When Alisha was 11 years old, she was wandering the streets of Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, alone and in despair.
Today Alisha travels around the mountain villages of Nepal to educate and inspire children to fight for girls’ rights and against the child sex trade. “I know that I was lucky not to be kidnapped and taken to India as a sex slave,” says Alisha. “Now I live at a home for vulnerable girls run by Maiti Nepal. As a Child Rights Ambassador for the World’s Children’s Prize, I have a golden opportunity to fight for girls’ rights and to prevent Nepalese girls from being exploited through the child sex trade.”
Alisha and her friend Poonam are standing at the chalkboard in a small classroom in the mountain village of Chhap. They have travelled for many hours to get here, along with nine girl friends. At dawn they packed their backpacks full of magazines and homemade posters on girls’ rights and the World’s Children’s Prize.
The first part of the journey was by jeep on dusty mountain roads. Next came several hours of hiking. Nothing can stop them. The girls are World’s Children’s Prize Child Rights Ambassadors, and they are here to talk about the most important thing they know: the rights of the child. Above all, they want to talk about how girls’ rights can be strengthened here in Nepal.
Wants to help others!
Alisha says: “I have always felt incredibly grateful that Maiti gave me a new life, and that I didn’t end up living as a slave at a brothel in India. And I have always wanted to show my gratitude in some way. As a Child Rights Ambassador, I can finally do just that. It’s a golden opportunity to do something important for others. I strengthen girls’ rights and try to save other girls from trafficking, just as I was saved, by raising awareness!”
Lives: At Maiti Nepal’s home in Kathmandu for girls who have been victims of, or who are at risk from trafficking.
Hates: When poor children are treated badly.
Best thing that’s happened: That I was able to come to live at Maiti Nepal, and it became my new family.
Worst thing that’s happened: When my mother disappeared.
Wants to be: A flight attendant, and see the world.
Dream: To become a good person who helps others.