Recounting one of SFN’s scholarship student’s personal experiences when she visited SFN office with her aunt.
My aunt - my mother’s younger sister is exceptional. She is the only woman in our village, Gunsa who has completed her Plus 2. She was enrolled in Grade 1 when she was already 12 years old, and despite all odds, she completed her studies till Grade 12. She works as a social mobiliser in our village. She is married now and has 2 daughters. I can’t thank her enough for what she has done for me!!
I had passed my SLC and my parents could not afford my further education. Since I am the eldest, just like the other girls in my village, my father wanted to send me to Dubai so that I could send back money to support my brothers’ education. He got my passport ready. My aunt heard of it and took the passport from him and insisted that I should continue my studies instead of going abroad without a proper qualification. My father explained that he had no resources to support my education.
Meanwhile, my aunt started looking for sponsors and luckily, she met Dr. Pasang who connected us to Shikshya Foundation Nepal. We heard that they provide scholarships to girl children. Wewent and applied for the scholarship and the foundation provided support for my Plus 2 education. I have now completed Grade 12 and am now enrolled in Bachelor in Business Studies.
Today, I went to the foundation office to update about my progress with my aunt and my aunt was so overwhelmed with emotion and mentioned that she is truly appreciative of the fact that I could continue my studies and avoid going abroad for unskilled work.
My aunt has arranged for a rented room for me and her 7 years old daughter near the college that I attend. My cousin studies in Grade 1. Although there are people of our community around that area, I take care of my little cousin, and we are here in Kathmandu - trying to access good education. We live on our own, and our family visits us occasionally, as they have to work in the village. Kathmandu, for us, is also closer and more convenient than going to Chautara.
I am hopeful that eventually my friends, cousins won’t have to go abroad as unskilled labourers or domestic help to support their families. I hope every girl from my village will also get an opportunity to study - study and become independent.
It was a really moving experience hearing the aunt and niece.
Our aim at SFN is to encourage the girls to continue with their higher education and if they can eventually become financially independent without leaving Nepal – that would be a first for their community.