Perth Trefoil Guild fundraise for social justice in India

UN World Day of Social Justice on 20 February recognises the need to tackle global issues on poverty, exclusion and human rights. Perth and Kinross Trefoil Guild have been doing their part to tackle these issues by fundraising over £73,000 to help children who seek help in Pune, India.

Avril Duncan, Chairman of the Perth and Kinross Trefoil Guild began visiting Sangam in India, one of the four world centres of World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), in 2003. Avril has then regularly visited with other guiding members, and took the opportunity to volunteer in the local area of Pune in Western India on her last visit in 2014.

The group volunteered with Kayakalpa, a health clinic set up to combat the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, which opened their eyes to the global issue of modern slavery and trafficking. Kayakalpa is situated in the red light district of Pune, the third largest of its kind in India with 400 brothels and 4000 sex workers. 99% of the girls working in the district had been trafficked from an early age and been taken from places like Bengal, Bangladesh and Nepal.

Above the clinic there are two locked rooms which house around 40 children. Kept locked in for their own safety, the children are at risk of being forced into prostitution as they grow older. The children do not receive any funding or help because of the stigma around this issue. Therefore the founder of Kayakalpa Seema and her husband personally take care of the young children using their own money.

Seema and her husband had been donated a piece of land on the outskirts of Pune but didn’t have the money and resources required to build a suitable house for the children. Whilst volunteering with the organisation, the group decided to fundraise to support the project of building a safe home for the young children.

Following the visit to the clinic, Avril said

“We’ve learned so much about the absolutely dreadful problem of trafficking in India. We had many discussions in our dormitory at Sangam together and shed many tears. One resolution we made was to try to do something to help the children in Pune that were affected by this issue.”

Two years later after volunteering with Kayakalpa, the group have raised approximately £73,000 and will be returning to Pune in March 2016. With the help of the money raised by Perth and Kinross Trefoil Guild, the house has now been completed and the children are able to live in a safer environment.

UN World Day of Social Justice takes place on 20 February 2016, visit their website to join the conversation about tackling global issues.

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