Edition: Fall 2019
MOTHER SPOTLIGHT: Sunita chaudhary
Sundari Chaudary is a Sahara Mother’s Group member and like many Nepali women, she is unclear how old she is. Maybe 38 years old? She lives in Ghadawa Rual Municipality-5, Parnaha. She has six members in her family: two sons who are 18 and 16 years old; 1 daughter 6 years old; a husband; a mother-in-law and herself.
Her older son, Kiran, originally dropped out of school in grade 9 to work as a labourer due to financial problems in the family, but is now learning how to be a driver. Her younger son, Parbin, attends Chainpur Higher Secondary School and is presently in grade 9. Sundari’s daughter, Prijma, attends Shuvatara English Boarding School and Sundari’s husband, Khojiram, helps her with all her businesses.
Sundari supports her own children to go to school but receives support from Creating Possibilities Nepal (CP) for the Sickle Cell Anemia Program. Prijma had been sick for a long time, so when Sundari learned about sickle cell anemia at a mothers group informational talk and Prijma’s symptoms matched, she took her daughter to the hospital for a screening test. The results came back positive and her daughter was officially diagnosed with sickle cell anemia. Soon after her daughter started to take the free medicine supplied by the government and now, today, Prijma is healthy. These days, however, Sundari pays for her daughter’s medication (Rs60/month) and receives private care on her own because travel by bus to the government hospital costs Rs300. Prijma continues to be followed by UBC medical students with each year’s visit. It was four years ago when Sundari joined the Sahara Mother’s Group and two years ago when she learned about sickle cell anemia. A lot has improved since then.
In addition, Sundari has learned about business and vegetable farming from the mothers group. Each month she deposits Rs100 into the mothers group’s microcredit. Three years ago she took out a loan of Rs.15000 to start her vegetable farm. After great success and paying this loan back, Sundari took out another loan to open a small shop. From the profits of selling her vegetables and other items in her shop, she is now proud owner of a fish and chicken farm too! She will receive baby chicks and small fish fry in the winter to sell at a later date for profit when they’re bigger.
Sundari grew up as a bonded labourer where she looked after buffalo, cleaned the rich man’s home, took care of their baby, and cut and carried wood from the forest for cooking. She lived in that house in Ghorahi and was very sad. Her face fell as we talked about this time in her life and one can tell that she is still very sad. There were many words left unspoken. Then, one day, Sundari got married. She still did labour work but now lived in her own home. Now she worked as a homemaker, cut crops and built bridges.
Today, she no longer works as a labourer. She is her own boss and nobody owns her. She is a business woman! She has money to send her children to school, has good food to eat, owns her own house, owns her own land and, most importantly, owns her own life. She has freedom and happiness. Her whole family helps with the farm, and they are healthy and happy now too. Life is good!
By: Joanne March (Volunteer)
student SPOTLIGHT: BARSHA bhusal
Barsha Bhusal is 17 years old. She studies in grade 9 at Buddha Jyoti School. She is getting support since 6 years. She is a good and hardworking student and she wants to study up to bachelor level.
She has a quiet nature. Barsha's life was not easy. When she was small, her parents used to go India for labor work. She used to stay with her old grandmother. Her father was drunkard and her mother was sick. Her parents used to fight and quarrel all the time.
Her mother felt many difficulties all the time. Her father still goes to India for labor work. Due to illness problem, her mother cannot work. She does all households’ works. Her small sister studies, with the help of a neighbour, and she also works in the neighbour's home. In this way their life is running.
Barsha feels very lucky that she got opportunity to study even in such poor conditions. She likes the stationary items provided by us. She expresses that she won't face the big difficulties that her parents do because she is going to school. She is grateful for this opportunity to study. By: Deepa (Empowerment Through Education - Field Coordinator)
9 WINE & PIE
holistic business women’s conference
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