Rural Women’s Leadership Training

Posted by Spalding Hurst

July 9, 2024

Sabitra, a 21-year-old married woman from Benighat in the Dhading district of Nepal, provides a striking story of resilience and growth. At three months old, Sabitra lost her feet in a nighttime fire. Her parents raised her, but she often felt isolated, grappling with why she was different from her siblings. Some blamed her parents for her condition, further deepening her sadness.

Despite these challenges, Sabitra’s life took a hopeful turn when she learned about the Rural Women’s Leadership Training Program at Navjyoti Center in Baluwatar, Kathmandu. Encouraged by her sister, she decided to join the Center, which opened new avenues for her. Sabitra pursued training in tailoring, knitting, and beauty parlor services. This training not only equipped her with valuable skills but also fostered a sense of self-worth and beauty she hadn’t experienced before. The opportunity to reside in the Center and be available for entire program was impossible without the support of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth and the help of Sister Meera Bilung.

Sister Meera Bilung with Sabitra

Her determination to complete her training despite leaving and missing her 4-year-old son, Abin, at home highlights her resolve to secure a better future for him. Her commitment to finishing her four-month course, even when her son fell ill, emphasizes her dedication. Through Navjyoti Center, Sabitra has found a supportive community of individuals facing similar challenges, which has helped normalize her disability in her eyes and reinforced her determination to become independent.

She aims to open her own tailoring business to provide a stable and fulfilling life for her son, ensuring his education and well-being. Additionally, the Center has contributed significantly, teaching her to read and write and enhancing her communication skills. She has gained confidence and determination to defy societal injustices. Sabitra’s story is a testament to the resilience and empowerment of women worldwide.

Empowering women is vital for building stronger economies, healthier communities, and more equitable societies. It creates a ripple effect benefiting entire communities and nations. This is a key focus of Sustainable Development Goal 5.


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