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Asha’s story

January. 2, 2018 / Blog The Freedom Fund / @freedom_fund

Asha is a landless woman who resides in Saptari district in south-east Nepal. Her husband, Lalku, is a daily labourer who works on the land of local landlords for NRs 200 per day ($2). Because his work is seasonal, Lalku has only been able to work 150 days of the year. With two children, Asha and Lalku had trouble providing financially for the basic needs of their family.

To earn additional income, Asha began looking for livelihood opportunities in her community. Through a community empowerment program supported by the Freedom Fund, she became a member of a savings and credit group established by Freedom Fund partner organisation, Tapeshwori Social Welfare Organisation (TSWO).

TSWO is a non-profit that aims to build an equitable, prosperous and empowered society. With expertise in non-formal education and trafficking, TSWO seeks to empower marginalised communities through rights-based program activities to ensure sustainable self-reliance. TSWO works alongside communities in four Village District Committees in Saptari to address agricultural bonded labour and improve project participants’ understanding of bonded labour and human rights.

After joining the savings and credit group, Asha was provided with income generation support in the amount of NRs 16,875 ($167). With this money, she was able to start purchasing vegetables from a wholesaler and selling them at the local markets. Now she earns a profit of NRs 200-250 each day ($2-$2.50). With the income she makes selling vegetables, Asha and her husband are able to send their children to the community schools, pay for their school materials and cover additional household expenditures. Asha has also been regularly depositing money into the savings account held by her savings and credit group.

In addition to pursuing a new livelihood opportunity, Asha began attending TSWO’s non-formal education classes that have allowed her to develop the math and literacy skills needed to run her new business. Thanks to the programs provided by TSWO, Asha is now financially independent. She is continually grateful for the opportunities and support TSWO has provided her and looks forward to participating in other activities the organisation offers in the future.

The Freedom Fund’s south-eastern Nepal hotspot works to end inter-generational bonded labour, helping victims come together for their rights to land, income, education and dignity. Find out more about our south-eastern Nepal hotspot here.

Photo credit: Jenna Mulhall-Brereton/Geneva Global