Living in a Hindu country with the caste system, the women of Nepal were traditionally being oppressed. They had a far lower chance to receive education and employment than men. In the worst case, some women in the countryside had to gain permission from their husbands and in-laws for things as trivial as leaving the house, hence they were mostly bound to the kitchens and farms.
Suvamaya is a native Nepalese of the Chepang tribe, which belongs to a lower caste. She lived in a household of 7 in the Manwanpur village in the central mountain ranges of Nepal. In 2014, our partner, Share and Care, went to Suvamaya’s village to train the local women with practical skills such as basic reading and writing, math, and financial planning skills. They also raised the awareness of human trafficking among the women and encouraged them to involve in municipal services and decisions. Longing for a change, Suvamaya joined the training despite risking her punishment should her family discover what she was doing. She had to stay in the corner of the room every class to avoid being seen.
Living just across the valley from Suvamaya’s home is another beneficiary of the project, Suntali. Initially, her husband was not supportive of her taking the lessons, thinking they would not gain much from it. That changed when Suntali successfully claimed student aid for their daughter, and eventually she was even able to open a small grocery store with a small loan provided by our partner and started contributing to the family financially. Suntali was grateful to the program as it improved both her family’s living condition and her husband’s respect to her.
Suvamaya and Suntali’s lives are no longer confined to their kitchen and farm. Currently, they are both active workshop attendants and community members, working to bring even more positive changes to their families and the society.
- Pray for the project beneficiaries like Suvamaya and Suntali that they could fully live out their potential as given by the Lord; pray for more women to receive the same type of changes in their lives and to regain their value and dignity in Him.
- The project currently involves 30 churches in serving the mountain areas. Such cooperation has alerted the local government, and we pray that they could gain the trust of the government while being a great testimony to the villages.