Music helps rescue girls from the sex trade

According to the US Department of State, between 10,000 and 15,000 Nepalese girls are trafficked into India every year as part of the sex trade. One American band, Wookiefoot, is doing something to change this.

Recently, this band contacted us at NEED to talk to us about the Project Earth music festival. At this festival, founded by Wookiefoot in 2006, 100 percent of the proceeds go to various charities.

NEED was able to connect Wookiefoot with four different organizations previously featured in the magazine, one of which was the Peace Rehabilitation Center (PRC) in Kathmandu, Nepal. PRC is an organization that rescues girls from the sex trade by patrolling the border between Nepal and India, working with police in both countries and teaching Nepalese communities to identify traffickers and protect their young women. Once these girls are rescued, PRC provides housing, health care and job training, and helps them reunite with their families if possible.

The money donated by Wookiefoot to PRC will allow border patrols to stay open and continue stopping the trafficking of young girls into India as well as help pay for girls rescued in India to go to safe houses near their homes in Nepal. For this small organization in impoverished Nepal, the cost of rescuing these girls and transporting them sometimes vast distances to safe houses can be overwhelming, and every donation allows them to free still more girls from bondage and keep others being forced into the sex trade.

To have a group of musicians call us up and ask how they could help was amazing. When we write these stories about small organizations giving everything they have to save lives, we tend to fall in love with those NGOs. Anytime someone tells us that they want to support these organizations, we are off-the-wall ecstatic. Thanks to Wookiefoot, we know that more girls will be saved and it makes us feel like everything we do to keep our publication going is worth it.

Along with its donation to PRC, Wookiefoot is giving proceeds from the previous Project Earth festival to the Rabondo Community Project in Kenya, The Miguel Angel Asturias Academy in Guatemala, and the Nurani Insani School for street children in Indonesia. The sold-out Project Earth 2009 festival begins this weekend, June 26-27, in Geneva, Minnesota. Wookiefoot looks forward to being able to expand their impact around the world by giving the proceeds from this year’s event to these and other charities.

We at NEED are fast becoming fans of Wookiefoot for their willingness to use their skills to aid humanity and leave their footprint on a better Earth.

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