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VULNERABLE women in Nepal are fighting stigma and learning to generate their own income – with the help of charity Plan International.
Kaplana, a 28 year-old widow in south east Nepal, had to resort to begging on the street after her husband died, leaving her to care for their young daughter.
“It was a really difficult time,” Kaplana says. In her culture, women rarely remarry and, with the few paid jobs going to men, an illiterate widow has little chance of supporting herself.
Kaplana heard about a business training programme offered by Plan. She enrolled in the programme, where she learned basic business management and was trained in planning and bookkeeping.
Kaplana was given a grant from Plan that enabled her to open a small shop next to her house where she started selling things like biscuits, noodles, and lentils.
“Working at home suits me really well because I can look after my daughter.”
“Plus, with the money I earn, I can afford to send my daughter to school," says Kaplana.
Kaplana’s entrepreneurial spirit is soaring. Since opening her shop, she has purchased a loom and is selling cloth.
She also plans to buy a refrigerator to sell cold drinks in the summer. “I will never have to beg anyone again and can manage my own life independently,” Kaplana says.
Plan continues to help many women like Kaplana, who, with just a little support, can move from a life of begging on the street to a future full of opportunities.
• To find out more about Plan’s work visit www.plan-uk.org