Maiti Nepal offers vital legal support on cases involving missing girls, domestic violence,
guardianship, sexual harassment, trafficking and rape. Every day, the legal team registers at least
eight new cases of missing people, kick-starting a first-line response in which staff alert a vast
network of contacts and distribute reports to field operatives, border surveillance teams and
partners across India. This targeted approach offers the best chance of swiftly intercepting and
repatriating victims to Nepal. The legal department also strives to bring justice to the exploited
without fear of re-victimisation or discrimination, registering cases and pursuing compensation
through the courts.
HOMES FOR TRAFFICKING PREVENTION
Maiti Nepal’s three prevention homes have
enabled 2,000 girls to lead the fightback against
human trafficking. The four-month residential
programme delivers life-changing skills and
trafficking awareness to 150 girls each year, which
they can then implement in their own
communities. The girls also receive healthcare,
counselling and confidence-building classes during
their stay. Equipped with greater understanding of
their rights, alumni use the homes to deliver
campaigns and workshops and train local workers.
Crucially, emergency shelter is also provided for
vulnerable women and children who have been
rescued by authorities, the police and border
Increasing awareness of trafficking is a fundamental part of Maiti Nepal’s approach, and staff and
activists work tirelessly with vulnerable communities to guard against exploitation. Regular TV and
radio appearances by representatives include Maiti Nepal’s own series on the Ujayaalo Radio
Network, which reaches four million people. Outreach workshops at schools in easily-exploited
suburbs include discussion and hard-hitting roleplays. Maiti Nepal also educates young women who
are exploited after being duped into travelling as labour migrants. Surveillance teams at critical
locations offer information to female travellers, track suspicious behaviour and assist the police.
Information desks also operate at key destinations, including Tribhuvan International Airport.
FACE RECOGNITION TECHNOLOGY
The revolutionary Khoji mobile phone app uses accurate facial recognition to identify missing
people. Images captured at borders are cross-checked in real time against those on Maiti Nepal’s
database, with percentage-matching enabling informed decisions on surveillance team intervention.
The technology also helps identify traffickers, as images of potential criminals are checked against
Matai Nepal’s own intel, with police alerted to matches. Online reporting tools are used for
uploading missing person reports, which become instantly available across the server and app. So
far, it has proved especially effective in identifying victims who have been silenced by traffickers and
those with mental health issues.
INTERCEPTION AND REPATRIATION
While preventing trafficking is not always possible, Maiti Nepal has dedicated surveillance teams to
help police intercept victims and identify traffickers. Located at checkpoints across the Nepal-India
border, teams search vehicles for missing people and track sinister activity. Largely comprising
women who have been trafficked themselves, the surveillance teams regularly liberate girls from
sexual servitude in brothels. Once rescued, victims are temporarily housed in one of 14 safe transit
homes, located in border towns to raise local awareness. The homes provide shelter, counselling,
medical treatment and educational classes, and systems are also in place to trace parents and
guardians, arrange reunions and lodge criminal cases against traffickers.
Launched by Maiti Nepal’s founder in 1998, Teresa Academy provides quality education for
chronically marginalised children. Lessons are taught in in 10 classes to 500 children, including
orphans, the under-privileged and those at risk of trafficking. Teresa Academy is competitive with
local schools, offering science and computer labs, dance and music lessons, sports and extra-
curricular activities. With the majority of students living in an adjoining rehabilitation home, the
academy’s staff have specialist training to care for traumatised youngsters and those with mental
health issues and HIV. Many alumni have also continued studying and pursued successful careers,
while others are now fully qualified teachers at the academy.
INCOMES FOR LIFE
A fundamental goal of Maiti Nepal is to equip women and girls with the tools they need to live
independently. As well as scholarship opportunities, residents of Maiti homes receive skills and
livelihood training, and many secure paid jobs during their stay. Students at Teresa Academy are
introduced to partners for further education, training and job opportunities, and to date, more than
30 have completed degrees in fields such as Hotel Management, Computer Science and Journalism.
For those who do not wish to enter further education, Maiti Nepal works with recruiters to match
students with alternative training and job opportunities that complement their skillsets.
N-HOUSE HEALTH CLINIC
As part of Maiti Nepal’s vision for cohesive care and support, an in-house health centre provides
essential medical aid for residents of its rehabilitation home in Kathmandu. The clinic treats children,
women and young girls, with services including health checks, screening and basic emergency
treatment. With many patients suffering mental health problems, psychological care is also
provided. In addition, the clinic prescribes and dispenses medicine and has its own ambulance to
take patients to hospital when necessary. The health centre, which also conducts basic lab tests, has
38 beds and is supervised by a full-time doctor, five nurses and four assistants.
For survivors of trafficking and violence who are in poor health, the Sonja Kill Memorial Hospice in
Kathmandu offers specialised 24-hour residential care. Providing holistic treatment which is aimed at
restoring dignity, the majority of the 52 residents have HIV or AIDS, while many have mental health
issues. Amenities include round-the-clock care and carefully-balanced nutritional provision, while
anti-retroviral treatment and testing has helped reduce mortality rates. Meeting basic human needs,
the hospice offers meals and clothing, as well as genuine companionship. On-site activities include
yoga and meditation, and residents also enjoy external trips and vocational classes which can often
generate a small income.
Exploitation survivors are usually severely traumatised, which makes readjusting to normal life
difficult. Stigmatisated and rejected by society, even their families often disown them. To aid their
social reintegration, Maiti Nepal runs rehabilitation homes in Kathmandu and Sunsari to rebuild
victims’ self-esteem in a peaceful, loving environment. Providing abandoned children and victims of
rape, violence and trafficking with shelter and food, the homes offer counselling and medical
treatment. Essential income-generating skills are also taught, enabling victims to regain
independence. Reflecting the homes’ compassionate atmosphere, many of the staff were once
rescued by Maiti Nepal, and now use their experiences to help a new generation.
Manned 24/7, this is the only legitimate
humanitarian search and rescue organisation in the
area, and common operations include helping those
trapped at the base of inaccessible cliffs as well as
guiding fragile dinghies to safe landing zones. An
onshore team keep watch along the coast, with
volunteers trained in emergency communications
and equipped to identify boats in distress. Those who
survive the crossing are cold, wet and exhausted.
Frequently they are also suffering from dehydration
and hypothermia and need urgent medical support.
We work to provide basic aid and provisions –
including dry shoes and clothes, tea, food, blankets
and emergency supplies. By working in conjunction
with Refugee Rescue, we aims to prevent many
hundreds of lives being needlessly lost in the Aegean
Maya Vakfi Foundation
One Family is collaborating with the Maya Vakfi
foundation on the Mental Health and Psychosocial
Support Program to aid refugee children in Turkey.
Specifically designed to help children recover from
the rtaumatic events they have endured, it includes
rehabilitation through education, music and dance
therapy plus socio-cultural events.
Maya Vakfi first came to fruition in 2014, when
16-year-old Turkish student Emir Özsüer was shocked
by news footage of young children fleeing Syria. His
vision was to facilitate the mental, physical and
academic development of children and young adults,
enabling them to reach their full potential.
National Syrian Project for prosthetic limbs
One Family is working with the National Syrian Project for
Prosthetic Limbs (NSPPL) to provide prosthetic limbs for children –
as well as rehabilitation. Each child arriving at one of the centres is
assessed within 48 hours and placed on a waiting list. Once
measurements are taken, it takes one week to produce a prosthetic
limb and test it on a temporary socket. Any necessary adjustments
are made before casting is completed, and comprehensive
rehabilitation follows this process. This includes psychological
physiotherapy, social care and gait training, which encourages
children to develop natural limb movement. Each prosthetic is
strong, lightweight and flexible joints, in line with the highest
international standards. However, until their growth is complete,
children require a replacement limb every six months.