Success Stories

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

I used to have my parents both old as well as ill. The condition of my house was very poor economically for this; I always had to struggle in my life. I had other three siblings of mine and among all I was the eldest. Being elder sister of all, I had to always take care of my brothers and sisters at home. Though we were poor and had too many responsibilities, I still had this opportunity to go to the school. My parents always helped me out with my studies at the same time I also contributed to my house. While in the socialization process in the school, I always felt like I will grow up to be a successful person at the same time I always had this motivation that I will do some thing for the betterment of the society. As I always being studious and laborer, while on the way too if I used to come across a page, book or anything I used to collect it and try to know what's written in it. I never used to be bored with the studies. I always used to give priority to the studies than the work. While in my class 5, I scores first position at my class. At that moment I really felt good and proud. This made me motivated to some extent but the bad luck started to creep in when there was no one at my house to support me financially for the further studies. My father always had a bone problems whereas my mother she had a problem of uterus. As they were both sick, they could never work and all the responsibilities came on my shoulders. In order to fulfill the necessities of the family I had to involve myself in the work. I used to work in other's houses in both the mornings and the evenings. During the school time too, I used to go to the work at the same time I also had to involve myself in the labor work in search of extra income. In spite of these entire things, I still managed to continue my studies. I used to be so enthusiastic that I used to have interest in all the works that I use to do. While I needed the educational materials, I used to take breaks and used to go to work to fulfill my necessities. I struggled like this until I reach class eight where I had my first district level examination where too I secured the first place. This helped me a lot to increase my educational level. As after scoring first position all my teachers started to like me a lot. After completing my grade 8, I had to shift my school, as there was not grade 9 in my school. This became another challenge for me, as I had no money at all then to get admission at that new school. In addition, I had to travel very far to reach that school. I had to gather so much of courage to admit to this new school. I some time think and wonder if I had this opportunity to study freely, I would have been able to achieve a lot. While I think about it now, I feel like to cry. I some time stay alone and had no one to blame than myself. For my personal strength to take the studies and work together I again secured first place in class 9. While I passed the class 9, I finally decided that I would talk to the principal of that school for some support. While after the talk principal realized that I was really poor, that was the reason I got the full scholarship in the class 10. I even did not have to pay my examination fee for my SLC (School Leaving Examinations). I used to feel that as my School has provided me with these many facilities I would also pay them back by scoring good marks in the SLC. For this, I started to study hard. In the real moment, right before the Examination, one evening at around 9 pm while I was studying at my house, suddenly the Maoists stepped in. They started to shout at me to come out of the house. They started to abuse my father. At the same time while confronting those many Maoists with their arms and ammunitions, I became shocked and scared. They started to say that they were there to take me to join their party. I requested them a lot that I had a SLC examination coming very shortly but they would never listen to me. I even requested and assured that I will help them after my SLC but let me finish my examination; they did not consider that too. We both were blindfolded and taken by them at that very moment. While they were taking me to the unknown place, I did not stop requesting until they started to physically abuse us. While we were both beaten very badly they let my father go as his condition was worsening. Then they started to manipulate me to join their party. I only had one stance that they should let me go to complete my studies. Unluckily, I could not attend my examination and I had to serve them for certain period of time. One night, I told them that I had to go to the toilet, while they send another girl along with me. On the way I hit that girl with a stone and ran from there. The way forward was full of dense forests, but I did not feel scared and ran. It was 11 o'clock when I ran, I had to travel for almost 5 days only on water and then, reached my neighboring VDC of Gumi where I took a refuse in my relative's home. She helped me a lot and gave me 400/- rupees to go to Nepal gung where she had a relative. I left that place at around 4 o'clock in the morning. While reaching the Nepal gung, it took me few days to locate that house. After few days, I found that house and started to stay there. I even got a job at the primary school at that same time the school committee liked my teaching capacity and allowed me to teach class 4 and 5. While I was staying there, the Maoists had already spread a wrong message that I was dead at my house. After a year, I wrote a letter to my house and gave them my address. My father along with my uncle came to find me in Nepal gung. Both of them almost both fainted as they saw me alive there. As I also cried a lot as I had met them after a long time. Few days later, I decided that I will return to my home and did that. Once I reach the home, I started to feel that I was not safe there at all. I seldom used to go out of the house. As the whole village was misleading that I was dead they used to fear and tell me a dead man walking. As my life was no better as I could not come out the house at all. One day one of the best friends came to see me. She said that as my life has gone worse I should go to Surkhet. She gave me the address of Aawaaj and added that I will get services there. As there was not single money at my house, the friend of mine gave me 200 Nrs as a bus fair and left for Surkhet. After reaching there in participated in the interaction program of the Gainful Employment Program and decided that I will take a training of Agro vet. While taking the training of Agro vet, I simultaneously participated in the life skills training where I learn a lot about the violence against the women, rights, and issues related to the children and women. In the course of the agro vet, I learned a lot about the skills and techniques. After the successful completion of the training, I started to walk around the villages with the medicines for the cattle like cows, goat etc. I took a loan of 2000/- Nrs and start a business. Out of the profit that I made I started to add more to the medicines. Once a goat owner was about to kill his goat, thinking that it will not be able to produce baby goats but after I gave them the medicine the problem was solved. After this incident, the community started to trust my work and I have decided that I will start an Agro vet in Dahachour. For this Community has also asked me to start this and assured that they will financially help me for this.

Jaisara

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My name is Jaisara. My permanent address is B.N.N.P-3, Surkhet. While I was a small girl both of my parents passed away. I cannot even recall their faces. After their death, I had no one to look after me. My sister and her husband took care of me. They took all the responsibility of nurturing me. As I grew younger and became 15 years old, my guardians married me with a man of the same village. As they were like my parents, I could not deny to the proposal, hence got married. I had a great expectation from my husband. I thought that he would give me love that I was looking from my parents which I never got it. This all went in vain as only after three months of the marriage he started to abuse alcohol and started to abuse me. He started to think that I have no one in my maternal family that is why he can do anything to me. He started to torture me a lot. Verbal abuse and the physical abuse started to become routine for me. It has been a fifteen years since my marriage, I cannot assess how much torture I have received from my husband. He married six other women one after another, however I thought he was my husband and have to adjust to all the things that he does. He used to beat me a lot at that times, I used to faint and had to be admitted in hospital. Though this was my daily routine to be abused from my husband, I neither complained this to any one nor did I try to mediate my problem through any community members. I rather developed a habit to live with the circumstances that are going through. I thought if we go to another place, this would stop. We went to Kathmandu where we both worked in a school. I used to cook food at the same time he used to work as security guard. Even there he did not stop beating me. As the school owner knew that we used to fight every day, he fired us from the work. We had nowhere to go than to our own hometown. We came back to our house. Only few days that we reached our home, he again started to abuse me both physically and sexually. This becomes intolerance for me now. I think that I will not be able to live life like this any more. I went to the organization “Aawaaj” with my problems. I knew about this organization as I saw a community mediation that they have conducted. After that mediation, they have been doing well. I was hoping that some thing like that would happen to me as well. While I went to Aawaaj, I had lots of wounds in my feet and body and tears in my eyes. After reaching the Aawaaj, firstly they focused on the medication. After the medication, I was kept in the safe house for 3 days. While staying at the safe house, I met lots of other sisters like me who had similar kind of problems like me. The counselor of Aawaaj conducted counseling sessions that were very beneficial to my situation. This has built my self-confidence. After this Aawaaj send the letter to my husband with my consent to be present at the office for mediation. During the mediation, my husband admitted that he used to beat me. After much of the talk, my husband made a commitment that he will not repeat the same mistake again. He also promised that he would never abuse alcohol again. At the same time he demanded that I should also be patient and should not shout at him and the agreement signed.

Now, it has been almost 3 months of that agreement, we have been living our life with more comfort within an amiable environment.

Rusa

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Rusa (Name changed) 28 is the youngest daughter of her parents born in 1981, in Birendranagar Municipality, Surkhet. Being a member of poor family, I did not have access to school education. We were many in the family. As a result of it, there was problem of food and other necessary things. Her parents were always hard working. The family revolved in vicious circle of poverty, and also conservative. So the parents decided to marry his daughter, at the age of 11, with the hope to secure a place in heaven (as per traditional belief). For this, the father proposed the matter to a local boy of the nearby village, Udayapur. Being a young girl of just 11 years, neither could she perceive the meaning of marriage clearly nor could she refuse the father’s intention. She was compelled to marry before she entered her teenage. According to her, the bridegroom was relatively more matured. She was feeling tough to adjust in the husband’s family. Both the age and physical immaturity were her great problems to adjust in the family. In addition to it husband’s sexual abuse, marital rape, was unendurable to bear. He was really irritating and aggressive during the nights. In some nights she had to wail for her protection, whereas she was unable to sleep most of the nights. Sometimes she had to wake up other members for help. But it would be worse to her as they were never in her support. For all these reasons she was living a very hard and troublesome life in her in-laws’ family.

She was hopeful to live a happy life in the days to come, though the husband was not supportive. Therefore, she tolerated every instance of sexual abuse and the other misbehaves. She did not tell it to anyone even her maternal family; instead she tolerated every hardship and torture. During the nights she had to remain awake since she could not endure them. When she had no hope for the further days to get better she decided to leave the house. She accompanied a senior lady of her distant relation and went to Kathmandu. There she got a job in a carpet factory and began to work there. She spent 3 years there as a carpet weaver. During that entire time she did not come to the parental and in-laws house. She left everyone of the previous relation (both natal and husband family). Meanwhile, she got acquainted with a boy of Surkhet. They liked each other and married.

Everything was going well for the first two years. The husband was so loving and caring. They had a baby to fuel the happiness to its top. When the son reached only 15 days the husband began to drink alcohol and beat her. She left the job of carpet weaver and came to the house of husband in Surkhet. There no one was in her favor however, she remained there. The husband came and began to torture her physically and mentally. The torture reached to its top and the violent husband even beat her with whatever was handy. Her natal house was very far and there was no possibility for her to go there. She gave a birth to her second child. But the abuser did not stop to abuse the newly nursing mother. She had no other option other than to endure the violence since there was no one to share and support her. Physical and mental torture became the part of her life. Till then she did not know anything about Aawaaj.

One day a local lady informed her about Aawaaj and she added that Aawaaj would help her to mediate the family problems; it would help for training and income generation training for the poor and helpless women. The lady suggested her to go and contact. Rusa went to Aawaaj and explained all her difficulties and the torture she had been facing. After her talk with counselor, her opinion was asked. She was in favor of family mediation. On the second day she was counseled and encouraged for the self esteem. The office sent a letter to her husband to present in the office. After three days, the mediation took place in Aawaaj. There were 13 neighbors and the family members during the mediation. The husband realized his mistakes and promised not to repeat mistakes in future. He even regretted for the mistakes he made to his wife and the sons. He stated that mediation made him realized his mistakes. He apologized with his wife and went home with his wife after signing the mediation paper. Rusa realized that if she had source of income, she would independent to anyone. So she requested to support her to establish a vegetable shop. Aawaaj offered the demanded help. She comes to the women’s group meeting regularly at the office. She is ready to co-operate with others and share ideas and feelings with her counterparts. She is confident and hardworking. Once the representatives visited her house and they were found to be living happily together. They had a talk about their daily schedule and the manner they cooperate each other. They stated that their ruined family got re-union and new formation due to the support of Aawaaj. Rusa further stated that she would help the other women and girls in problem from her side and she would refer them to Aawaaj.

Neeru

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Neeru is the youngest daughter of the family and her father originates from the Gorkha district. Her father used to work as a driver in Surkhet, when he was married to her mother. Then, they gave birth to her and her brother in Surkhet.  "I used to study in SOS school which was considered as one of the most recognized schools around in Surkhet valley. My life was rolling until my father died," she says. She adds, when her father died her mother and uncle went to collect his money and spend it all in Kathmandu. "She came back with the left over which was not enough for us". Then, the crisis started in her life, when her mother got remarried. Along with her brother, they grew up in her grand parent's home with out any support from their mother and new father. "As I was a bright student my school gave me the scholarship. I was getting opportunities from the school, unfortunately; I was not supported by the family members at my grand parent's home".

At one point, she could not continue her studies and told about it to her mother. She was invited in her mother's house where too she could not live peacefully because of her stepsister. Her stepsister used to torture her physically whenever there was no one at home. She was deeply hurt when her mother and stepsister physically and verbally abused her while they were celebrating the biggest festival “Dashain”. Then, she really did not like to stay with that family.

Another turning point came when she tried to escape from the house and the Maoists abducted her. Then, she was forced to involve in the people's war for 2 months. "In that duration they found me talented and asked where I studied" she told them the truth, instantly she was released and was in the school again. The Maoist also added that she is very talented and has to become doctor one day to provide health care for them.

When she returned to her house, no one really cared. She began to feel lonely and got into the habit of Drugs. She had a bad company of bunch of other male drug users. She adds, "While I was using drugs I was sexually abused by the male drug users which I was unaware of, I was at a high risk of transmitting myself with HIV and other STDs. Then, I was started to be deserted and stigmatized by the society. For about a year, I was badly involved into this habit. I wanted to get out of it, but still I could not manage to". She was also abused for money and she was also threatened either by the male users or people from her community.

One day she was found by the volunteers of Aawaaj and was given psychosocial counseling. She was asked about all the things that has happened in her life and was counseled.  It helped to build her confidence and different methods and activities that she took part in temporary Safe house like drawing, reading materials, games helped her to forget the incidents that she had passed through. In the temporary safe house, she also got the opportunity to meet with her mother and brother.

Now she has been inspired to do many things in her best interest. "I think that this has given me hope and courage to do good things in life after coming to Aawaaj," she says. She is also a part of a drama club and performs awareness plays in different communities. "I am very happy to stay in the Aawaaj temporary safe house as it has reduced my vulnerability to sexually transmittable diseases to some extent. I also find safe and secure here. "

At the same time, she joined school again with the help of Aawaaj scholarship program. She wishes and feels that she can win lots of   prizes and awards by participating in different extra curricular activities in the school. She also feels that she can study hard and secure good positions in class and school. Now, she is staff of Aawaaj and also continuing her studies in grade nine.