I have been meaning to write for weeks but it became very hectic before the trip. We packed 8 suitcases full of donated clothes and soft toys to bring to Maiti Nepal. I want to thank everyone that has helped me with this collection. I can tell you that the children were so happy with everything we brought them.
They had prepared a beautiful dance performance show in our honor and the welcome speech held by one of the girls brought up at Maiti Nepal as baby and now 18 years old and working there, made me cry. (find parts of their performance on my instagram @mariannesteneholm) Our first two days we have spent with the children at the Teresa Academy (Maiti Nepal’s school) and with the smaller children residing at the shelters. We had brought face paint to play with the pre-schoolers but our visit was so special for the children that the elder classes also wanted to join us. In the end the whole court yard was full of hundreds of children with big smiles on their faces, hugging us and asking us questions.
I have so many impressions and emotions going through my mind that I don’t know where to start and where to end.
For the next coming days, we will have some more serious meetings about urgent needs at Maiti Nepal shelters and which of those could be supported by the funds we have raised. I will be updating my blog with more information and photos from the trip again soon, I promise xxx
Our flights are now booked and I am so excited! We will fly out from London-Heathrow on the 21st November and be away for 2 full weeks. The flight goes via Muscat, Oman to Kathmandu with Oman Air . So far we are 4 people travelling. My sister is coming along. To share this special moment with her is just the best feeling. (Once again, I want to emphasize that all expenses for our trip is paid with our personal money, not from raised funds)
Vaccinations, hmm… I have just had them all prescribed from the Sanidad Exterior in Malaga and it is literally everything. Re-boost of Hepatitis A and B along with a Tetanus boost. Then cholera, tyfoid fever and dengue fever. Malaria is not necessary all over Nepal, only in certain areas, so for this I bring some tablets that you take only when/if travelling to the red zones.
I have so far raised close to 45,000€, and I am determined to make it past my goal of 50k before the trip in November! Stay tuned for more upcoming events where you can support Maiti Nepal and help me achieve my goal or simply make your donation HERE
xxx Lots of love
Just a week after my biggest charity event so far and I am just starting to get back to normal again. The organization of this event took nearly 4 months and I never imagined it would be so much to keep on top of. The day of the event my nerves were on “red alert” but now a week after I am so proud of what we achieved!
187 paying guests attended the gala, including myself and my team, as we also paid our ticket like everybody else. We raised over 36.000€ on the night from ticket sales, auction and wish tree gifts. The Ronaldo shirt was sold for 4000€, Chelsea “Diego Costa” shirt and “Dele Alli” Tottenham shirt went for 1000€/each and the EastEnders sign with the entire cast autographs went for 900€. More items auctioned were car and race track days, facelifts and a luxury holiday in Thailand, along with art from one of Belgium´s most famous artists, Hannes D´Haese and underwear supply with your own underwear line in your name from Boux Avenue.
The support and response has been overwhelming and it feels so amazing to be able to stand up and fight for such an important cause. This is bigger than anything I have ever done before! I cant wait to go to Nepal in November and see the smiles we have been able to give and the lives we have been able to save.
“Take every child as your own daughter, and soon you will feel her sorrow, and then you will feel the strength that comes out of you to protect them”
This past week was been full of happenings and Friday, we hosted our first big charity event at La Sala Banus . It was a big fashion show lunch with the latest collection from Gunnel´s Fashion and Caroline Azzi jewellery. The response was fantastic and already 3 days beforehand we were fully booked with a waiting list! We had a big list of sponsors that donated some lovely prizes to our charity raffle. One prize many had their eyes on was the private golf lesson with golf pro Michael Campbell.
We raised over 3000€ for Maiti Nepal at the event and both myself and Claudia were both over the moon. The aftermaths of the event has been equally great with so many thank you e-mails and phone calls along with a huge spread on social media from happy guests. It feels amazing to have such support here in Marbella. Check out our new hash tag: #maitinepalmarbella for info on upcoming events and photos from past events!
Below is an article published this week in SUR in English and a link to a TV interview with myself and Claudia on Estepona TV: Café y Thé interview
This past weekend our first fund raising event for Maiti Nepal took place. We were invited to join the Swedish Church in both Fuengirola and Marbella for their Sunday service. It was such a beautiful day filled with many fantastic and genuine people.
We started at 11 am in Fuengirola, the main home for the Swedish church on the Costa del Sol. Even though this Sunday was the important skiing race, Vasaloppet on TV, live from Mora in Sweden, the church was almost full. The service went on for about one hour in which we gave an introduction of what Maiti Nepal stands for and how they help in the fight against human trafficking. We also enjoyed beautiful live music and the priest gave a nice ceremony. We had a fantastic response after the service with questions and interest. It felt very rewarding and the collection from the day was more than double of that on a normal Sunday. Thank you all so much for the support!
From there we raced down to Restaurante El Gamonal in La Quinta for the Marbella service, together with priest Michael and his wife Lena who plays the piano and has an amazing voice. In Marbella there will be a church ceremony held every 14 days. The number of visitors were higher than expected so we had to get extra chairs brought out for everyone to have a seat. Again a great service with lovely response and we had the pleasure of listening to my friend Peet Rothwell ( www.peetasbuble.com ) singing two songs from Michael Bublé. Especially the song “I wanna go home” gave a beautiful message to the audience. The wish of all the young women and children that are held as sex slaves somewhere out there, is to be able to go home. Together we can help make that dream come true for some of them .
Donations can be made on: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/marianne-steneholm
Today on the very first of January 2017, I want to tell you about my project for this year, so please take the time to read my story below donation link. I have big hopes in my ability to make a difference for these girls. I also want you to know that I will go to Maiti Nepal’s shelters and meet the girls and show you where your money has been used. I will prove to you all that any gesture of kindness, no matter how small, will make a huge difference in someone’s life. Help by donating on: We can’t help everyone but everyone can help someone
The cruel reality is that more than 15,000 women and children a year are trafficked from Nepal and 150-300,000 Nepalese girls are currently estimated to be in brothels in India. 7- 24 years of age and servicing up to 50 men/day. Most are kept in cages. Maiti Nepal funder, Anuradha Koirala, has dedicated her life to these victims and her achievements so far are truly admirable.
Maiti Nepal focus on prevention of girl trafficking . They raid brothels to rescue victims. 496 traffickers have been convicted due to Maiti Nepals legal efforts. They go to jail for up to 18 years. Maiti Nepal also try to educate civilians as well as the police force in the high risk areas. They rehabilitate the victims and teach them new income-generation skills such as bead work, sewing, horticulture, furniture making, baking and cooking and they are provided shelter until they are ready to stand on their feet.
Maiti Nepal currently operate 12 intervention posts in the border areas to rescue the girls before reaching their end destination and with help from rescued girls, they can find the routes used and help recognize traffickers. The cost to operate a border transit home for one year is 20.000$ but the impact it makes is worth every penny.
I say: Stop Human Trafficking! If you have access to read this post, you have the means and possibility to make a difference.
“Take every child as your own daughter, and soon you will see her sorrow and then you will feel the strength that comes out of you to protect them” – Anuradha Koirala
For those of you who don’t know, Triple A is an animal rescue organization taking care and rehoming homeless animals, mainly dogs. Not all of us are able to adopt another pet but I recently found out that we can still help. How? Through years of hard work they have now a strong colaboration with Germany, Finland and also Sweden. Many of the dogs and cats find new foster homes there. These animals need to fly to their new family and can of course not travel alone. Meet Dock, a pit bull that has spent several years at Triple A shelters and now just been adopted by a Swedish family. When I anyway was flying to Sweden I offered to bring Dock along to his new home. It was a very easy experience. Triple A added a dog to my booking and they brought him to Malaga airport and helped with the check in there. All I had to do was pick him up at bagage claim in Stockholm, take him through customs, showing his passport and out to the arrival hall, where a very excited family was waiting for their new family member. It was a great feeling to see this happy ending for Dock as he walked off into his new future of love.