Topics:  calliope, editors picks, facebook, hindu, nepal, sex slavery

Mums use social media to help free sex slaves

Calliope mothers Elizabeth Orr and Kirsty Van Itallie are hoping to help reduce sex slavery in Nepal through fundraising on a Facebook page.
Calliope mothers Elizabeth Orr and Kirsty Van Itallie are hoping to help reduce sex slavery in Nepal through fundraising on a Facebook page. Christopher Chan

MOTHERS Kirsty Van Itallie and Elizabeth Orr are doing their bit to eradicate sex slavery in Nepal.

For the past 18 months, the Calliope mothers have been raising awareness of the traditions of the Hindu caste system through their Setting the Badi Girls Free Facebook page.

"In their culture, women are considered the lowest of the low," Kirsty said.

"Parents in poorer villages send their daughters, some as young as 10, into prostitution.

In May last year, Elizabeth and Kirsty started the local page to raise funds and awareness for the group Educate Nepal.

Each month Australians are encouraged to donate $60 a month to sponsor a child, often referred to as Badi children.

While the monthly donation per person was a bit steep for Kirsty, she decided to divide the funds between a group of women.

With each woman donating between $10 and $100 per month, they now have 14 Badi sponsor children.

"We even have a lady in her 80s donating to the cause each month. We have another lady who gives us a $100 a week," Kirsty said.

So far the Calliope group has raised more than $900 for the cause.

"They say every two minutes six children are lured into sex slavery," Kirsty said.

"We are happy to be doing our bit and making a difference.

If you want to know more information or want to help go to the Setting the Badi Girls Free Facebook page and like it.

What is a Badi girl?

  • Badi is a region in Nepal.
  • Women are a part of the Hindu caste system.
  • Girls as young as 10 are forced into prostitution.
  • Educate Nepal is an organisation helping women in the region.
  • The Nepal-based program then helps assimilate women into the workforce by teaching them a trade or skill.
  • Setting the Badi girls free is a Gladstone group donating to Educate Nepal.

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