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Case Studies

Stories from the Field: Socioeconomic Empowerment Program for Women and Marginalized (SEWAM)

"I feel so proud of myself that I can support my family." says Jamuna

Jamuna Bartaula, aged 43 is a member of Milijuli women group. Her family consists of 5 her two daughters, one son and her husband. Her husband works as a farmer. Jamuna was not allowed to go outside the house and show her participation in any discussions/ trainings. She was not allowed to give her opinion; even if she tried give it was ignored. She used to take loan from others for household expenses where she had to pay high interest. 

After being involved in Milijuli Women Group she participated various trainings like animal husbandry, mushroom, doll making and vegetable farming. After attending the trainings and group meetings Jamuna confidence was enhanced. Jumuna was allowed to attend trainings / meetings if it was organized in the community. A gender equality awareness program was organized in the community where Jamuna convinced her husband to participate and he did. After participating in the awareness program, Jamuna's husband now encourages and allows Jamuna to participate meetings and trainings that are organized outside the community.

Jamuna took loans from the trust fund to initiate vegetable farming, rice cultivation and for raising cows. Jamuna's initiative has been supported by her husband. Her vegetable farming and cow business is doing well. Excluding all the expenses she saves Rs. 25,000 every month.

After being involved in women group, she manages her household expenditures with the profit she makes and is able to send her children to study in good school. "I feel so proud of myself that I can support my family" says Jamuna. She believes that the SEWAM program has changed her life completely and now encourages other women to be a part of this group too. She is also thankful to WPD- Nepal and World Accord for providing her bicycle to do vegetable farming business which has made her easier. Also, women in the group believe in her continuous hard work.

 

"Getting trainings and loans on low interest gave me confidence me to start my own business", says Kriti Lama.

Kriti Lama, age 28 lives in Kumroj, Chitwan. Her family consists of 4 members which includes her two children and her husband. They had a difficult life as her husband and herself worked as a daily wage laborers and could not earn enough to feed the family. They used to take loans in the village in a very high interest.

Before becoming a member of Srijana Women group she was a shy person with very low confidence. She hesitated to speak in front of others.  The motivator of WPD Nepal encouraged Kriti to join the women group. After joining the group she participated in various trainings such as poultry farming, bamboo chair making, literacy classes, cornerstone training and women reproductive health. 

After receiving various trainings Kriti was confident to take loans from the trust fund and started buffalo raising and goat raising business.  She got encouraged to start her own business taking loans from the trust fund in low interest. Today Kriti has her own small house and saves Rs. 20,000 every month.

Kriti shares, "Getting trainings and loans on low interest gave me confidence to start my own business". Today, she is a confident and independent woman who is contributing to her family as much as her husband. Kriti thanks her supporters World Accord and Women for Peace and Democracy Nepal who motivated her to become a self-dependent woman.

 

Marni Devi Sada shares, "Now, I feel that we should all work for building our community."

Marni Devi Mahara, aged 55 is a member of Puja women group. Her family consists of 6 members who include her husband, her two sons, her two daughter-in-laws and a grandson. Her husband used to work as a laborer and Marni as a house wife. With the limited amount of money her husband earned, it was difficult for them to fulfill basic requirements. Whenever they were in need of money, they used to ask loans with the villagers in higher interest rate.

Before joining the Puja women group, s Marni was very shy and introvert. She hesitated to speak in front of others. She had no skills nor received any training.  After joining the group, Marni participated in trainings and awareness programs, which made her confident enough to speak up her mind and even raise her voice against discriminations and women violence. She received trainings on literacy, cornerstone, goat raising, awareness on women health and sanitation. After the trainings, she took loans from the trust fund and has started goat raising. Today, Marni Devi is very satisfied and happy as she is able to earn for her household expenses as well as is encouraged to do something for the community. She shares, "Now, I feel that we should all work for building our community." She extends her heartfelt gratitude towards all her supporters WPD-Nepal and World Accord for the life changing support.

 

"If women are given opportunities they can make a difference as well", says Bhagwati Upreti..

Bhagwati Uprety age 32, Kumroj, Chitwan had a troubled life. Her husband worked in the field as a laborer and didn’t earn enough to support the family. Bhagwati had no work and lived as a housewife. They had difficulty fulfilling their family's basic needs. They usually ended up borrowing money from the villagers who usually charged them huge interests.

Bhagwati had no special skills and moreover she had no confidence to do something on her own until she became a part of Milijuli women group. After becoming a member of the group she received various trainings like organic farming, animal husbandry, incense sticks and women health. After receiving those trainings, Bhagwati felt confident to initiate small scale business.

Bhagwati took loans from the trust fund and started goat raising, vegetable farming and cow farming. Today she earns approximately Rs. 25000 in a month and she is very happy that she can meet the household needs and can send her children to school.

Bhagwati shares, "If women are given opportunities they can make a difference as well".She says that she feels so proud of herself when she looks at her happy family and thanks World Accord and WPD Nepal for believing on her.

 

"My life would still be full of struggles and hardships if I hadn’t joined the Phulbari women group”, says Reeta Theeng.

Reeta Theeng, age 32 lives in Makwanpur district and is a member of Phulbari Women Group of Handikhola village. Her family consists of five members, which includes her two sons, a daughter and  mother-in-law. Four years ago, Reeta Theeng’s husband left her for other women. Reeta belonging to the minor community and also not having any skills had to face a lot of difficulties. Having no support from her husband, it was difficult for Reeta to feed her children and mother in law. She worked as a laborer, which is usually a seasonal job. Due to her bad financial situation, she could not get loans even if she was ready to pay back with high interest. Reeta was an introvert and always hesitated to speak in front of others.

"My life would still be full of struggles and hardships if I hadn’t joined the Phulbari women group " says Reeta. Reeta says that her life has changed after joining this group. She shares, “After receiving various trainings like goat raising, animal husbandry, awareness on health and hygiene and doll making, I am now confident to do something on my own”.

Reeta Theeng took loans from the trust fund and started vegetable farming, which is running very well.  Today, Reeta is a confident and independent woman. She is able to manage the household expenditure on her own. reeta says " I have left my past behind me, and this was all possible due to SEWAM program”. She promises to continue to work and inspire other women in her village to work and become independent. She thanks her supporters; World Accord and WPD-Nepal for help and support she has received.

 

“I used to feel my future was dark but now I can see it bright, no one knew me before but today everyone respects me." Says Anju Budhathoki

Anju Budhathoki aged 22, is a member of Kailashpuri Women Group since. She lives with her husband. She got married at the age of 16. Due to her early marriage could not complete her studies.

After Anju became a member of the group, she got the opportunity to take tailoring training. After the training she started her tailoring work at her house. After few months attended advance tailoring training and has become a very perfect tailor in the community. Today she not only runs her own tailoring shop and hires staff but also gives trainings in and outside the community. Anju, she earns monthly net Rs. 25,000.

 “I used to feel my future was dark but now I can see it bright, no one knew me before but today everyone respects me." says Anju Budhathoki. She is thankful to WPD-Nepal and World Accord for giving her the opportunity and all the support.

 

Anu says, "Thank you, for helping me to get the skills and to become independent and serve my family"

Anu Budathoki, aged 32 is a member of Kailashpuri women group formed under SEWAM program. She got married at the age of 17. Her husband works as a laborer overseas. Before joining the group, Anu had tough times. After her husband left the country, she had to take care of her house alone. Anu didn’t had any skills to initiate generate income generating activities. When she was in need of money she had to go and request for loans where they charged higher interest.

Anu shares, "I had no idea how a women group worked. I always wanted to be a part of a women group but I was too shy to step forward". One of the members of the group encouraged Anu to join the groupAnu's life took a positive turn when she joined the Kailashpuri women group. Anu took part in various trainings like organic farming, pig raising and tailoring. Anu loved the tailoring work and decided to do the tailoring business and support her family. After the training she took a loan from the trust fund and bought a tailoring machine. Today she is actively involved in tailoring business. She earns Rs. 25,000 – 30,000 in a month. Anu is happy as now she doesn’t have to ask for loans from others in her village and can feed her family and send children to school. Anu says, "Thank you, for helping me to get the skills and to become independent and serve my family"

 

Stories from the field:  Nepal Earthquake Rebuilding Program (NERP)

"If women become independent then no one can humiliate them moreover, will gain respect not only from the family but from the community as well" says Som Maya

Som Maya Tamang aged 42, lives in Bhotshipa, Sindhupalchowk. There are 7 members in her family; ;  father-in-law, mother-in-law, husband and 3 daughters. Living in a patriarchal society, Som Maya was a victim of domestic violence. Her in-laws and her husband used to beat and torture her everyday because she could not give birth to a boy.

After the devastating earthquake WPD-Nepal provided quick relief to the people of Bhotsipa, Sindhupalchowk. After feeling the need and importance of community development in order to help people like Som Maya, WPD Nepal formed Milijuli women group.  Som Maya became the member of the group and participated in trainings like cornerstone, adult education, poultry farming and goat raising provided under Nepal Earthquake Rebuilding Program (NERP) by WPD Nepal. She also attends monthly group meetings and does monthly savings.  "The education and trainings have enhanced my knowledge and I feel more confident" says Som Maya.

Today, Som Maya works as an office aid in the community. As she has started earning money, her husband has started appreciating her. Som Maya shares that her daughters are getting better education because she started to work. And she started to work after getting confidence from all the confidence building activities of NERP program. Som Maya comes from a society where preference is given to boy child but today she has been successful to change the mind set of her family. Som Maya believes that she has also become one of the important members of the group and supports to strengthen the group.  "If women become independent then no one can humiliate them moreover, will gain respect not only from the family but from the community as well" says Som Maya. Som Maya extends gratitude to WPD Nepal and HOPE International for supporting her to become a better person and promises to continue to work harder and motivate other marginalized and deprived women in the community. 

 

"If the NERP program wouldn't have been introduced in our village, the condition of the women of our village would have never changed. Thank you all for making this possible" says Rama Mijar

Rama Mijar, age 43 lives in Sipapokhare, Sindhupalchowk. She works as a daily wage laborer. Rama and her family’s life completely changed after the earthquake of April 25th, 2015. Rama’s house was completely damaged by the earthquake along with her food and clothes. They had to live under the open sky.

After the earthquake, WPD Nepal supported her family with emergency shelters such as food, clothes medicine and tarpaulins. Later Rama was supported with a shelter home. WPD-Nepal also introduced Nepal Earthquake Rebuilding Program (NERP) in her village and formed “Makhamali Women Group”. Rama is one of the members of the group. After being in this group she participated in trainings like cornerstone, literacy, goal raising and organic vegetable farming.  Rama took loans from the trust fund and started goat raising. Today Rama's goat raising business is running well. She is happy that she can meet her household expenses from the profit from goat raising.

She thanks WPD-Nepal and Hope International Development Agency for the support.  Rama says, "If the NERP program wouldn't have been introduced in our village, the condition of the women of our village would have never changed. Thank you all formaking this possible".

 

If we were not in the group, we would not be, running a good poultry business, thank you for helping us to become what we are today”., says Biru Maya Tamang 

Man Maya Tamang age 55 and Biru Maya Tamang age 58 are resident of Shivapuri-7, Sunkhani, who have started a poultry farm in partnership. Their life was full of hardships and problems before they joined NERP women group. On April 25, 2015 both Manmaya and Birumaya lost their shelter. They were compelled to stay under open sky without food, water. When WDP-Nepal came to help them with food, clothes and tarpaulins they saw a ray of hope. WDP-Nepal supported them by making a temporary shelter as well in which they today happily reside. Later they also became a member of Laligurans women group. 

Both Man Maya and Biru Maya participated in cornerstone training and adult education program. The trainings empowered and motivated Man Maya Tamang and Biru Maya Tamangto start a joint small poultry business. On February 22, 2017 Man Maya Tamang took a loan of Rs. 14,520 and Biru Maya Tamang took a loan of Rs. 10,000 and they together started poultry farming. The business gave them a profit of Rs. 98,000. Today they have set an example as business partners in their village. Birmaya says, “If we were not in the group, we would not be, running a good poultry business, thank you for helping us to become what we are today”.., says Biru Maya Tamang.  Birumaya and Manmaya thanks WDP-Nepal and HOPE International Development for the support.

 

"I never thought being able to write my name on a paper would give me so much hope and confidence to do something in my life". says Budh Maya BK.

Budh Maya BK, age 53, lives Kuwapani, Sindhupalchowk. Her family consists of four members which includes her husband and two sons.

Budh Maya and her family lost everything to the devastating earthquake of April 25th, 2015. Their house was completely destroyed by the earthquake along with all her food and clothes. Budh Maya was supported with a shelter home and later also became the member of Makhamali Women Group formed under Nepal Earthquake Rebuilding Program (NERP). Budh Maya today lives happily in the shelter home with her family and she believes that her life has transformed after being a part of the women group.

Budh Maya received Cornerstone Training which she believes gave her inspiration to look at the positive side of life. She shares, "After receiving the Cornerstone training, I realized the importance of helping one another and more importantly helping ourselves". After the Cornerstone Training, Budh Maya took the three month Adult Education classes which helped her gain more confidence on herself. She shares, "I never thought being able to write my name on a paper would give me so much hope and confidence to do something in my life".

Budh Maya after having the determination to do something took a loan from the trust fund and started goat raising. She says," I never thought I would do anything other than labor work in this life. Thank You NERP for giving me the confidence and for the support to start something on my own". Budh Maya is really happy today and she plans to continue with goat raising business in the future as well. Budh Maya  shares "This NERP program has taught us that no matter how hard the circumstances are, if we believe in ourselves we can always have a fresh start". Budh Maya extends her gratitude to the supporters Hope International Development Agency (HIDA) and WPD-Nepal for all the support.

 

"I feel so proud of myself that I am able to support my family and bring smiles to their faces" says Man Maya Tamang.

Man Maya Tamang, 32 year old lives in Bhotsipa , Sindhupalchowk. Her family consists of 6 members which includes her three daughters, a son and her husband. Man Maya and her husband both used to work as laborers. Even though they both worked hard every day still it was difficult to run the family with the money they earned.

The devastating earthquake of April 25th, 2015 took away the little they had (food and clothes). They lost everything making them live under the open sky.  Man Maya shares, "I never felt so hopeless in my life. I saw my children suffering from hunger and shelter and I was helpless". Man Maya was relieved when WPD-Nepal conducted a relief camp in her village and provided her with emergency relief materials like rice, tarpaulins, medicine and clothes. Man Maya started to live under the tarpaulins after that. Though, Man Maya started working as a laborer in others agriculture farm  the constant sorrow of not having a home troubled her.

Manmaya happiness knew no bounds when she was provided with a shelter home through Nepal Earthquake Rebuilding Program (NERP). Man Maya shares, "To have my own home and not live under the tarpaulins anymore was like a dream come true for me".  Man Maya joined the Milijuli Women Group formed under NERP program.  After joining the group Man Maya received participated in literacy classes and in trainings like cornerstone, poultry farming, organic vegetable farming, goat raising and awareness program on climate change.

After participating in the trainings Man Maya took a loan from the trust fund to start poultry farming in the community. Today, Man Maya and her husband runs a very successful poultry business in Tindhara and earns approximately Rs.30, 000 every month.   Man Maya was nominated as the chair of the group and she has become an inspiration for many women in the community. "I feel so proud of myself that I am able to support my family and bring smiles to their faces" says Man Maya Tamang.

 

"Being a member of the group it has enhanced my knowledge and built up my confidence. Today I can write my name and do basic readings and calculations. Now I feel I can do something for my family like other members of the group" says Man Kumari Rokka.  .

Man Kumari Rokka, age 40 lives in Sipapokhare, Sindhupalchowk. Her family consists of 7 members, which includes her husband, two sons and one daughter. Man Kumari Rokka's house was completely destroyed by the earthquake of April 25th, 2015. Man Kumari Rokka shares, "Me and my husband are seasonal laborers and had difficulty to feed our kids and the devastating earthquake destroyed our house along with all the little food and clothes ". Man Kumari and her family had to spend numerous days out in  the open sky. Man Kumari recalls, "WPD-Nepal set an example of humanitarian work by conducting relief camps in our village and providing us with food, clothes and tarpaulin for shelter at that moment". Man Kumari was extremely happy when her family was provided with a shelter house as well.

Today, Man Kumari is a member of Makhmali women group formed by WPD Nepal. She has attended literacy classes and trainings like cornerstone, poultry farming, organic farming and goat raising conducted for the group. "Being a member of the group it has enhanced my knowledge and built up my confidence. Today I can write my name and do basic readings and calculations. Now I feel I can do something for my family like other members of the group" says Man Kumari Rokka.