To the incredible team at Humanitix,
Namaste, my name is Manju.
I have been working with Room to Read Nepal since 2017 as a Girls’ Education Program Associate in Tanahun District. My work gives me an amazing opportunity to help girls in rural communities of Nepal build their life skills and motivate them to complete their education. In my role, I organize life skills sessions, parent and community engagement meetings and training for social mobilizers. Working with girls from our program and supporting them to navigate their life decisions gives me great joy. I remember as a young girl I did not have anyone to share my challenges with and talk about my dreams in life, but now being a part of girls’ lives and supporting them gives me happiness.
Child marriage and traditional gender roles are still the biggest challenges in the communities where I work. Girls also face barriers to access to education and struggle to advocate for their own life goals. I am happy to share that throughout my work I have seen girls stand up to the community against early marriage, refuse to drop out of school and achieve their goals of completing school.
None of the above would have been possible without your support. Your generosity is helping girls to learn essential life skills and connect to local mentors who guide them through their school life. Not only that, but your kindness is also changing the status quo on education for girls in communities and changing lives as a result. This support not only helps girls to complete their education but encourages them to dream for themselves and lead the lives they want to live.
Allow me to share a wonderful story of Jyoti. When she was 13, she was informed that she would be getting married. She always dreamed of becoming a teacher, but now she was about to leave school. She was afraid and anxious, but she took charge of her life and spoke to her family about how she does not want to get married. When they did not listen to her request, she reached out to me. Knowing how adamant her family was to marry her off to a much older man from a rich family, she decided that she wanted to file a case with the police. For many people, and especially for a woman, going to a police station is taboo, but the very next day Jyoti went to the
station and filed the case. With intervention from the authorities, she was able to stop her marriage and I made sure that she and her family had a swift transition through one-on-one conversations.
Now Jyoti is in Grade 9 and is following her dream of becoming a teacher. Like Jyoti, many students have transformed in one way or the other. The skills they learn through the program help them to express and manage their emotions, process life’s challenges, and become confident and empathetic individuals.
I am honored to be a part of the Girls’ Education Program and Room to Read. I hope you are too. Thanks to your support, girls have access to their dreams.
Chief of Staff at Humanitix