The new 3AN/Captivating program called My Business-My Freedom has launched in Pokhara, Nepal. We are so excited to share with you that 66 women have, so far, begun the process to starting their own business. This will provide a steady income for these women and give them security to one day become truly independent and self-sustainable. Within 12 months, over 200 women will be part of this life-changing program.
So, why start this new program? Most of these women are single and have little to no income. In a place like Nepal, this leaves them highly susceptible to trafficking. Desperate for income and a future, they will easily believe the lies told to them about the prosperity and opportunity in other parts of the world. It’s many women just like these that, every year, become victims of trafficking. In fact, an estimated 15,000 – 20,000 will be trafficked in 2017. Most of these women will be lost to their families forever.
Among this group are Dalit women. Dalit people are the lowest in Nepali society and are seen as ‘untouchables’. Women in this caste are often left vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment .
Training has now begun, teaching these women how to run and grow a successful business, how to budget, and importantly, how to save money. Tailoring, poultry farming, vegetable farming and a variety of other small businesses are just some of the opportunities that await these 66 women. Groups are formed to provide support, encouragement and problem solving, and women will eventually receive a small repayable loan to commence their new businesses.
We look forward to bringing you semi-regular updates on how this program impacts the lives of these vulnerable women in the months and years ahead. Be sure to checkout our dedicated website page on how to get engaged with what we think is an incredibly trans formative program.
Dil lives with her daughter in a rural area 25 kilometers away from the city. They live in two rented rooms with a roof made up of zinc sheets. She works as a farm laborer to provide for her and her daughter.
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Anjana, 30, is married and has 2 children. Because she married at an early age of 16 with neither her or her husband having any source of income, their parents refused to support them. She felt the need to work or start her own business, but she had no means of funding. To support the family, Anjana’s husband started working at a cobbler’s place. There he earned about NPR 6,000 (AUD 65) per month, which was barely enough to provide for their rent and other basic needs. They struggled financially.
Suma Pun (28) lives with her husband and child. Her husband is 60 years old and unable to support his family. Suma joined the My Business My Freedom and with her first microloan, purchased a sewing machine to make clothes to sell.