Around the World: Nepal

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A New Life after the Earthquake

Sita has seen more than her fair share of tragedy over the past few years, but she is determined that she and her daughter will have a better future.

Two years ago, her husband traveled from their remote village in Nepal to India in search of a medical procedure he badly needed — but he fell into a dangerous trap and was killed by organ harvesters. The next year, Sita’s home and most of her village was completely destroyed when a massive 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Nepal.

With nowhere to turn, Sita took her five-year-old daughter and made the long trek down from the mountains to the capital of Kathmandu, hoping to find shelter and supplies. Today, she lives in a camp with hundreds of other earthquake survivors.

As she waits for her village to be rebuilt, Sita must provide for her little girl,but the camps can be dangerous for women on their own and jobs are hard to come by. Single women are at risk of being preyed upon by opportunists and sex traffickers, so she must be careful to protect herself and her daughter.

Operation Blessing teams were working in these camps, providing food, safe drinking water and supplies, when OBI staff met Sita and learned about her situation and the needs of countless women like her.

In response, Operation Blessing developed a special training center where single and widowed women could come to learn a marketable skill and effective business practices. On His Path provided support for this training center so that vulnerable women could learn cooking or cosmetology skills and lessons on how to turn those skills into a profitable business. The Blessings Training Center helps each graduate to start their own business, or gain employment in one of six “Blessings Food Centers,” or two “Blessings Beauty Salon” businesses. In keeping with the Nepalese cultural interest in helping each other, each Blessings business hires graduates from the training centers, and the women take turns, rotate roles, and work different schedules to manage the business. The average salary in Nepal is around $60-$70 per month. In the Blessings Food Centers, every woman working is producing profits of around $5 daily, which is at least $100 per month for women who did not have any previous means of income.

After an intense training, Sita graduated from the program and received all of the tools she would need to launch her very own business. Throughout the months that followed her graduation, Sita continued to receive support from the Operation Blessing team as she worked to carve out a new future for herself and her daughter — a future of dignity and success.

Submitted by Ronda Sherman, Operation Blessing

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