Bhawani lives in a rural village in Nepal, where getting an education isn’t a given for girls.
“My parents are illiterate. They used to think girls should get married early and did not need an education.
I was determined to continue studying.”
Her courage and hard work meant she could convince her parents to let her stay in school. After doing well in her exams she says,
“They now support me and I am not subjected to the pressure of getting married anymore. I am doing a Bachelor’s degree and training to become a teacher.”
When the 2015 earthquake struck Bhawani’s life was turned upside down.
“We were sleeping when everything started shaking. We yelled 'Earthquake, Earthquake' and rushed to the door.” Her family home was damaged, and many people houses in her village were completely destroyed, “I got the news that my aunt had passed away.
It was then I felt utter grief and devastation.”
Bhawani showed true determination once again, volunteering with Restless Development to help her village.
“I found encouragement through Restless Development. My job was to go to the affected villages and counsel the villagers.I had to tell them that earthquake was a natural disaster and it had come, and encourage them to build their lives back.”
Restless Development worked with hundreds of young people like Bhawani in Nepal, supporting them to help rebuild lives in their communities. Bhawani had an important role speaking to families and collecting data in her village. This helped organisations and local government be aware of who needed urgent support, “It was important for me to be a part of this effort because I was able to support people during their most difficult time of their life.”
Bhawani now continues to support her community through teaching. She also encourages other young people to get involved in the community, “I believe everyone should be powerful and empowered.”
Photos: (PC Restless Development/ Suraj Shakya)