Case Study – I
A Female Agro-vet as Power of Change
Women living in developing countries like Nepal have to struggle a lot to prove their competency. It is also true for Karishma, a well known livestock activist in Ratu Village Development Committee (VDC) of Surkhet district situated in mid-western part of Nepal.
She received capacity building exposure conducted to develop herself as rural veterinary volunteer as part of Community Peace Building Program through Women Group Empowerment implemented jointly by South Asia Partnership Nepal (SAP Nepal) and Samaj Jagaran Kendra (SAC) Nepal in support of European Union. She exclaimed “At this moment, I feel that if I was not exposed to these modern means then our livestock practice would be same. Even my life would be of no difference than ordinary rural women in Nepal.” She has received tremendous support from her family as her family members also received awareness and sensitization.
She also started agro-vet based social enterprise. She was able to gain economic benefit of Rs 3500 (33.6 EUR) in a monthly basis. She proudly shared “My economic and social tranformation has been possible only because of the program supported by European Union”. Her professional attire of dealing with these services together with additional motivation of women in her society helped her prosper a lot in this profession.
The change was not limited on the livestock promotion. She expressed “Social harmony in our village has also increased due to periodic interactions and mutual trust in the society”. She exclaimed “It is really a great change in my village.”
Community Peace Building Program through Women Group Empowerment supported by European Union had focused on promoting women’s confidence in changing power relation through increased access to resources and community level discourses that affected their lives. Karisma is just an example that showcased potentiality of women and their inner strength in bringing impactful changes in society.
Empowered and confident women can also do miracles in strengthening peace process by bringing community member of diverse background together in a common platform through livestock management. These role models like Karishma had also contributed in changing mind set of the people on looking at women as “power of change agents in promoting peace”.
Case Study – II
A Model Agro-based Entrepreneur – Ms. Janaki Chowdhary
Ms. Janaki Chaudhary 35, is a dweller of Rajhena Village Vevelopment Committee (VDC) of Banke district situated in mid western part of Nepal. She belongs to a poor joint family without sufficient land for cultivation and access to any source of income.
While struggling economically and socially, she found rays of hope when there was support of European Union in bringing Community Peace Building Program through Women Group Empowerment. She received several capacity building opportunities including 5 days mushroom farming training provided by the agriculture service centre of Banke district. She still remembered this insightful experience “It was my big life time opportunity” overwhelmed Ms. Chaudhary.
She felt very confident on herself. It was first time in her life where she believed that she can do something. With lots of hopes and confidence, she decided to take a courageous step of investing Rs. 500 (Euro 4.95) in mushroom cultivation with technical support of the Agricultural Service Centre and was able to earn Rs 3000 (Euro 29.70) that is almost 6 times out of her investment.
It was the first time; she could contribute her husband in sharing cost for children’s education and other household expenses. As a household cooker and mother, she felt proud when she could serve fresh mushroom to her kids and family members. In this way, it also brought change in the level of calorie in-take in poor family like hers.
This mushroom farming earning was her first income. She expressed “I wonder, why EU supported program was not there earlier to make us aware about women friendly economic opportunities like mushroom farming to change the way we deal with our life”.
Her pride being the first Chaudhary lady from her community to practice and gain success from mushroom farming had influenced other women from her community and beyond by networking with the agriculture service center. Working together with other women in the group helped in building trust and mutual cooperation by spreading message of peace.
“Engagement in this program supported by European Union is the key milestone for my economic and social empowerment so that I am able to contribute in promoting my family and social harmony” recalled Ms. Chaudhary proudly.