College of Education Hosts 2010 CNN Hero of the Year

By Paula Hermann

Seattle University will welcome the 2010 CNN Hero of the Year Anuradha oira to campus later this month. An internationally recognized humanitarian, activist and lecturer, Koirala has dedicated her life to combating the sexual exploitation of women and children in Nepal.

The 62-year-old spent most of her life teaching primary school English until an abusive relationship compelled her to dedicate part of her $100 monthly teacher’s salary to open a small shop employing and supporting victims of domestic violence and sex trafficking. This began a 17-year crusade that has saved the lives of more than 12,000 women and children.

Koira is the founder and executive director of Maiti Nepal, “mother’s home,” which rescues, rehabilitates, houses and educates approximately 500 women annually at its Kathmandu campus. Her efforts have led to the arrest of numerous sex criminals, while her prevention programs have saved thousands from unfathomable inhumane circumstances. She has strengthened border programs which in 2010 alone intercepted 3,400 girls in the process of being trafficked.

Koirala has received 31 prestigious international awards for her extraordinary work including CNN Hero of the Year in 2010 and The United Nations Women’s Organization Prize.

“This is an inspirational story of a woman who has used her teaching talent and commitment to justice to save the lives of thousands of women and children,” said Sue Schmitt, dean of the College of Education. “We are honored to share her story on a campus that is committed to social justice and using our God-given talents to make a difference in our world.”

The Seattle University campus is the largest free venue where Koirala will speak while in the Northwest. The event is organized by Crooked Trails, a local non-profit organization that sponsors immersion experiences in countries throughout the world. Koirala will speak and show her one-hour documentary film, “The Day My God Died.”

WHEN: Thursday, January 19 at 7 p.m.    

WHERE: Pigott Auditorium 
             (Enter through Seattle U’s main gate, 12th/Marion. Building NW of seal)

For more information visit

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