Livelihoods and Economic Justice, Women & Girls Empowerment

Anjali, Nepal

Resilience, and determination, combined with the help of a supportive community, can empower individuals to overcome obstacles and transform their lives. This is what the story of Anjali teaches us.

Anjali hails from the town of Pokhara in the Kaski district of Nepal and comes from an extremely poor family background. Her father’s departure left her feeling abandoned and led to her mother struggling to provide for her kids. Like many other women in her situation, Anjali was forced to marry very young in the hope of finding financial stability and “protection”. But her husband turned out to be an alcoholic who squandered their meagers and subjected Anjali to physical and mental abuse while robbing her of her daily wages. With a young son to care about, she took up work in a hotel, where she endured further violence.

During one of their nighttime outreach visits, the staff of the GSIF Nepal-supported program met Anjali. They introduced her to their mission partner Opportunity Village Nepal OVN and encouraged her to participate in their activities. In 2018, OVN stepped in to help Anjali open a small fruit stand, which provided her with a chance to take back her life in her own hands. However, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic dealt a severe blow to her small business and, faced with this new crisis, Anjali reached out to OVN for additional support. After assessing her past earnings and recognizing her dedication to scaling up her business, OVN helped her open her grocery store. Deeply committed to the project, Anjali also invested her own savings into this venture.

Anjali’s determination and perseverance have paid off. She has built up a good relationship with the OVN project staff, regularly attends meetings and actively participates in their program. Today, she hopes to inspire other women and girls to leave the adult entertainment sector and seek stable, just and dignified employment. And more importantly, she now has the means to support her son’s education and provide for her family.

With a positive outlook on life, Anjali lives happily with her son and is grateful for the help she has received: Leaving the entertainment industry was not easy for me, but I made it. I am happy with my life. Now I hope that my son will have a successful future.”

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