Girl Rising - Film Tells Story of Suma's Escape from Child Slavery Thanks to Nepal Youth Foundation

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All over the world, people will gather on International Day of the Girl (October 11) to watch the film Girl Rising — which features the story of Suma, a girl who was freed from child slavery by the Nepal Youth Foundation.

Photo of Suma from Girl Rising

In Girl Rising, Suma tells how she was rescued from child slavery by the Nepal Youth Foundation

Suma has been a powerful advocate in the campaign to end child slavery in Nepal. We are grateful that Girl Rising is telling Suma's story to people all around the world.

Girl Rising is a powerful new film that tells the stories of nine remarkable young women and their fight for an education — including Suma, a girl who was freed from child slavery by the Nepal Youth Foundation (NYF). Suma's tale is similar to thousands of young girls NYF has freed from girl child slavery.

When Suma was only nine years old, extreme poverty forced her family to "sell" her labor to their landlord as part of a sharecropping arrangement. In Girl Rising, Suma talks about the years she slept in a goat shed and ate scraps from her master’s plate, spending long days and nights doing housework and chores.

In 2007, after six years of servitude, Suma was rescued by Sita Tharu, a staff member of the Nepal Youth Foundation who works in their program to end child slavery. Since then, NYF has provided Suma with variety of services to help her build a new life. She attended school and is now enrolled in a Medical Assistant training course as part of NYF’s Vocational Education and Career Counseling program. NYF also provided Suma with leadership training, which she uses in her work to end child slavery with the Freed Kamlaris Development Forum (FKDF). Suma has also been trained as a peer counselor to help girls like herself overcome the trauma and grief in their lives.

“Suma is a natural leader,” said Som Paneru, president of Nepal Youth Foundation. “Suma, and girls like her, have been powerful advocates in the campaign to end child slavery in Nepal. We are grateful that Girl Rising is telling Suma's story to people all around the world.”

Suma has grown to be a strong and confident young woman. She was selected to represent the women of Nepal at the prestigious Women in the World Summit in New York, organized in 2012 by Newsweek and the Daily Beast. Through her poignant song that she sang for the conference attendees, Suma has let the world know the plight of thousands of girls trapped in slavery and their struggle for freedom and a life of dignity.

About the Nepal Youth Foundation
The mission of the Nepal Youth Foundation is to transform the lives of impoverished Nepali children by providing them with what should be every child’s birthright – education, housing medical care, and loving support.

Founded in 1990 by Olga Murray, the foundation’s 88-year-old honorary president, NYF has served more than 100,000 destitute Nepali children and their families.

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Robin Woodland
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