Success Stories

(All the names in the case study are changed name as per the publication rule and keeping in confidentiality of the client)

Anu

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My name is Anu (name changed). I am 17 years old. I live in SataKhani VDC Surkhet. I was born in a poor family. I have father, mother and two younger brothers. My house is situated in a poor community. I have to walk for an hour to reach school. All across my house there is a dense forest. In order to fill a bucket of water, I have to walk for an hour. As the economic condition of my family was poor, I used to look after the household since I was five years old. I used to cook food as well as look after my brothers. I used to clean all around my house then only I could manage to go to the school. As both of my parents used to work as a daily laborer, they always had a hard time to manage all the expenses of the house. For all of these reasons, I had to leave the school after grade seven. I was some time tired and depressed looking at the condition of my house, as I had to stay hungry lots of the times. I always used to think how to become a successful person. I always wished to study hard and bring happiness to my parents. One day I met my best friend named Sabitri. We both had a similar kind of problems. We both used to think how we could earn lots of money in a short time. Then, we came to know about one man in our village who used to send girls like us to Kuwait free of cost. I told about it to my parents that made them very happy. It was like an icing to the cake as we were going abroad to work which cost nothing.  My neighbors felt bit suspicious about it and requested us to think well. However, there were many instances where women had earned a lot after coming back from the Kuwait. On 14/1/2064, that man took us to Kohalpur to India.

I was so excited on the way. My parents also were very happy that I was going abroad for employment. For that day, we stayed in that man’s house in Kohalpur. That man said that it was very hard to take us to Kuwait from there so we were again shifted to Mumbai. We spent about 2/3 months in Mumbai and Delhi India. That man instructed us not to say anything about them and ourselves if asked by anyone. While we were leaving for Kuwait from India, we all were lined up in an airport. After seeing us there, staffs of “Maiti Nepal rescue committee” started to question us regarding our country of origin, who brought us here and other important information. We replied by saying all the things except indicating the person who had taken us there. We were so scared of him. We were taken to the office of Maiti Nepal in Mumbai. Then only I realized that I was trafficked and regretted the decisions that I took. Then, we were shifted to our own country. All the way along, I cried on the fate that I had. After reaching the Maiti Nepal office in Kathmandu, they asked my home address. After we told them our addresses, they send the letters to our parents. We could not imagine what might have been going on with our family members as they have many hopes. We felt that, our parents would have been waiting for our calls anticipating that we will work in the foreign country and earn lots of money. While receiving the letter saying that we were almost trafficked and are in Kathmandu, my parents cried a lot. This incident was spread all over the village. Consequently, it was very impossible to survive in the community that we left earlier. I had no idea what was to be done.

In this process, I was referred to Aawaaj by Maiti Nepal. Through a good friend of mine named Tika Pokharel who was an active member of The CSM (Community Support Mechanism) formulated by Aawaaj. The members of Aawaaj counseled my parents about the consequences of trafficking and other issues. In this process, my parents were also called to Aawaaj. In this process, the staffs of Aawaaj suggested many good things to my parents. They explained the basic rights of the children like spending much time with their parents and having the right to study and about other facilities. In this process, if a child is deprived of these basic rights then there is a greater risk of vulnerabilities like trafficking. They clearly indicated that it is not a fault of the children for being trafficked. Aawaaj also gave us lots of other suggestion regarding the ways to make the income of the family high, which would help to get the maximum benefits.

While I was in Surkhet, every thing was spread all around the community and they had started to stigmatize us. The community started to label us as a bad immoral girls returning from the Bombay brothels. While we were at the village, the people used to tease us saying different things. Now, I am free from the possible danger and I have opportunity to make my future bright. However, Aawaaj through its Community support mechanisms and its network with the schools facilitated us to reintegrate in our community.

Reeta

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Reeta (name changed) was born in Dehradun, India in middle class family as an eldest daughter of her parents. As she said, she finished her education up to grade 2 at India.She was very interested in studies since childhood so  she  passed her grade 2 in India and came to Nepal to continue her further studies from grade 3. She got admitted in grade 3 here in Nepal. She expressed her feelings that she was very happy to go to school with her brother and sister. She said that she motivates  her brother sister to study well by saying they get love and become a successful person one day. Though her parents are uneducated they  always motivate her to study well.  Her father is a driver and mother does business. They always priorities their children’s demand. This was always a motivatingand exciting  factor for her to continue studies.

I am continuing my studies up to grade 8 by passing every exams in a good rank up to now. One day, while i was going to school on the way to Bi. Na. Na. Paa-5, Ganesh Chowk, one boy teased me by telling foul words but i did not respond took my own way. The following day, the same boy waited for me while going to and coming from school. I started to escape from him. He  followed  me stating that he loves me. This activity was repeating for 5 to 6 days. Then i was mentally disturbed. Then, i was not interested in my studies and i started to fear and did not wanted to go to school then after. One day i got to know that he was waiting for me and i escaped .Another day , when i was returning from tuition class he called  me . I was frightened and he said that he wanted to marry me holding my hands. I told him to leave me. I said, i did not like him at all and tried to escape. In return, he warned me that if i did not marry him he will kill me. He called his two friends in that time.He blocked my mouth  and i could not even cry. He and his two friends kidnapped me. They took me to that boy’s relatives. I stayed with an old woman. She asked me various questions bit i did not reply anything except that she came with her consent for marriage. As i was warned by that boy i did not explain about my condition. Next day, we were preparing to move to Dailekh and i was pretending to flee and said that everything that has happened is fine now and  would talk to my parents for  our marriage. I ran away from that boy as soon i saw my parents I expressed my pain crying to Aawaaj that the boy ruined my life by misbehaving, interfering and putting  my prestige down. Aawaaj staffs said nothing to my words may be to make me relief from my pain. They just left me to cry. Then after a moment, one of the staff counseled me by saying that it is not my fault. She said that i am not going to lose my prestige. It is the fault of that boy who has misbehaved you and have lost his presitge now. I too agreed on her statement.She provided me a book of important informations which contained the safety measures for adolescence girls. I was informed about these topics through the book. Also,  i got to know about child rights and sexual violence reading that book .This enhanced my confidence level. I felt that i had no faults. I also got to know about child rights and law and order formulated against these activities.The boy got to know that I came to Aawaaj to express my feelings. Then he stopped following me then after. Aawaaj staffs convinced that boy. He too accepted that he has done this mistake. He apologised for what he has done and said he would never repeat this again. Aawaaj staffs also explained about the various forms of violence that women are facing. He gave his strong committment that he would never misbehave other women sisters. Now, i go to school freely. I too shared about sexual violences with my friends at school. I have even started to counsel my friends if they openly share their problems with me and recommend them to visit Aawaaj.

Khagendra

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Khagendra is 12 years old now. He is the first child of his parents and was healthy when born. His parents were really happy as he was their first child. They used to get happy and excited, while as a toddler he used to walk around the house.  However, his parents were facing lots of health problems. His father is suffering from mental retardation as a result he could not hear well. His mother is also suffering from paralysis and could not walk since longtime.  From his early childhood there was no one eligible to look after him at his home. As a result of that his feet got into fire while he was playing in the kitchen. In the most of the villages in Nepal there is no trend for the medical check up. For a long time his parents focused on herbal medicines and traditional practices to cure his feet. This made his feet got worse day by day. Later, he could not walk at all. Other children of his village used to go to the school but he could not even walk. He shares it in grief “Even I wanted to go to school like them but, I could not walk at all and school used to be very far from my house.”

He spent his ten years this way until one day when his father visited his sister in Surkhet; he came to know that Aawaaj provides a non formal education to the physically challenged children. He instantly visited the organization and enquired about the program. Aawaaj also helped Khagendra to provide with the identity card from Physically Impaired Association (PIA). While he came to Surkhet he was send to one of the health camp, where he was checked and referred to the hospital in Kathmandu. Looking at the economical condition of his family he was provided with the free medical check-up in H.R.D Banepa, a hospital, adjoining to Kathmandu. Receiving the information that he will receive free operation at the hospital he happily shared, “Now even, I would be able to walk and go to school like others.”  Aawaaj provided them the travel expenses and requesting the hospital to provide them other logistic support.

After a month of his operation he was able to walk with the help of walking stick.  He was found very happy this time when he visited Aawaaj. This is how he shared his happiness “I needed help  to go inside my room and come out, but now with the help of this walking stick, I can go where ever I want, today I have got a new life” . Happiness of his parents were unlimited, earlier they had to carry him all the time but now they can leave him independently. Khagendra now wanted to study so his parents decided to migrate to Surkhet for his bright future.  Aawaaj provided him scholarship and was enrolled in grade one in a local Saraswoti Primary School. Along with the scholarship he also got all the educational materials that he need. He was found brilliant at studies and was enthusiastic to learn new things at school. Looking at his learning attitude, all the teachers were impressed. He shares what he knows with all his class mates and shows the copies, bags and other materials that he has received at Aawaaj with pride.

After his operation he has been helping his mother with the house hold. In addition to that, he wants to be a teacher and educate children at the village level. Lastly, he shares “If I had not got the opportunity of the operation of my feet, I could not have been able to do anything. I would like to thank Aawaaj for support and care, which has given me a new life”.

Dhana Sari Nepali

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Dhana Sari Nepali is 14 years old is and is the fourth child of her parents, she lives in Surkhet with her family. She has other eight sisters and a brother with parents making a large family of 12. Her parents are local farmers from earning it normal living makes possible. The land they have was not enough, so her father also used to work in others farm too. As a part of a tradition, and a culture to have a son, her family also had nine daughters before having a son.

When she was born, her health was in a sound condition. As per daily activity, her mother used to go to the forest to collect woods and sell it to earn some living. Like every day, her mother left her with other daughters while she went to forest. She was only 6 months then. Her sisters were all out playing outside, thinking that Dhana Sari was asleep. Unfortunately, her one foot got into fire while she was playing. She cried for a long time, a neighbour came to rescue. Fortunately, she was saved but her one foot was all burnt. Her foot became too bad that she could not walk at all. Her parent's economical condition was not in a good condition to provide her with medical treatment. As a result, she became physically weak. As she could not step at all, her parents or sisters helped around her. Looking at her condition her parents used to say, "how would she pass this long life of hers with this challenge!”

One day some foreigners arrived in her village who said that they would treat her leg. With the help of International Nepal Fellowship (INF) Surkhet, she went to Hariyo Kharka hospital in Pokhara, where her leg was treated. The treatment process lasted a month and she was provided with the artificial leg. After the treatment she could at least walk on her own.
As she grew older, the size of her feet also increased as a result the artificial leg no longer fit her. It was also quite impossible for her parents to provide other artificial feet. "I had two challenges one that I was physically weak and another, my parents were poor other wise I could have gone to school like other children" She says.

When she was 9 years old, she knew about Non-formal education (NFE) classes for the adolescent girls run by Aawaaj. She was interested in NFE and she joined the class. She was marked as the most regular and obedient student. In the NFE program, she learned about other issues like child rights, legal rights, child sexual abuse, misbehave, and trafficking. As her condition was reported to Aawaaj, she was invited to the office. After linkage with INF again, she was provided with another artificial feet. And now she could walk properly again.
After finishing her NFE classes and looking at her interest and condition, she was provided with the scholarship and enrolled in grade 2. She has been getting support regularly and now she is in grade 6.  As she made progress in her studies, her parents and sisters are happy for her. She can now teach what she learnt in school and Aawaaj, that adds happiness to her.

As that time, her family had been facing extreme poverty. In addition to that, her father in frustration started to consume alcohol and abuses the family especially her mother. While taking the NFE classes in Aawaaj she knew many issues about the domestic violence and Violence against women and children. She said to her mother "We have to raise voice against these issues and go to Aawaaj to complain". "These situations made me feel really bad", she added.  These situations got worse as one day while her parents were fighting; her father's physical abuse crossed all his limits as he nearly hit her mother with a Knife. She fled and took refuse in Aawaaj's temporary safe house for 4 days.  As my father knew this, he also went to India for work. This made the situation quite normal and her mother returned.
Analyzing the progress of Dhana Sari, her Principal of KOPILA primary school says" Almost all the students came out in the school from the NFE classes are found to be disciplined and hard working".  He added that she is also hard working. She shares information and materials that she get in Aawaaj with other friends. She has also made contact of her sister to Aawaaj who was about to drop out from the school and Aawaaj helped her to get the scholarship.

Now she feels that though she is physically challenged she could perform normally like others. She has not yet faced any discrimination from others based on her condition. She added, "As I have this challenge my parents say that I have to study so that I will be able to do lots of things". "I would also want to study hard and become a doctor one day".