Build Women Savings & Credit Cooperatives, Nepal

by Women Awareness Center, Nepal (WACN)
Jun 9, 2011

Success Story from the Field: Sharswat, Cooperative member and Manager

The generosity of donors helps to make the following success stories possible. The recent one below is just one of many- thank you for your support! 

Sharswat is a 33-year-old motivator of WACN and Manager of the "Shree Nari Chetna Milijuli Saving and Credit Cooperative" in Hatia, Makwanpur. 

She was the eldest among four siblings and had to face many problems in her childhood due to their poor financial situation.The land her family owned was not sufficient to meet the needs to feed the family for an entire year so she started working when she was 10 years old. She started selling firewood, a tedious and difficult job as it was a two-hour walk to the nearest market.

At the age of 15, she got married. They had sufficient land but without working on the land it was difficult to survive. So she, along with her husband and in-laws worked in the fields.

Today she has 3 children: two sons and one daughter.  Her mother in law is very supportive and allows her to look after her children and work at the same time. 

Even though her financial condition was not the greatest, she always thought of doing something for her society and becoming a leader. This dream turned into reality when she joined  local social organization where she started as a treasurer of the organization even though she did not know the responsibilities of the treasurer. When WACN approached her, she started organizing informal groups in her area.

Her economic condition improved by mobilizing savings and credit through cooperatives. She took out a loan several times for her children's education. She was also able to buy a piece of land.

At the initial stage she took Rs.1,500/USD$21.33 and Rs.3,000/USD$43 for admitting her children in the boarding school and at present she has taken Rs.60, 000/USD$853 from the cooperative to buy land.

She has participated in the training on incense making, institutional development, saving, credit, cooperative education, account keeping, cooperative visioning and management, business plan, leadership development, provision on women's legal right, sustainable agriculture, gender and governance trainings provided by WACN.

She has also participated in the 'train the trainer' training provided by District Cooperative Office of Makwanpur. After going through the training programs, she is qualified to train other members of the cooperatives on agriculture and cooperative education.

Sharswati says that working with the community is not easy.  There are different people with different thoughts, some are supportive and some are not. At this point she has gained confidence and can proudly walk in the village without feeling inferior for being a woman.

In the past she had to beg for 10 rupees but today she has access to 100,000/USD$1,422 through the cooperative. She is taking loans and paying back with the income earned from the cooperative. 

In her words: "I am capable to look after my children and my home even if no one supports me because I have regular income. I am free to travel and attend different programs inside and outside the district and my childhood dream has come true with the help of the cooperative"

Thank you for your support. You are making a positive impact for women in Nepal!


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Organization Information

Women Awareness Center, Nepal (WACN)

Location: Gyaneswor, Khatmandu - Nepal
Website: http:/​/​​
Project Leader:
Gillian Wilson
IDEX Latin America Program Director
San Francisco, CA United States

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