Emmeline Endresen spent two months this summer traversing Kathmandu, Nepal while making an impact on the community she grew to love. After making the 24 hours flight with little to no sleep, Emmeline finally spotted her hosts, hopped in a cab, and embarked on the journey of a lifetime. Despite her initial feelings of fear once she realized the depth of her distance from home, she quickly began to connect to the country, the people, and the culture.
Emmeline volunteered for Samrakshak Samuha Nepal (SANSAE), an organization whose title translates to “Let’s Protect Ourselves.” SANSAE is dedicated to rescuing girls from human trafficking and reducing the risk of girls being trafficked. The organization created two programs to achieve these goals—Sisterhood of Survivors and the Paralegal Program. SOS trains girls to be tour guides. By doing so, women are able to increase commerce in their rural communities and combat poverty, the root cause of human trafficking in these areas. The Paralegal Program take a legal approach to addressing the issue by training women to become paralegals so that they can provide legal and psychological support along with assisting in court proceedings. Working with the girls and women in the Paralegal Program proved to be the highlight of Emmeline’s experience. Referring to her as ‘Miss Emmy,’ the participants regarded Emmeline with enthusiasm, creativity, and determination to learn. Nonetheless, by the end of the eight weeks, Emmeline became more than a teacher; she became a sister to them.
Outside of the classroom, Emmeline explored Nepal and enjoyed the beauty of every adventure. From exploring temples and bartering prices in Themal to the frightening taxi ride to Durbar Square, home of the best dahi (sweet yogurt) in Nepal, Emmeline enjoyed her multidimensional experience. Among the many lessons learned, one stands out:
“I am learning that community is like the long-awaited rain that falls during the monsoon season. Something you count on, necessary for growth, craved if it dries up.”
What to know more about Emmeline’s experience? Check out her blog: A View from Kathmandu