Nicola, a good friend of WELNepal, offered to cover Kalpana’s school fees for as long as she wished to study. With that, Kalpana was able to reject her family’s plea to be married. That was nine years ago. Kalpana now has her masters in mathematics and teaches at the high school level.
And, that was the beginning of WELNepal’s work with those young women who wish to study and not to get married and make babies.
Sharmila’s father owns a tea shop and Sharmila’s father and his two wives stay home while Sharmila runs the shop.
The shop was also Sharmila’s home. She would get up before five every morning to make the eight kilometer bike ride to her classes, which started at 6:00 a.m. At 10:00 a.m. after class, she would pedal back to open her tea shop and work until 7 or 8. Sharmila would make her dinner, study until 10 or e11 and then sleep on the only table in the shop, and start all over the next day. Sharmila’s father refused to pay for any of Sharmila’s school fees. Sharmila once said to me, with a sad little smile on her face; “I think maybe my father is not such a good man.” But Isabelle is a good woman and covered Sharmila’s school expenses.
NOW AND LATER:
Meet Priti BK. Yes, that is her last name. It’s pronounced “Bee-Kah.” Her last name would tell any person of Hindu faith that Priti is from the “untouchable “ caste.
Sonu’s scholarship ended when she passed out of secondary school. But Marla stepped in to ensure that Sonu gets to keep studying. Early this year, I met Sonu while I was in Nepal. Sonu announced to me that she loves to practice her English and proceeded to not stop practicing her English with me, while asking for answers about everything from what’s inside the earth to what on the other side of the stars.
As you can see, there’s a pool of untapped talent in Nepal that just needs a little extra help to flourish. These women had a will, they just needed a way.
While all these stories had happy ending, many do not.
Perhaps you might want to give the gift of learning this Christmas.
For more details, email WELNepal president David Walton at firstname.lastname@example.org