Children’s well-being comes first
The mountain village of Ghushel is located in the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal. It has a population of 2,000 people. The distance between the village and the capital is approximately 30 kilometres, about three hours on the serpentine mountain roads by car.
There is a narrow path that starts from the centre of the village and leads up to the mountains. At the end of it stands a well-kept house, and a smiling woman who welcomes us to her home.
Sita Devi Timalsina is a 63-year-old woman who keeps a farm with her husband Nanda Keshar Timalsina.
The couple has three grown sons. One of them works abroad, while the others live in neighbouring towns. The couple has six grandchildren. Since their children moved away from home, Sita Devi has lived on the farm alone with her husband.
They keep two buffalos and a couple of goats in a shed in their yard. They produce corn, cauliflower, carrots and onions like many others in the area.
Sita Devi brings her crops to the village every other day. There all the crops from the village are collected before being delivered to the markets in the neighbouring towns for sale. Sita Devi must carry her crops and go by foot, because there are no proper roads to the farm.
She is one of the members of the cooperative established in the village with Women’s Bank’s support. She was one of the first members of the women’s saving and loan group and has already been able to take out a small loan with the group’s support.
The loan enabled her and her husband to buy seeds and fertilizers, and build a pipeline to the farm. It has made their life easier, and they feel happy about how they have already paid back their loan.
– Being part of the group has meant a lot to me. It has increased the sense of solidarity with the other women, and with the group’s support I have been able to earn an income, Sita Devi says.
She doesn’t complain about the long days or the harsh working conditions on the steep hill. She has been in good health, and the couple hopes that they will live a long life, working together.
– Sometimes I feel lonely and miss my children. I see them too rarely as they are busy.
– I don’t have big dreams. I’m happy that I have been able to extend the area that we farm. It has brought us extra income, and we have been able to send money to our children. Their well-being is what matters most to me.
The writer visited Women’s Bank projects in Nepal in November 2018.