Livelihoods and Economic Justice

Rama, Nepal

Rama* lived in Dampus, a village in Kaski district, where, during her childhood, she had little access to education and health care. When she was only 15 years old, her parents forced her to marry a man at the hands of whom she experienced ongoing domestic violence. Rama became a mother at just 16 years of age. In an attempt to escape the torment of her husband and in- laws, she fled her home to find a job in the city. However, she was lied to and fell into the clutches of human traffickers.

Rama was eventually rescued by an organization, but they provided her with no rehabilitation. In her struggle to survive – and support her daughter – she once again found herself working in a dance bar where she experienced endless sexual harassment. In the middle of this nightmare, she managed to connect with a peer support member of the Opportunity Village Nepal, who encouraged her to participate in counseling sessions and receive various other support. These activities enabled Rama to revive herself and restore her energy to begin anew.

Rama received skills training in jewelry making and was inspired to start her own business. She left her job in the dance bar and, through a bank loan, established a store in Pokhara to sell handmade crafts and ornaments.She is now happy and content as she becomes financially independent and overcomes the trauma and violence of her past. She never allowed her suffering to weigh her down. Instead, the power of her persistence and determination has led her and her daughter to new horizons. Rama now continues to touch and inspire other women, helping them to keep their dreams alive, recognize the heroism inherent in each one of them and rewrite their past.

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