April was sexual assault and volunteer month and in recognition of this important month, I am proud to share our latest Mothers & Daughters Unfiltered podcast, Fighting Human Trafficking. The conversation of sexual assault and trafficking is not an easy one to start and have, but it’s an important one that impacts millions of women.
In the second episode of our second season, we spoke with two brave women who are affecting change in the sexual trafficking space. Anjali Tamang and Sarah Symons are working to fight human trafficking and severe gender violence in Nepal and India. Sarah is the founder of Her Future Coalition and Anjali is a survivor of trafficking who has committed her life to creating alternate opportunities for girls and education for her community in Nepal which has been rooted in historical practices of trafficking due to poverty. The two women, bound together by this traumatic experience, exposed us to the systemic issues and root causes of human trafficking and the healing process for girls who escape it.
With each conversation and interaction we have had with our extraordinary guests, we have see that it's only in speaking the truth that we can create change. It’s young women such as Anjali, who understand what change can look like, who turn pain into purpose. Anjali's mission is to change the mindset of her committee. In her own words, “the next generation of children need to be raised in a different way so they can become the voice of change." (Read Anjali's story by ordering the book she wrote with Sarah, Standing in the Way).
I hope Anjali’s and Sarah’s story touches your hearts and minds as it did ours. Our conversation with them gave us a sense of renewed hope and belief in the resilience of the human spirit, the power of conscious healing and visions for the future. Not least of which, is inspire by Anjali and her husband starting construction of the Hasta Memorial School in December 2020. For Anjali and Sarah, it will take time and patience to change the historical practices of a community—but in building a school and thinking beyond academics to practices of dignity and speaking up for ones self, they have faith that culture can shift.
Please share this conversation with as many women as possible, because this is not just a reality across the world in India and Nepal, but operates right here in our country of the United States as well. We’d love to hear your feedback and how you’d like us to take the conversation further. Now more than ever, let's share, listen to, explore and support each other.
I don’t know about you, but I’m emotionally spent, often confused, definitely frustrated and even frightened of this global pandemic. Not one of us can escape it on a daily basis unless we’re willing to go to that quiet place. So I thought I’d share some of the sage advice, notably the inspiration we felt after speaking to women across the USA in our MDU Diaries: COVID-19 series, recorded back in March and April.