‘My daughter will not have the same life as me,’ says Sati. ‘I will do everything I can to make sure she can study and have whatever job she likes.
Sati, like all mothers, only wants the best for her children and she is overjoyed that she can now have confidence in her daughter’s future. As a poor Nepalese woman with a physical disability, this was not always the case and there was a time when her daughter’s future looked very bleak.
Not long after her daughter was born, Sati’s husband moved away to find work. When she didn’t hear from him she went to find him, only to be told by his family that he didn’t want to see her any more and neither did they. Sati had no choice but to move back to her mother’s house.
She and her mother went to the market each day hoping to find casual labouring work and make enough money to put food on the table. She was willing to try anything that might make things easier, and when she was invited to join a savings group for women with disabilities, she jumped at the opportunity.
This new group met together regularly, facilitated by Baptist World Aid Australia’s partner International Nepal Fellowship (INF), and every week they would contribute five rupees each to their group savings. Although they were taking part in useful health training and other activities, a number of women left because of the stigma associated with being in a disability group. With just five members remaining, their savings were growing very slowly but these women were determined to stick together.
They established a work team to do casual labour in farming and cleaning and even began busking at local festivals to earn extra income. With the additional money going into their savings, the women began taking loans to start up businesses, pay for medicines and help their families. Sati took a loan from the group of 1,700 rupees ($20AUD) and began a small goat-breeding business.
Once the community saw how successful the group had become, many more women wanted to join and now the group has 40 members, both able-bodied and those with a disability. And most are now able to contribute 40 rupees a week!
The story for Sati has continued to improve; not only is she more accepted now, as the community has learned to overcome their prejudices and recognise her value, but she has also managed to secure a job working at a local school. With a good, stable income she can rely on, Sati can now afford to give her daughter a quality education, and support her as she grows up with many more opportunities and a hopeful future.
The impact that Sati and the other four women have had in their community is astonishing. Not only have they improved the lives of their own families, they have become the heart of their community, leading the way for others to also find a way out of poverty.
Each year, Baptist World Aid Australia receives funding from the Australian Government to support the work of INF and a number of our other partners. To use these funds, we must supply at least $1 from our supporters for every $5 of government funds. Our Matching Grant appeal is running from now until June 30 to raise these funds. Give now to match your donations with Government funds and make your gift go further to help transform lives and share God’s love with people like Sati living in poverty.