We rise by lifting others.
August greetings from Bimala, 31, in our project village. Training with the cooperative supported by Women's Bank have given Bimala courage to change her career and establish a shop of her own. Own income strengthens women's role and status in both their family and community. According to studies, helping women is one of the most effective ways to enhance equality and well-being in a sustainable way. Thank you for coming along with Kaiko.
'The village of Bhardeu is located about a two hour drive from Kathmandu. Alongside the road that runs across the village there is a little shop that sells various cosmetic supplies. The back wall of the small shop space is dominated by a bunch of colourful flip-flops, typical footwear of people living in the mountain villages. You can also buy small snacks from the shop.
The shop keeper is 31-year-old Bimala Tamang who switched from raising chickens to being a shop owner two years ago. 'My husband and I used to grow crops and raise chickens but decided to give that up and rented this shop. We had lost our house and barn in an earthquake and raising and taking care of the chickens in a temporary shelter was hard, Bimala explains. We get a steadier and better livelihood from the shop.'
Bimala's little shop is open 12 hours every day, from seven in the morning until seven in the evening. There are plenty of customers even though there are other small shops that sell similar products in the village. Bimala and her husband pick up the products they sell from Kathmandu once or twice per month. The couple makes the journey by bus as they do not have a car or a motorcycle of their own.
Bimala has acquired skills needed in running the shop from training organized by a cooperative that Women's Bank supports. 'I had already participated in training activities concerning farming and chicken rearing and learnt a lot from them, too. The training gave me confidence and courage to make the change and I hope that I can participate in training events also in the future.'
Bimala also belongs to the Bhardeu village women's group, which has also increased her confidence with the shop keeping.
'I have become more aware of the use of money and that has given me self-confidence. I also belong to the savings group in the cooperative, and when I have saved enough I want to expand my business and offer a wider range of products.'
Bimala's dreams are, indeed, related to the future of her own shop. 'I hope that my shop would become the biggest and best in the village!'
Thanks for the picture and story to the Women's Bank voluntary communications team Tiina and Maria. 🌿
Photo: Maria Miklas, text: Tiina Toivakka