At the age of 18, when many young women are planning their future career paths, Kalpana’s life was quite different. Born into a poor family of six in the far eastern part of Nepal, her family couldn’t afford their daily bread, let alone send her to school for any kind of education. This forced her to look for a job in order to support her family and her three siblings – she often found herself going around the village looking for work.
She recalls being approached by a neighbor who she considered to be her uncle – he told her about a great opportunity to work in India. With dreams of earning more money and sending it home, she agreed to go there with him. Kalpana had no idea the nightmare of slavery that was about to become her reality.
Kalpana awoke with dread every single day for the next eight years. Her life was a living hell: she was beaten, starved, tortured. Kalpana was robbed of her youth; she didn’t talk to or see her family for all those years.
Finally, the day came when Kalpana’s nightmare came to a sudden end. A security guard helped her contact a representative of Our Daughters International’s partner in New Delhi, and with the help of the local police and the Nepali embassy, she was rescued! Her case was registered with the police, the traffickers were arrested, and she was compensated for the salary that had been withheld all these years.
When Kalpana arrived at the safe home of ODI’s partner in Nepal, she only had one wish: to visit her family that she hadn’t seen in eight long years. The reunion was beautiful. Shortly after that, Kalpana began to overcome the brokenness of her past. She began to look at each day with a glimmer of hope. While at the safe house, she began to smile again, you could see her confidence coming back. Our partners worked to show her she was strong, beautiful, and valued, and in time, she began to embrace this too.
She wanted to stand on her own two feet and support her family, but she had not received any kind of formal education. So, she was determined to learn how to enhance her cooking skills in order to open her own café. After spending six months in the safe house, Kalpana began at our partner’s Training Center. After just a few months, you could see the determination in her eyes and the transformation taking hold in her life.
Kalpana now runs her own café, Hope Café. She is actively involved in her community and is committed to sharing her joy and love with those around her. Today, Kalpana is free to realize her full potential and be the person she was always meant to be. Kalpana is no longer a
, or even a
-- she is our