It seems there is a special bond between the nepalese women involved in the WAWCAS program. Whenever someone falls, someone else catches. The two founders of WAWCAS, Sangeeta Shrestha and Nina Schriver, have interviewed two women about their experiences of being in a group of WAWCAS women.
Gita almost lost her husband who suddenly got very ill, fainted and had to be taken to the hospital. But the treatment he needed was too expensive for Gita and her family. They could not afford it. Gita shared the situation with her WAWCAS group, and the women immediately collected 11000 rupees and sent it to the hospital the same day. And in this way Gita’s husband got the medical treatment he needed:
“I cannot tell how touched I am by this help from the other women. Without them my husband would not have survived,” Gita says.
Gita comes from Lamjung. She is a part of the Bramin cast and has always belonged to the ultra-poor. Now she has been in WAWCAS for 14 months and has just paid back the loan she got from the program to start up her pig farm. She earns money from selling the pigs and manages very well. However, the cost treatment at a hospital is very expensive, and even though Gita does manage very well, she hasn’t reached the position yet, where she can pay unexpected expenses like a medical bill. Some day she will. But for now she is just truly grateful for the help of her fellow WAWCAS women.
It was a night in August 2014 that Rama will never forget. Her children were in deep sleep, but Rama could not sleep herself due to heavy rain. Suddenly she noticed water coming into her room and within two minutes her bed was covered by water. Outside she heard lots of noise from the neighbors: “Run! The river is turning to the roadside!,” they screamed. With one child on her back and the other in her arms, she tried to call her husband, who was working as a night guard. But no answer came. She went outside where she noticed that her chickens were floating in the water. Rama’s heart was breaking and she started crying. She ran with her two kids and met some of her friends on the way who were also running to save their lives. Finally they all found a place where the water had not reached. After a few hours the rain stopped. Rama’s husband also came, and they stayed outside on the ground all night.
The sun was shining in the morning as they went back home. But the situation was terrible. More than 150 chickens had died, and the room was still full of water. Rama started crying again desperately worried about her business. Rama’s WAWCAS group members came to support her, bringing warm food and tea which boosted Rama’s energy. Her feeling changed immediately, turning the black night into a sunny day.
Rama has been in the WAWCAS program since 2013 and has paid back the loan she got from WAWCAS. She started a vegetable farming business and expanded to poultry farming. At the moment she struggles restarting her poultry farm, which is down to 40 chickens.