Message From The Banau Team

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead

Inspired by the Stolen Innocence documentary, Elyse, Erin, and Kelly, went to Nepal with a group of professionals from San Francisco, to learn about human trafficking and participate in a 54-hr hackathon. On this trip, we worked with Shakti Samuha to learn more about the the reality, needs, and challenges of  human trafficking. We then teamed up with Sushil and Roshan, Nepali engineers from the Kathmandu chapter of Startup Weekend to brainstorm technology solutions to end trafficking.

Human trafficking survivors deal with a tremendous about of trauma, striped of their dignity, creativity, and autonomy. When we visited Shakti, we spent time in their vocational workshop, learning about their training process, admiring the jewelry, and watching the girls faces light up when they saw us “foreigners” put it on. The workshop was intended for therapeutic purposes, to give the girls a new skillset and confidence for when they reentered the world and workforce. We were blown away that with a sense of community, mastery of a trade, and the ability to make money in a healthy way, girls were empowered and happy.

We thought - what if we created an online market to sell these goods, so that the workshop was not only about learning a trade, but also generating an income.

In 2015, we started Banau - which means create in Nepali. We’re creating jobs and alternatives to human trafficking in a safe way. 100% of the profits are used to grow Shakti’s Vocational Workshop, and help them expand to teach their skills to the 24 districts around Nepal.

When you wear these items, you become a change agent, helping to expand the opportunities for trafficked survivors to thrive and help us stop more girls from falling victim to trafficking. Lets put a stop to trafficking, and help turn their tears into power.

Banau: Create. Educate. Reward. Let’s create the change together.


Based in:

San Francisco, California and Kathmandu, Nepal


Written in Nepali typography, “Banau" means "let's create." Our logo represents an empowered girl who has the choice and opportunity to create her own future. The waves represent the movement and freedom created by the trades we teach in our female-only afterschool programs.


Contact Us:

Have an issue with your purchase? Want to learn more about Banau, Nepal or get more involved with Shakti Samuha and human trafficking? Please reach out us to us over email: