Perched amidst striking jagged green hills above winding and perilous roads sits Sunchhahari Village in Rolpa, in Nepal’s Mid-West. The crisp, clear air and rocky ridges are home to more than 16,000 people, including 39- year-old mother Amrita* and her family. Typical of most in the area, they rely solely on the land for their livelihood. Like its rugged hills, life in Sunchhahari is often harsh and challenging.
The average annual income for a family in Sunchhahari is only around $1,000, or $2.75 per day for a whole family, which may have four to six members within one household.
Being solely dependent on the land was a problem for Amrita her husband Suman* and their two children. Despite rising early, working hard, and trying everything they knew, their situation was dire. The family had enough to cover just half their basic needs for the year, leaving them disappointed and desperate. However, circumstances changed for Amrita and her family.
INF Nepal’s EDUCATE Project in Rolpa gave the family an opportunity to try a different farming approach and provided $168 worth of essentials to construct a greenhouse and tomato and cauliflower seeds. For Amrita, this was a dream come true. Amrita told us “As it was my dream, I worked on it very passionately.” Thankfully, that hard work and passion paid off.
“After starting the vegetable farming, we are not only selling the vegetables but we also have green vegetables daily in our meal. I have earned a total of 20,000 Rupees [around $235] by selling vegetables so far. I used this income to support our family’s living expenses and also to pay for the education expenses of our children.”
With those changes, and the support of a Self Help Group to work together for greater changes in their community, the family’s situation is dramatically different. They are now able to produce enough food to meet their basic needs year-round and can now invest in the children’s education. This has given them a renewed sense of hope and joy. Amrita wants to be an example and inspire hope in others. “I want to be an example,” she says. “I am very thankful to INF for supporting me”.
Hope is incredibly powerful and contagious. Amrita and her family are now a beacon of hope, working with INF Nepal to make positive change for themselves and their community.
* Population and income data from 2011 Nepal census and INF Nepal Project Baseline Survey, Names changed to protect people’s privacy.