This past Sunday, ABC News carried a story about Olga Pierce, an 82-year-old retired lawyer from California, who spends most of her time in Nepal helping to free child slaves.
With her silver hair and fair skin, Murray stands out in Nepal, a poor, landlocked country sandwiched between China and India. With remarkable ease she navigates the chaotic streets of the capital, where painted yogis and sacred cows are common sights.
Pierce and her organization, Friends of Needy Children (also called Nepalese Youth Opportunity Foundation) help thousands of young girls who have been sold to wealthy families by their families to do forced housework.
We found Bijani Chaury, an adorable 12-year-old, in the well-appointed home of Ejopal and Sartoshi Oli, a teacher and a housewife, in Katmandu.
Bijani's life bears little resemblance to the plantation-style slavery of pre-Civil War America. There are no chains or farm labor. She is, however, forced to work under threat of violence and for no pay beyond subsistence, which is an internationally recognized definition of modern-day slavery.
Bijani told us that she spends her day cleaning the house, making tea and helping her Mrs. Oli prepare meals. She doesn't go to school. And, she said, she misses her parents and sisters, who are back home in rural Nepal.
Watch the video here.
Something that really stood out for me was that halfway through the video, Pierce talks about how they convince some parents not to sell their daughters.
We say to the parents, 'If you will allow your girl to come home, or not sell her again or not sell her at all, we're gonna give you either...your choice of a baby piglet or a baby goat. And we will put your daughter in school and we will pay all school-related expenses,' which amounts to about fifty dollars a year.
Pierce describes her experience in Nepal in two words - instant gratification. "You can save a child's life for 100 dollars," she says.
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