Peace Rehabilitation Center
Female children have little value in Nepali culture. Consequently, Shanta Sapkota experienced abuse and oppression from the day she was born simply because she was a girl. The abuse continued when her father arranged a marriage for her at age 12 and she went to live with her husband's family. At the age of 25, constantly in search of peace and love and feeling like an orphan, she ran away and found a Christian church where she also met her husband, Min. While reading her Bible, she became aware of God's promise for her in John 14:18, "I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you." and committed her life to serving him.
In 1988, while on a Youth With a Mission discipleship outreach in India she learned of the girl trafficking problem and felt God giving her a vision to help. After some reluctance, she finally yielded herself, and with empty hands, told God she was all His. Shanta shared her vision with her church and Min and within a month received a former sex worker, desperately in need of love and care, dying of AIDS into their small apartment. Overwhelmed by the task before her, she was encouraged by Jesus' words in John 15:16, "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you."
In 1994, Shanta formed a Board and registered the ministry as an NGO with the Nepal Social Welfare Council with the focus of fighting and preventing sexual exploitation and trafficking in Nepal. In accordance with Nepal regulations, a legally registered auditor reviews the accounts annually. Shanta chose the name Peace Rehabilitation Center (PRC) because it was when she needed peace the most that God gave it to her. In the beginning, the work centered on an aftercare center, but the vision quickly grew to including prevention through community awareness raising, community non-formal education classes for girls and women and eventually income generation projects and border monitoring stations. She knows firsthand the importance of love and peace in the well-being of the many girls who call her "Mommy." Shanta says with confidence, "Although I will not always be here, PRC will never die because it is not my work but the Lord's."
In recent years, the border monitoring stations have become the main program with 14 stations and nearly 70 staff. PRC is very thankful for the nearly one thousand girls and women rescued annually from human trafficking through their border stations and for this program being fully funded. BUT if this is all we do, we have greatly failed those we rescue! We have only rescued them to put them at risk of being trafficked once again. Why? Poverty fuels human trafficking and until we address this root cause, the numbers of those trafficked will continue to rise. The pandemic has caused an even higher jobless rate in Nepal and increased the number of people vulnerable to traffickers. A few years ago, PRC gave seed money and training through income generation projects like animal raising, gardening, jewelry making, tailoring and knitting but due to a lack of funds the program was discontinued.
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