Girls with broken wings

For more than six years now since we started Out of Ashes, our partnership with Lighthouse Foundation Nepal (LHFN) has expanded a lot and we have also seen a number of other organizations join the work in partnership with Lighthouse. On our latest trip to Asia at the end of February and beginning of this month, I visited Myanmar together with my wife Erika for a 20th Anniversary, and at the same time we had a gathering and reunion with a number of our friends and coworkers from Myanmar, Japan, Singapore, Sweden, Australia, plus Raju Sundas the leader of LHFN from Kathmandu.

Growing from one home in 2009 with thirty girls, LHFN now runs ten homes in Kathmandu, plus one in Heutada (another town in Nepal) and one in Surkhet (west Nepal) with more than 750 children. They have two schools (Kathmandu, and Surkhet), a Half-way House, Vocational training courses, Baby centre, an Organic Farm, a Rescue Centre in Delhi and one more on the way in Calcutta. There are 120 full-time staff in the hostels and sixty-five teachers in the schools. As you all understand the needs are just mind boggling. Is there no end? NO! there is no end. The work is ongoing – Prevention, Rescuing and Restoration. We are doing everything we can to create awareness and raise funds/sponsors.

Recently I wrote on our blog: “Seeing the small girls that looked like baby birds with broken wings in February 2009, and now see them as young, strong, beautiful, bold girls who go to school and are preparing for university, it’s almost unreal. It is so moving. Are these the same girls?” Their destiny has changed. They now have dreams. They now have a future.

One of Out of Ashes’ committments is the Higher Education for the girls. More and more girls are coming to college age and we need more funds for our Higher Education Fund
Below are some of the girls we sponsor for higher education in Nepal. Just look at them!


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More news from Nepal:

  • In January we sponsored a team of our beloved brothers and sisters from Kathmandu who traveled to Delhi on a rescue mission led by Raju Sundas [founder of Light House Foundation, Nepal]. Ten girls were rescued that time and brought to Kathmandu. We have now received sponsors for all of them.
  • Again Lighthouse Foundation was active last month rescuing another twenty-six new girls from the same brothel area, and just a few days ago another four were rescued.
  • Out of Ashes and Lighthouse Foundation are right now in the process of starting a new work in a brothel area in Calcutta. The leader had just visited Calcutta when we met in Myanmar and he brought this report:

“They brought us to red-light area of Kalighat where nearly one thousand women and girls are working as sex workers. There are forty thousand registered prostitutes and nearly ninety thousand unregistered prostitutes of which around ten thousand are Nepalese girls and women. In my entire ministry of work against human trafficking I have never been inside where they actually sell their bodies. With the prayer and permission of my wife I went with this couple and stayed two hours inside the brothel. I met seven of our Nepali girls who are fair skinned – the community is called Tamang. These girls are in high demand due to their skin and prettiness.

I was totally broken when I saw a room where these girls were doing their business with their customers and there was a four-year old girl eating lollipop while seeing the physical relationship and intercourse. I told them I would like to buy her even it would cost millions Nepali rupees. Even the woman would allow their four-year old girl to have sex with the customer if they give their demand amount. It is the most horrifying atmosphere I ever saw in my life. They wanted to show this to the child to arouse sexual desire in them so that they would end up in the brothel for their entire live.

In order to do something, our partner Philip and his wife suggested us to start a beauty parlor. Through this we would have contact with several women and girls at the brothel. Since they are into this flesh trade business they always have to be attractive for men. When I interview with these women and girls all of them like this idea. Our goal is to make beauty parlor as a contact point to share the hope to them.

We will be needing 4000 American dollars per month to cover everything. This will cover rent, salaries, snacks, food, all the raw materials to train women and girls (we will have to keep one thousand dollars to provide emergency help when it is needed to the women and girls).

Our partners have twelve rescued girls, of which these children’s parents were the three generation prostitute. I met a girl whose mother has three brothels, one is in Calcutta, one is in Delhi and also other one is in Mumbai. Her name is Mailai. I have been in constant contact with her since I arrive from India. When I saw her in our partners safe home I prayed that she won’t end up in the brothel.

  • We need sponsors for this new work. We are looking for 100 people that long-term can sponsor $50 (100 x 50) and help us run the rescue center in Calcutta.
  • We are also in need of sponsorship for our Higher Education Fund. In Nepal US$ 100/month is enough to sponsor one girl in college. We need sponsorship for ten more girls – 10 x US$ 100/monthly. Help us spread the news!

Thanks for everything.

Many warm greetings,
Håkan Gabrielsson

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We work towards ending child prostitution, sexual abuse and the sale of girls and women restoring broken lives out of the ashes…”