Jyoti’s tea-shop has changed her whole world

My name is Jyoti, I am now a new member of one of the women’s groups in the Captivating/3AN microfinance program called My Business My Freedom in Nepal. I am married with a daughter and two sons. My husband has no source of income and work is difficult to find. I decided to start my own business so I borrowed Rs.5,000 (US$48) from a friend to start a tea-shop. I thought this would be a good way to earn money for my family.

Not long after I opened my shop, my daughter fell ill and needed medical help. This cost may family a lot and I had no money left to pay the bills. My children had to stop going to school and I had to sell the tea-shop to help pay the medical bills for my daughter.

With no income and the debt of Rs.5,000, I did not know what to do. The easy option would be for me to work as a sex worker. Although I would never want to do this, I had no other option.

Jyoti stands proudly in her shop with the My Business My Freedom program manager (sitting) always ready for support.

Then I heard about the My Business My Freedom program – a microfinance program established by 3 Angels Nepal and Captivating International, specifically existing to support women like myself who are desperate for a change and at risk of becoming victims of Human Trafficking or joining the sex industry. I knew this would be perfect for me and my family. I went through some training about budgeting, how to manage and grow a small business and how to save money. I became part of a group of women who I have found to be a great support to me. We meet regularly, encourage each other and share our highs and lows.

Andrew (Captivating CEO, seated in the middle) meets Jyoti (backrow, 2nd from left) and the women’s group she is part of.

In October 2017, I received my first loan in the My Business My Freedom program of Rs.30,000 (US$290). I feel greatly honored that this money has been entrusted to me. My tea-shop is opened and stocked with biscuits, noodles and various snacks.

My life has changed in just 3 months. I have paid back the money I owe my friend and I am so grateful that my children are back in school. I am even starting to save some money. With this program and the help that I have received, I feel confident I can keep my children stable in school and that the future of my family is looking bright.

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