Anu gives lessons in her local Kishori Club.
For Anu and many Nepalese, the series of disasters that began in 2015 with the major earthquake seem to never end.
Nepal, where a quarter of the population lives under five cents a day, is rebuilding amid political instability, natural disaster shocks, economic challenges, and social problems. But only five percent of houses have been rebuilt, leaving 800,000 families with homes in shambles.
Anu’s education was interrupted when she was in grade 12. Her family could not afford the tuition fees. At that moment, she thought one life chapter had ended, and another had resumed. She would revert to how she had previously spent her days: doing household chores, tending to livestock, and farm work.
Nepali women are historically disadvantaged by a lack of resources and decision-making opportunities. The 2015 earthquake affected them more adversely, killing more women than men. They also face higher risks of human trafficking and domestic violence after 2015.
Thanks to generous supporters like you, BRAC has provided both emergency response and long-term rehabilitation to the affected communities, with a special focus on women and girls.
One of these programs is our adolescent club, known locally as the “Kishori Club.” Located within walking distance for each member, the ten adolescent clubs that BRAC operates provide safe spaces for girls between the age of 11 and 21, like Anu, to learn and play. The clubs also help lower the risks of human trafficking and child marriage.
Curious, Anu joined her local Kishori Club. “We never had such clubs before, especially for girls my age,” Anu says. “I thought it was a way to encourage us to become more active. We were too shy to play badminton, chess, and other games back in school.”
BRAC’s adolescent clubs provide an environment where the girls don’t have to feel shy. They can participate in social activities, make friends, and discuss culturally sensitive topics like gender-based violence, sexual and reproductive health, women’s rights, and more.
“Girls do not generally speak their minds where I am from but, at the Kishori Club, we are encouraged to share. We learn about adolescent girls topics that we would not talk about openly,” Anu says.
Anu reports feeling more confident and proactive since joining the club. “I learned that I can talk to people and ask questions. I found that there was a bigger world that I could live in,” exclaims Anu.
In addition to running the adolescent clubs, BRAC has also built earthquake-resistant houses, provided medical care, and distributed blankets and medicine across six districts.
BRAC’s health program trains Female Community Health Volunteers (FCHVs) to bring health services to underserved households in the village. Ten additional FCHVs have recently received training and joined the team.
Anu has grown into a mentor who educates other peers in her club, and she thinks it is one of the biggest achievements of her life. Her joy in helping others is an achievement that inspires the BRAC team to continue to create opportunities for more Nepalese like Anu.