Last week, Shakti Samuha received the Ramon Magsaysay Award in recognition of its relentless efforts to rescue and rehabilitate trafficked young women. Started in 1997 by Charimaya Tamang, a victim of trafficking herself, the NGO is run entirely by trafficking survivors. Himal Khabarpatrika caught up with Tamang to find out her reaction after winning the award and future plans.
Himal Khabarpatrika: Did you have any inkling that Shakti Samuha would win this year’s Magsaysay Award?
Charimaya Tamang: Earlier in January, a team from the award committee came to visit Shakti Samuha and did a thorough inquiry. Then about two weeks ago we were asked to mail them the organisation’s profile and information. On 24 July we were informed via email that we had won the Magsaysay Award.
Why do you think Shakti Samuha won the Magsaysay?
We won because not only are we working to eradicate human trafficking, but also empowering victims so they can help other survivors. But this is not just Shakti Samuha’s award. It is a victory for all Nepalis and we dedicate it to people who have been working tirelessly on behalf of trafficked women.
How will Shakti Samuha use the $50,000 award money?
Few people knew about us before the award, now we are internationally recognised and have greater exposure. We realise that rescuing trafficked women is not enough. Victims need income generating skills and employment. We will use the prize money towards this cause. We will also use the award to develop our institutional capacity and continue to move forward with the full involvement of victims.
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