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International Women’s Day: CDU to help women and children in Nepal rescued from human trafficking, exploitation

Left to right: Charles Darwin University (CDU) Executive Officer Rebecca Marrone, CDU Vice-Chancellor Professor Scott Bowman, Maiti Nepal Chairperson and Founder Anuradha Koirala and Maiti Nepal Director Bishwo Ram Khadka.
Left to right: Charles Darwin University (CDU) Executive Officer Rebecca Marrone, CDU Vice-Chancellor Professor Scott Bowman, Maiti Nepal Chairperson and Founder Anuradha Koirala and Maiti Nepal Director Bishwo Ram Khadka.

A new agreement between Charles Darwin University (CDU) and women’s rights organisation Maiti Nepal will be signed in Nepal on International Women's Day, to support educational opportunities for women and children rescued from trafficking and exploitation.

In a Memorandum of Understanding, CDU will fund scholarships for women to attend vocational and higher education courses in Nepal, and two outstanding students will also receive full scholarships to study at CDU.

In addition, Maiti Nepal will offer study abroad opportunities for CDU students to assist with social innovation initiatives in education, health and business; and a platform to conduct research and other practical assignments on subjects related to the organisation’s work and expertise.

CDU Vice-Chancellor Scott Bowman said the agreement would provide educational opportunities for students in Nepal and in Australia.

“We acknowledge the significance of forging this agreement on International Women’s Day. We are confident that the CDU scholarships will provide hope and a brighter future through education,” Professor Bowman said.

“At CDU, we are privileged to have many students from Nepal studying with us, and it is critical as a university that we give back. A core part of education is ensuring that we provide opportunities to those who could not otherwise afford it.

“I am confident that in a few years, we will see some outstanding women graduating from universities and going on to make an incredible difference in their fields.”

Established in 1993, Maiti Nepal is a not-for-profit organisation working to protect and improve the lives of vulnerable individuals and rescued survivors of human trafficking, commercial sexual exploitation and other forms of violence against women and children.

Maiti Nepal Founder and Chairperson Anuradha Koirala said the MOU would ensure vital initiatives led by Maiti Nepal, such as providing health care, education, employment opportunities and a safe place to live, could continue to make a positive impact.

“We are extremely thankful for the CDU's sponsorship of our women and children for their better lives and scope for career development.” Ms Koirala said.

“In these 30 years of work in anti-human trafficking, my focus has been on providing free, compulsory education. I am very thrilled that CDU is going to fulfil my dream and educate my children for a brighter future.”

As part of the MOU, CDU will also partner with Nepalese institutions to co-fund and potentially co-teach courses for women who are survivors of human trafficking, and their children.

The recently signed agreement strengthens CDU’s international ties across the Indian subcontinent.

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