© Courtesy of Ally Global Foundation
Help children rescued from human trafficking heal from trauma and build healthy, independent futures
At 13 years old, Sona was lured away from her rural village in Nepal with the promise of a better opportunity in the city, only to be deceived and sold into sex trafficking in an Indian brothel. She’s not the only one—an estimated 12,000 children are trafficked out of Nepal every year (International Labour Organization, Nepal: trafficking in girls with special reference to prostitution: a rapid assessment).
Around the world, millions of people are being abused and exploited by human traffickers. This crime can take on many forms, including, but not limited to, forced labour, sexual exploitation and domestic servitude. Trafficking affects all regions and countries of the world—including Canada. It can occur within a country or may involve movement across borders. Increasingly, sexual exploitation is also taking place online through social media, gaming, and messaging platforms. According to a recent report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, one in three victims of human trafficking is a child (UNODC, Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2020).
Can there be any hope in a situation so dark? Can one voice make a difference? Sona believes it can. After being trapped in an Indian brothel for three years, Sona was rescued, repatriated to Nepal, and brought to a safe home where she could begin her healing process.
This happened to be a safe home supported by Ally Global Foundation. This Canadian-based charity helps survivors of human trafficking find healing through safe housing, education and aftercare in Nepal, Cambodia, and Laos. Ally’s programs also include trauma-informed counselling, agricultural projects and job training to help survivors gain independence and reintegrate into society when they are ready.
After spending a decade in the safe home, Sona—now 26 years old—decided it was time to take a stand: “If sharing my story will help other kids find healing like I did, I want to tell it.” Sona teamed up with Ally Global Foundation to turn her story into a short film.
Shooting the film on-location in Nepal over just nine days, a small team of Canadians worked closely with local leaders to tell Sona’s story truthfully and ethically while protecting her dignity. The final script was approved by Sona herself (along with local leadership), and she and local leaders were on set to verify the elements during the production.
Sona’s harrowing experience and subsequent rescue from human trafficking are depicted in The Twelve Thousand (which can be streamed for free at www.thetwelvethousand.com). In this moving retelling of her story, we are forced to come to terms with the reality of modern-day slavery and are also shown the hope that lies on the other side of freedom and healing.
Ally Global Foundation believes that every child deserves safety and freedom. Every child deserves the opportunity to dream and, someday, to train for work they enjoy. A chance to grow in independence, create meaningful relationships and build a life that is truly their own.
You can help children like Sona find hope and healing. Make a donation to Ally Global Foundation at www.ally.org. Together, we can prevent human trafficking and help survivors build healthy, independent lives.
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Help survivors of human trafficking heal from trauma and build healthy, independent futures.