Dila, a girl with a voice
Dila (name changed), 28 years old is living a successful life as a teacher in Bichhya Secondary School, in Bichhya, Bajura one of the remotest places in Nepal. Right before that, she had worked as an active mentor of the Girls in the Empowerment implemented by PHASE Nepal supporting more than 350 girls and boys of her village. She shares her experience on how her life has changed after participating in PHASE's Girls empowerment program. Her involvement in the program made her more confident which enabled her to find a job by herself and continue to build her career. When she remembers her life four years back, she was very worried about her career, her 2 children, and her painful experiences of living in oppressive traditions such as chhaupadi ( menstrual isolation on a tent or a shed every month) with a faint ray of hope that she will complete grade 12 and create a future for herself. She had married at a very young age of 19. In her community marrying at the age of 19 years was already too late, as the parents get their daughters married at a very young age. She showed that education can actually empower.
Her education and awareness kept her from giving up hard work. With all the struggles she had completed her high school and enabled her to be selected as a girl mentor for the PHASE's program which provided her leadership skills and life skills such as planning a career and working for it while also helping younger girls she mentored to do the same. Her life now as a teacher in a government school is a sign of success and epitome of determination for herself as well as for her classmates who got married because of the family tradition at their earlier age discontinuing their education and living their life confined in the four walls of the household.
She has broken all kinds of stereotypes that oppress girls and women. In her community, she mentors other younger girls and also supports the girls in stopping obsolete costumes such as the quarantine to the sheds and abstinence from the dairy product during menstruation.
She further says that she can't change the world but she will try to make a difference in the life of every girl she meets by inspiring them and by bringing positive change.
PHASE Nepal's education programs are grounded in the community and in the local context thus are actually bringing changes in the lives of schools children, young adults especially girls and women via school level and community level initiatives. PHASE has been working with 60 school teachers and 350 girls and boys of the remote village of Bichhya in Bajura District to bring lasting positive changes in their lives and empower them to be more independent thinkers and doers. We thank our generous donors who make this possible.
Sumati, PHASE's lead trainer during a training