Women Entrepreneurs Affected during Nepal Lockdown
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 throughout the years.
One day, Anjana learned about the My Business My Freedom Program. She received her first loan and used the money to rent a room where she could repair old and torn shoes and sell new ones as well. She slowly grew her business and was earning a steady monthly income. After eight to nine months from her first loan, she was able to pay it off and took a second loan.
With the new amount, she expanded her cobbler shop and added new pairs of shoes. Both Anjana and her husband work at the shop repairing shoes. With this new steady income, they were able to send their kids to school while still having enough to manage household expenses. She understands the importance of education and will do whatever she can to help her children have a bright future. However, due to the lockdown, her shop was locked for half a year, and left her still with her loan to repay. The lockdown severely affected her family, that she could not even feed her family two meals a day. She feels bad being unable to pay off her debt. Lockdown has lifted in most places in Nepal and she hopes to build up her business again and be able to pay off her debt and be able to support her family again.
For now, she works as a gardener, cutting grass at other people’s house and gets 50 rupees (less than 1 AUD) for a doko (basket) of grass she cuts. She can cut about four dokos of grass a day. Like her, many women who have received loans from My Business My Freedom Program have been directly impacted by the pandemic and the lockdown restrictions. These women are resilient and rely on the Women’s Group that they are part of in their region to encourage and help each other out when needed. Now that Nepali people are working hard to get back on track with their lives, we and our partners will be there to support them and help them get back on their feet again.
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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.
Many Filipino families continue to suffer from the harsh consequences of prolonged lockdown in the country. Sadly, many of these parents are pushed to their limits and resort to exploitation (of their own children) as a means to earn a living.
Womokyid, 29, lives in the province with her family and aging parents. When she was younger, her father had an accident at work leaving him unable to work. Because of this, Womokyid had to stop school so she can help her mother take care of her father and earn income for their family. Now that she has a family of her own, her desire is to start a small restaurant of her own so can take care of her family while also earning a stable income.
Fujie, 44, is a single mother. She raised her son alone after her husband has left home many years ago. Her biggest regret was not being able to send her son to school to complete his studies. She hopes to be of help in any way she can.
Quijangtso first applied in the Husky Energy Tailoring Skills Program for Women in 2019 with the recommendation of the project coordinator and teachers. Faced with a lot of challenges, Quijangtso did not back down and continued to persevere.