We rise by lifting others. 

August greetings from our project village from 31-year-old Bimala. The trainings of the cooperative supported by the Women's Bank have given Bimala the courage to change her field and start her own shop. Own livelihood strengthens the role and appreciation of women both in their family and in their community. Research has shown that helping women is one of the most effective ways to sustainably increase equality and well-being. Thank you for being a part of Kaiko's journey. 

"The village of Bhardeu is located about two hours' drive from Kathmandu. Along the road that runs through the village, there is a small shop selling various chemical supplies. The back wall of the small shop is dominated by a cluster of colorful flip flops, the typical footwear of the inhabitants of mountain villages. You can also buy small snacks from the shop.

The shop is run by 31-year-old Bimala Tamang, who switched from raising chickens to becoming a shopkeeper two years ago. "My husband and I used to farm land and raise chickens, but we decided to give it up and rented this shop. We had lost our house and livestock shelter in the earthquake, and raising and taking care of the chickens in a temporary shelter was tough, says Bimala. Making a living in the shop is steadier and better."

Bimala's small shop is open every day for 12 hours, from seven in the morning to seven in the evening. There are enough customers, even though there are other small shops selling similar products in the village. Bimala and her husband pick up the products for sale themselves from Kathmandu once or twice a month. The trip is made by bus, the couple does not have their own car or motorcycle.

Bimala has acquired the skills needed to run a store from the trainings organized by the cooperative supported by Naisten Bank. "I had already participated in trainings related to farming and chicken farming before and learned a lot from them. The training gave me confidence and courage to change fields and I hope that I can also participate in trainings in the future."
Bimala is also a member of the women's group of the Bhardeu village cooperative, and through that has also gained confidence in running the store.

"Awareness about the use of money has increased and through that I have gained self-confidence. I also belong to the cooperative's savings group and when I have saved enough, I want to expand my business and add more selections."

Bimala's dreams are related to the future of her own store. "I hope that my shop will become the biggest and best in the village!"

Thanks to Tiina and Maria, Naisten Bank's volunteer communication team, for the picture and story. 🌿

Photo: Maria Miklas, text: Tiina Toivakka