Unseen Alumni Partner, Restoring Hope Nepal, welcomed Alina* into their care. She shared her journey to finding them. We’re so honored to hear her story, and to be part of her path to hope. This is Alina’s story.
My name is Alina and I am 19 years old. I am from a very remote, underdeveloped rural village of Nepal. My family had converted to Christianity when I was small. I had a dream to study well and get a good job. My life was going well.
One day, I was walking back home from school with my friends. A group of 4-5 boys were following me and they forcefully dragged me to one of the boy’s homes. Where I live, we have a cruel tradition in our society—if a boy likes a girl, they will take that girl forcefully without the consent; when that happens we will be forced to marry him. This happened to me. This boy gave my family Rs 10000 ($100 USD) for taking me and that day I felt I was sold by my family. I was only 15 years old.
My society forced me to stay with the guy who was 26—almost double my age. He forced me into a physical relationship; I felt I was raped every night, for 3 months. In our village, many of those who are in sexual business have 2 common causes: either they were forced into it or it was done as a consent from the family (forceful marriage tradition). These sisters (women) sustain their life by either looking out for customers in the marketplaces, or their own family members search for customers with the consent of the family. Even the family approves these activities so that those sisters (women) can sustain the family. When I was with this man to whom I was considered to be married, I had a big fear of being forced into sexual business. But after some time the man left me without even letting me know why or where he was going.
I had nowhere to go. I went back to my parents and found that my family had been kept under church discipline because of me. My society also looked at me with the wrong perspective. My studies came to a standstill, together with my dreams of becoming a learned officer. After this it became very difficult for me to live in that society and village.
In my family, both my brother and sister married, and after this incident I will never be able to marry. I wanted to leave the place and go far away. But to leave the place and my so-called husband, I had to pay double the money than what was given by the man when he had married me. I was in a real need of money to get freedom. One day my pastor encouraged me to go to Kathmandu and learn some skills so that I can earn for myself and become independent. Hoping that I will accomplish something in my uncertain life I have come to Safe Nepal. I don’t want to go back to my past life, the village, the cruel-minded society, and the dependency, but want to be independent for the rest of my life.
From Unseen Alumni Partner, Restoring Hope Nepal:
We have welcomed our sister to the safe home where she will be learning tailoring. We hope that by learning this skill provided by Safe Nepal, she will be able to accomplish her dream of being independent.