
  • Overall in 2013 pro filia provided funds for the salaries of 20 border guards. Each of them intervened with about 50 girls crossing into India, and placing each girl in a shelter. The border guards financed by pro filia, therefore, saved about 1000 girls/women from being sold into brothels, giving each one a real chance of an autonomous life. 

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The border guard informs a girl


pro filia - Project 3:
The Transit home Pashupatinagar

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Throughout 2013 pro filia continued funding for our Transit home.

We achieved the following outcomes in 2013:

  • The Transit home Pashupatinagar is equipped to provide shelter to 20 girls at any period.
  • 2013 the Transit home succeeded in preventing 354 girls and women from getting trafficking by intercepting them at the border. 
  • Seven girls were rescued and repatriated from Indian brothels  -  the youngest being 11 years old. 
  • The Transit home is also the central local contact point concerning violence against young women and girls:  In 2013 there were 51 missing girls in Pashupatinagar, of whom MAITI  found (and returned home) 19. In addition, 21 girls fled domestic violence to our shelter house.
  • The Transit home filed one case of Human Trafficking in the District Court of Ilam. 2 persons have been accused of the crime and presently both are under police custody in Ilam. 

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The Transit home Bhairahawa

These days the financial contribution from pro filia is small. This is because other sources of donations have been found, freeing up monies from pro filia to be used for the building of networks, as well as information campaigns in the region of Bhairahawa organized by the Transit home. You find the results in "pro filia-project 2 - information campaigns".


pro filia - Project 4:
Rehabilitation centre Itahari

Rescued girls who do not wish, or for some other reason cannot go home, are offered a place in a MAITI-run rehabilitation centre. In turn the centre prepares them for an autonomous life. They learn to read and write, and they participate in various training courses. For instance, there are training courses for modern agriculture, hotel cooking, sewing and more.

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The Rehabilitation centre Itahari

  • In 2013 43 girls/young women were cared for in the Rehabilitation centre, 37 of whom completed a job training course.
  • If a girl wishes, MAITI offers mediation services – e.g. between parents and daughter. In case of criminal activities, charges are filed.

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One-to-one sessions in the centre

The girls have the opportunity to learn how to read and write and to participate in professional traning courses – in modern agriculture, sewing, preserving vegetables for a market stall, etc.


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They also receive a lot of information about the dangers of enslavement, and about the help available to them from networks of mutual support:

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pro filia Project 5:
The IT-Project

In 2012, the first IT course was run in Ithari, with 11 participating girls. It was a resounding success. In light of this, we developed a new IT project together with MAITI. We want to offer training not only in traditional women’s jobs, but also training to open new opportunities of work in a broader range activities, with higher income potentials. Being skilled to work in these ways also leads to more self-confidence, of course, and bears witness to the real potential of women. For instance, we help train women to set up women-led freelance typing office in a country with very high levels of illiteracy.


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The first eleven participants of the IT project

In 2013 we transferred funds sufficient for the setting up of an IT training facility and the training of a further 40 young women. This facility was opened on the 1st of September 2013.


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The first IT training room!


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... and the first training session starts!

At our meeting with MAITI in October 31, 2013, we discussed which kind of support we could offer the young women after they completed their IT training. The goal is to put them in a position to earn their own living. A number of participants expressed a wish to open up their own small business, such as a freelance typing office or something similar. For this courageous endeavour, these young women will need both logistical and financial help.

MAITI proposed a structured approach: they are planning to open IT centres in twenty different villages in the region Ilam (Pashupatinagar), and employ two women, who have completed the IT training in each of these centres. They will choose villages in which this service is not available, providing computers and photo-copiers alike. The resulting centres will also offer information about girl trafficking as well as the availability of protection from it at funded shelters for women. Given that local girls can acquire IT skills in these centres, and have access to information about the dangers of trafficking, the resulting IT centres will not only jobs for the young women working there, but also protect other girls and young women who might be tempted by seemingly attractive job offers in India.

To implement these ambitious plans, we will immediately start to look for donations and support for this important work.


pro filia Project 6:
The mushroom-farm

Since 2013 pro filia finances the costs of a mushroom farm. Here traumatized girls and women find a place to work and to live nearby - if necessary, for the whole life.

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2014, pro filia funds this project too. We hope, in the future - starting 2015 - the mushroom farm will be independent by selling mushrooms.

 

1.3. Projects planned for 2014

Next year, we will fund the following projects:

  • Information campaigns and building of help networks in the regions
    Ilam/Pashupatinagar and Bhairahawa
  • Funding the running costs of the Transit home Pashupatinagar at the Indian border to
    Darjeeling
  • Providing the salaries for 20 border guards.
  • The entire financing of the Rehabilitation centre in Itahari.
  • The financing of a mushroom farm as a home for severely traumatised girls.

We will also work hard to continue funding the IT project. And we aim to provide seed money to establish the planned IT centres, thereby ensuring that some young women can earn their own income.

 

2. Activities


2.1. Activities in 2013

In 2013 we organized – in addition to receiving many private donations from, among other things, birthdays, weddings and funerals – several activities and events to raise money for our projects in Nepal:

  • Konrad Averbeck held his annual boules tournament behind the Muenster Schloss on 19 June, 2013. All proceeds went to pro filia.
  • Meeting with the SPD-representative to the German Bundestag, Christoph Strässer on 30 April, 2013, who sits on the human rights committee. He became a member of pro filia and wants to organize a presentation of pro filia’s work in front of the human rights committee in 2014.
  • There were two Doppelkopf (a German card game) evenings in the restaurant Le Midi (1 March and 11 November 2013). About 40 participants each time, raised money for pro filia while having a lot of fun:

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Doppelkopf evening in the Le Midi/Münster

  • The pro filia art auction on 21 and 22 April 2013 was a lot of work but also very lively and successful. pro filia gratefully acknowledge the generous support of the School of Design in Münster:

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Organization of the art action with a scale model of the venue developed by pro filia members Ina Specht and Jan Sprünken

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Words of welcome by NRW minister for science Svenja Schulze (2. f.l) and Design school president Ute von Lojewski (r.)


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Large crowds visiting the exhibition hall ...

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... and the auction itself!

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TV journalist Andrea Hansen (r.) served as auctioneer

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Tired but very happy about the successful auction

  • The art auction organized by Zonta-Muenchen Friedensengel in Muenchen for the benefit of pro filia – and which took place at the same time - was also very successful. 14 000 € were raised for the Rehabilitation centre Itahari!

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Presentation of cheque by Zonta to pro filia!


  • Information stall at the Kreuzviertelfest Münster on 13 and 14 July 2013 – pro filia members talk to visitors about the projects in Nepal:

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pro filia members Brigitte Wierling and Josef Humbert at the stall

 

  • Setting up for the presentation of pro filia’s work in Nepal to the University Women’s Hospital in Würzburg, on 8 October 2014. pro filia member Edith Stadler organized the event.

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Lecture hall at the University Women’s Hospital Würzburg

 

  • Art sale for pro filia in Southern Germany:

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  • pro filia presentation and auction of sculptures by artist Helena Arendt, on the occasion of our executive member Mechthild Spener receiving the award for Female Entrepreneur of the Year 2013, 19 November, 2013:

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(Photograph: Morsey IHK Nord Westfalen)

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Award ceremony Mechthild Spener

 

  • pro filia presentation for the Soroptimistinnen Münster-Mauritz on 20 November, 2013.
  • Presentation and collection of donations for pro filia at an exhibition closing event at
    the Gallery 69 in Münster.
  • Opening of a jewellery exhibition in Cologne with a collection of donations for pro filia.

The executive committee and director of pro filia wish to express their deep gratitude to all members, donors, stall staff and cake bakers, for their continued efforts at various events and activities throughout 2013!

 


2.2. Activities planned for 2014

In 2014 we are planning the following events and activities:

  • pro filia presentation at the Kolping family in Ochtrup 16 February 2014
  • Stall at the Kreuzviertelfest 2014
  • pro filia presentation to the Human Rights Committee in Berlin
  • pro filia two-week exhibition at the “ancienne mairie” in Fox-Amphoux, France.
  • Further presentations of our work when the opportunity arises.
  • Setting up donation-tins in shops and businesses wherever possible.
  • Contacting accountants to discuss the possibility of surplus donations.
  • Flyer distribution at weekly markets.
  • pro filia dinners: members invite non-members and provide information about pro filia. A PowerPoint presentation about pro filia projects and a handout containing key information has been emailed to all members for this purpose. Indeed all this material, including photographs, can be requested via email from pro filia at any time.
  • Application for legal funds.
  • Use of pro filia post cards – post cards can be requested from pro filia.
  • Contacting software and IT companies for sponsorship WN-Chrismas-Action
  • Renewed contact to publishers and print media.
  • Increased inclusion of schools in activities
  • Application for funds from charity organizations
  • Application at the Bürger-für-Münster office for an information stall at Christmas market 2014 in Muenster.
  • Production of a video about pro filia.


3. How do things look for pro filia at the end of 2013?


Membership:
We now count 142 members!

Finances:
The balance of accounts for 2012 and 2013, presented by the executive committee, was formally approved (status 15.11.2013) at the membership meeting of 22 November 2013. In total pro filia transferred about 70,000 Euro to MAITI in 2013. Fees of about 3,000 Euro (programming, graphic design, IT and banking costs) was paid by contributions in the form of work and donations from executive committee members and the director. Apart from this, 100% of funds raised by membership fees and donations are sent to Nepal, with about 30,000 Euro rolling over into the year 2014.

A detailed balance of accounts for 2013 can be found - just as the accounts for 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 – on our homepage by clicking on ‘Voluntary declaration of commitment’.


Executive Committee
The executive committee is elected for a stint of two years, and there were no elections this year. Committee members are Mechthild Spener (chair), Brigitte Wierling, Josef Humbert and Bernd Brixius. It was decided at the annual membership meeting that the executive committee will be expanded in 2014, to be composed of three women and three men.


Miscellaneous

  • pro filia-banking was changed to Sepa from 15 October 2013.
  • We have new pro filia flyers which can be requested by email.


We look confidently to the coming year 2014!

 

February 2014,
Dr. Johanne Feldkamp,
Director of pro filia e.V.