Piglets-for-Girls Bargain Saves Thousands

Nepalese spared from slavery, sent to school by non-profit program
By Sam Biddle,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 22, 2008 4:53 PM CDT
A California woman is spearheading a mission to donate piglets to poor Nepalese families who might otherwise sell a daughter into slavery to get by.   (Getty Images)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – An American’s plan to keep poor Nepalese families from selling daughters into slavery by offering them pigs has saved thousands of girls in the Himalayan country, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The non-profit founded by Olga Murray gives pigs (which, grown, fetch the same $35-75 buyers would pay for a girl) in exchange for promises the girls will be sent to school.

The Nepalese Youth Opportunity Foundation also pays for the girls’ schooling, and estimates 3,000 have been saved in the original village—and there are plans to expand. “Local schools are full of former kamlaris (girl slaves), and the size of the classrooms are swollen, and girls are outnumbering boys," a Murray colleague says. "We've already built over 35 new classrooms, but the need is still not fully met."