Survivor Training Program
In late 2014, Seven Summits Women Team started training a young group of female who were survivors of sex trafficking. The women were trafficked to India in their early teens and even as young as 12. The series of their epic battle continued from one horror to another: running away, finding a way back to Nepal, being accepted, the emotional-physical-social recovery, legal battles, recovery of confidence and self-esteem. After fording such major challenges at a very young age, they were stuck in low paying jobs that did not promise any career or growth. Their social standing did not offer them dignity or power. All of this was because, in addition to their struggle they did not have necessary job skills and lacked formal education. Hence, we started the program with a vision of providing a dignified, empowered and economically prosperous life to these young unsung heroes through the outdoor industry.
The training is a multi-year mentorship program that includes all necessary training required to build foundation skills for a decent career in the outdoor industry. It includes regular hiking, sports climbing, language lessons, motivational sessions, gear support, high altitude trekking, support for license certification programs and academic education.
Instead of providing a short term quick training, we take the trainees under our wings and provide them holistic support for a long term so that their lives could be truly changed. Three of our survivor sisters are now certified trekking guides. Here is their testimonial,
Miss TK: ‘I was physically weak, financially not stable and the society looked at me with pity or disgrace. Today my life has completely transformed. I guide western clients on Himalayan peaks. I make more money than anyone around me can imagine. And young girls in my village tell me they want to be like me. I have found strength, financial freedom and true dignity. Because of the Seven Summits sisters I saw a path and I’m here today. It is now time for me to show the path to my other survivor sisters.”
Miss US: ‘The outdoor training healed me and showed me a path of strength, determination and opportunities. Today I know that life is open for me, my life is my choice. I am not afraid to choose a path.’
Miss SG: ‘Nothing has been easy for me. The earlier struggle was tough but I kept fighting till the end. The trekking industry is also not easy, it needs a lot of hard work, and patience. But this is where I see my future. I am at a much better place already, I will keep working hard to make it even better. I now understand what is empowerment and I see myself very close to it.’
Based on the success of the pilot training, we are now preparing to scale the program. The goal is to train fifty young women in our next batch.
Besides all-around confidence and skill building, there will be 100% job placement for all successful trainees. For support or more information please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Global Inclusive Adventure Organization (GIA), is a Nepal based registered non-profit organization founded by the members of the Seven Summits Women Team. The program is officially run by GIA in Kathmandu, Nepal. California based non-profit Courageous Girls is our US partner.
Survivors selected for the program are members of Shakti Samuha, which is a prestigious non-profit founded by trafficking survivors back in the 90s. They are recipient of many global accolades including the Human Bravery Award from Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State. They continue to fight against trafficking and to provide protection to survivors. GIA supports their rehabilitation program through the Survivor Training Program.