A Comic Book to Fight Human Trafficking in Nepal: “CHAMELI”
WE are BACK!
Last year you helped us Kickstart a manga-style comic book for teen girls in Mexico to warn them about the dangers of human trafficking. It worked! We created the 36-page comic book "Evelina" and then partnered with grassroots anti-trafficking programs to distribute 12,000 copies through 110 schools in Mexico. Students loved Evelina, so did teachers.
Now let’s Kickstart “Chameli,” the amazing story of a family in Nepal, where traffickers prey on impoverished Himalayan mountain villages. Chameli is 13-years-old and loves school. Her family works hard to keep their farm going, but their debt is snowballing. Money lenders start to press her parents to send Chameli to nearby India to “work”…
The “Chameli” comic book is created for all members of the Nepali communities—children, young men and women, parents, grandparents.
WHY CREATE A COMIC BOOK ABOUT HUMAN TRAFFICKING?
Human trafficking is modern day slavery. It is one of the most lucrative crimes around the world along with arms and drug trafficking. More than 600,000 people every year are trafficked worldwide to enslavement in factories, brothels, as house maids or even as child brides.
We are creating comic books to warn target populations about the dangers. According to the U.S. State Department, it is estimated that 10,000-15,000 Nepali women and girls are trafficked to India annually. (Link report here) Many are trafficked on to other countries. Furthermore, 7,500 children are trafficked domestically within Nepal.
Nepal is a Himalayan country sandwiched between India in the south and China in the north. Nepal is one of the poorest country in the world. It’s GDP per capita is only 2.5 % of that of the United States. Approximately 1/3 of people are living on less than $1/day. This poverty makes Nepal particularly vulnerable to human trafficking, especially in remote villages. Not only people are deceived and trafficked with false job promises, some poor families are forced to sell their own children to human traffickers.
“Chameli Goes to School” is a story of a family that experiences the evils of human trafficking—and fights back. We're Kickstarting to refine, print and distribute copies of "Chameli goes to school " in Nepal in Nepali. We also produce limited English version for our backers. Support our Kickstarter to get special English edition of "CHAMELI GOES TO SCHOOL" , and also send copies to Nepali communities that are directly affected by human trafficking.
THE POWER OF COMIC BOOKS TO EDUCATE FOR SOCIAL CHANGE.
Comics have long been recognized as effective media for getting the word out and raising popular awareness. In Japan, the appeal of picture-driven story-telling in the form of manga cuts across all generations and reading levels. There are even manga forms of serious subjects from Shakespeare and classical history to science, mathematics, and philosophy. These printed comic books are a particularly powerful form of media when there is limited access to books or regular Internet connections, since they can be passed around among friends, families, and school classrooms.
HOW WE CREATED “CHAMELI GOES TO SCHOOL”
Our comic books are very specific. The story lines are written based on journalistic research and interviews in the fields. Founder/writer Natsuko visited Nepal in July 2013 and together with Nepali NGO SASANE, she visited remote Himalayan villages to research the conditions of human trafficking.
“Chameli Goes to School” is inspired by this research, and the drawings are based on Natsuko’s photojournalism. The text is not based on any one family but it tells the story of one family’s courage and bonding in the face of a trafficker’s pressure.
Manga Drawing: A Second Cause Vision Project with Manga Artist Yusaku Emoto Yusaku drew Evelina for Cause Vision as part of his training to become a professional manga artist. Yusaku's graphics employ typical tropes of Japanese manga—including exaggerated facial expressions, Kakimoji (sound effects in stylized text such as "vrooom") and Koma (frame)— which helps people with lesser reading abilities to enjoy and comprehend Cause Vision’s comic book. Now he is back to work on “Chameli”.
Translation: Translation of “Chameli goes to School” into Nepali was layers of process. First Pasang Pakhrin, 16 year old high school student from Queens New York, volunteered. Pasang was born in Nepal and immigrated to New York three years ago. So she could translated into the language and manners that are currently spoken by kids and teenagers in Nepal. However, she does not have means to type Nepali fonts. So her dad typed Pasang’s handwritten translation. Once everything was in Nepali, Yusaku copied and pasted into the corresponding bubbles in the Manga. It was not easy for Yusaku. Although he is fluent in English, he has no way of knowing what each Nepali word means. He ended up putting some text into wrong bubbles.. But, after double checking and triple checking by some Nepalis, we perfected !
KICKSTARTING TO SPREAD CHAMELI's STORY
Back us up, and receive Limited ENGLISH VERSION of CHAMELI GOES TO SCHOOL.
With your support, the “Chameli” comic book will be completed and distributed in Nepali villages. We thank you for help of any size! We can’t wait to report back to you on the reception of the comic book in the mountain villages in the coming months.
CAUSE VISION TEAM
COMIC "CHAMELI GOES TO SCHOOL" : Yusaku Emoto, Artist; Natsuko Utsumi, Story Writing; Pasang Pakhrin and Ngima Pakhrin, translation.
KICKSTARTER VIDEO: Alice Xie and Noah Friedman, Presenter; Daniel Abse, Producer, Director; Elina Masters,video Editor.
CAUSE VISION: Natsuko Utsumi, Founder; Nathaniel Wice, Board Member.
Risks and challenges
RISKS: We have a successful track record with our manga comic books for social change. The first effort, “Evelina” was Kickstarted in January 2013, for distribution to Kickstarter supporters and affected communities in Mexico. This is our second effort, targeted at Nepali mountain villages. Our "Chameli goes to School" comic book has been through a test printing of a preview version. Our main risks are creative problems with the finalization of the comic book creative, a printing mishap in Nepal (or Brooklyn NY for the English-language version), or a problem with shipping to individual communities. We feel confident about the creative process, and payments for printing depend on satisfactory delivery of print jobs. Also we will print extra copies so we are able to replace copies lost in the mail.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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