To tackle the issue of school dropout, and the associated risks of human trafficking and modern day slavery for children in Nepal, we work with Youth Change Agents. YCAs are young volunteers who receive education, training, and support to engage with community members on important issues communities face. YCAs raise awareness for the risks of modern day slavery in their communities, and encourage children to stay in school and adults to seek decent livelihoods. YCAs identify children and vulnerable adults who are at high risk of exploitation or abuse and report them to the CLAMP team so they can be provided the support they need and to have more opportunities to avoid being exploited.

Sapana comes from Nuwakot district in Nepal. Nuwakot district is a human trafficking hotspot. In 2018, Sapana was referred by the ward office for her participation and engagement within the community and was successfully selected as one of the YCAs.

"I attend the coordination meetings with YCAs and have been a regular participant in every training. I have been working directly on the issue of school dropout by motivating children for re-enrolment. I have learnt about modern slavery, human trafficking, child marriages, and gender-based violence. I continue to develop my understanding with the help of the training manual provided by CLAMP on the issues of modern slavery and child safeguarding. I also share this information with community members to make them aware."

Just a few months after working with CLAMP, Sapana had a serious road accident which led to the amputation of one of her legs.

"I was travelling to Nuwakot district when my bus was in an accident. I lost my leg. It was a huge trauma and I felt extremely worthless. Through my trainings as YCA I had learned about the risks for vulnerable children and especially girls. I was fearful about my own future as a person with disability.”

Sapana recovered from the accident and continued working with the community and spreading awareness on critical issues as a YCA. However, her disability restricted her mobility in the mountainous terrain of the villages she worked in. When she shared this with CLAMP staff and the ward office, a needs assessment process was conducted with support from ward office and rural municipality. As a result of this assessment, Sapana was provided with a laptop, a printer, cartridge, and a hard drive to initiate her own stationery shop.

“CLAMP supported me in becoming self-employed. The local government also helped me in establishing my shop near the municipality office. The insecurity and uncertainly that clouded my thoughts after the accident has been replaced by hope and optimism. Other YCAs have supported me and helped me continue my work in the community. They made me realise that my life is precious.”

Currently living with her parents, Sapana earns Rs. 500 per day excluding her daily expenses and is pursuing a bachelor’s in commerce.

“I am able to continue my studies, support my family economically, and arrange for my medication from my business. I am very thankful to CLAMP for giving me this opportunity when I could not see any future for myself.”