How It All Started
After learning about Nepali "kamaiyas" in 1998, TURBOCAM Founder and President Marian Noronha made his first trip to Nepal in 1999 with the mission of freeing slaves and their families from their generational bondage and debt. Working with two local men, Marian freed seven families in 1999 and 35 more families in 2000. These 42 redemptions took place in Tikapur, west of Nepalgunj.
Many donors joined in the effort, and Marian purchased land and settled the ex-kamaiyas in three villages, ViswasNagar (Town of Faith), AshaNagar (Town of Hope), and PremNagar (Town of Love). Partially as a result of these redemptions, the King of Nepal banned slavery in July 2000. The government portioned off land for the former slaves called "siwirs". The U.S. Government donated $3.5 million to the Kingdom of Nepal to help in the resettling of slaves; however, conditions in the siwirs remain poor. In addition to the 42 kamaiya families he redeemed, Marian has also been working with thousands of former slaves in several siwirs in the far west region of Nepal near Dhangarhi.