Part 1 – Hope for a bright future

My name is Balkumari Gurung. I am from Vhanu municipality ward number 12. My village’s name is Matkina. I am a woman growing up in a poor family. I could not study beyond class 7 due to the poor financial condition of my family. My life was filled with pain and suffering. Moreover, when I was growing up, after my father’s death, all the responsibility for the house fell on my mother’s shoulders. My mother could not meet the expenses of my house, so my mother decided my marriage. I got married with Harka Bahadur Gurung and my life changed in different ways. I have to face more struggles.

I still haven’t been able to have electricity in my house, even though there is electricity in everyoneelse’ house. My husband’s little income was not enough to educate the children, nurture them, take care of my mother’s medicine, and pay off debt.  One day I heard some women in the village talking about the WAWCAS program. I was very curious and wanted to know about the program. There was a meeting at 8:00 am in the building of Madkina and I decided to go to the meeting. I woke up early in the morning and finished my morning household work and then went to the meeting.

Two new faces were already there. They welcomed us and introduced themselves. They are employees of the WAWCAS program. They started talking about the program and Slisha organization. What they said touched my heart. I thought that if I would be a member of the WAWCAS Group I can start a small business from the seed money and my living standard will also increase.

I was listening very attentively as they talked about the women groups, child groups, monthly savings free vets, and technical services. They also discussed ongoing training like IBT (Issue Based Training), livestock training, and training on group management and business planning. I learned that there is a child group as well. The LPL Sima & Sonika gave us a storybook about another successful businesswomen’s story. I am very inspired by listening to their success story. In addition, the big, good news is our savings will be invested in our own group.

During the meeting, Dhankumari asked how to return the seed money and how much should we contribute. Sima told us about the process of seed money clearance, and we understood that the repaid seed money will be used for another needy woman. After listening to this, I feel very proud and lucky to contribute money.

I was very happy, and I went back home and shared it with my husband. Hewas not happy after listening to the WAWCAS program. He did not trust and believe me. He thought that it was all fake hence he told me not to go to the next meeting. I could not sleep the whole night thinking about the program, and I didn’t dare to participate in the second meeting.

When the trainers did not see me at the second meeting, they asked another woman about me and they understood the reality.  The next morning Sima and Sonika came to my place. I was very happy to see them. They greeted and met my husband. They told him about the WAWCAS program and asked him when his wife will start a business and earn money. That money will also reduce his financial burden so he must be happy and proud. Then after my husband realized that truth, he gave me permission to participate in the program.

I am so happy. I feel like a bird flying and touching the sky. I thanked Sima and Sonica for convincing my husband.