Maiti Nepal is a non-profit organization in Kathmandu, Nepal working to prevent human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of young women and girls. It was founded in 1993 by Anuradha Koirala, who, since the start, has rescued over 35.000 women and girls.
Marianne Steneholm started her work with Maiti Nepal in 2017 and in this time has raised over €500.000 for the cause. The annual charity gala that she hosts has a huge impact on the lives of the children at Maiti Nepal shelters. The charity work Marianne carries out from Marbella is currently year after year covering the costs of educating 400 children with no other resources.
So why Maiti Nepal? In Marianne´s own words:
“If I imagine the absolute worst thing that could ever happen to someone I love or just happen to anyone period, sexual human trafficking of children would top the horror list. That is why I decided to do something about it.
I read an article about courageous women that had made a difference in the world and that is how I found Anuradha Koirala. She has been elected the CNN Hero of the year-award in 2010, The Mother Teresa award in 2014 and the largest peace award in India, The Padma Shri award in 2017. And that is just a few of the many recognitions she has received for her amazing work. I was completely blown away and decided to visit her shelters. Once I was there in person, there was no turning back. It is the best thing I have ever done, and I will continue this journey for the rest of my life.”
Maiti Nepal is in Kathmandu and consists of a CPC- Children Protection Centre where 280 children reside permanently. They are either orphans, found on the street or dumped somewhere as babies or children from very unprivileged back grounds with huge risk of being trafficked into the sex trade from an early age. Some of them have been raped or tortured in other ways, abused. Some have been born in brothels and when their mothers have been rescued, so have they. Maiti Nepal becomes their safe haven.
Within Maiti Nepal you find a small medical clinic, a women’s shelter where 140 young female trafficking survivors live, receive rehabilitation, and learn skills to be able to return to life again.
Maiti Nepal also run their own school, the Teresa Academy which goes from kindergarten to class 11. All classes are taught in English.
Marianne continues: “I love spending time with the children and visit them in class. I am so impressed with the Teresa Academy and this is why I decided that Teresa Academy should be my funding priority. Anuradha said that the key to end trafficking is education. Education gives the children a future where they can earn a living and stand strong.
Apart from the Teresa Academy, I have decided to sponsor 4 children that have graduated from Teresa Academy, finished their bachelor’s degree to now pursue a university degree. I am so proud of them.”
Approximately 30-minute drive outside of Kathmandu, you will find Maiti Nepal Hospice. This is another fantastic project dear to Anuradha. This holistic sanctuary is home to currently 40 women and 15 children infected with HIV. The all receive anti-viral treatment, and the children stay most of the time at the CPC in Kathmandu to attend Teresa Academy.
“Every time I visit Maiti Nepal, the day out at Hospice is one of my dearest. I normally bring lunch with me and we have a nice lunch together followed by some music and dance. Each time I bring nail varnish with me and we have a pedicure day in the gardens with laughs together. I always leave Hospice with a big knot in my heart, thinking that most of these women are younger than me and have been to hell and returned seriously ill after what they have been exposed to and they are still able to smile. “
Last year with the Covid-19 pandemic, Marianne was not able to visit Maiti Nepal and she hopes to be able to go again this autumn. She is currently planning her annual gala and a few other events.
If you like more information of ways to help, please don’t hesitate to contact her by phone or mail.
Mob. +34-684 385 486