Monday 9 September 2019

Chakra (21) had to drop out of school in grade 11 due to his family’s weak economic condition. He lives in Bajura, the far west region of Nepal with his nine family members – mother, father, elder brother, sister-in-law, their two children, his wife, and a two-year-old daughter. Though agriculture was his family’s primary income, it was not enough for them to survive.

He migrated to India in search of employment, lived there for almost four years but could not find a stable job. He then decided to return home and stay with his family. After returning home, he looked for a suitable job but was unable to find any. Chakra stayed idle and roamed around with his friends instead.

Considering Chakra’s circumstance, he was recommended by the Ward office for a four-day Life Skill and Financial Skill training conducted by Youth Empowerment Bulgari project in Bajura. Chakra says, “This training helped me learn the value of money, saving and time in one’s life.” Fifteen days after completing the training Chakra was also selected for five days micro-enterprise development training.

The micro-enterprise training was particularly helpful for Chakra because he wanted to do something. Through the training he was able to generate business ideas, learn about the tools and techniques of conducting a business while also learning about dealing with customers. He says, “The things I learned in the training motivated me to start my own business. Therefore, I came up with my own business plan to open a laundry shop.”

Within weeks of finishing the training, Chakra borrowed NPR 200,000 from his neighbor while the project supported him with NPR 50,000 to establish his own shop. He bought a laundry machine, water tank and other necessary materials to initially start his business in Martadi, the headquarter of Bajura district.

Chakra’s laundry shop was the first to be ever established in Bajura – a new concept that people were not aware of. This meant when he first opened his shop, not a single customer came in. To attract customers and inform people about his business, he gradually coordinated with the local media to deliver his message and advertise about his shop. When people heard the news, they slowly started to visit his shop.

With customers flowing in, Chakra’s business is doing well now – he earns around NPR 1000 – 2000 per day. With a steady income source, he can bear most of his household expenses. His daughter studies in grade one at a school close to their village and he also supports the education of his niece and nephew.

The opportunity that Chakra received has changed his life and he is very happy about it. He says, “I am lucky to have had this opportunity which has changed my life. I am grateful to Save the Children and PeaceWin for giving me this opportunity.” He now plans to expand his business by purchasing a machine that will dye clothes after washing them which will potentially increase this customer flow too.