Meet Shanta Goldie, 25, a young woman who struggled to find opportunities to support her family in the lower-caste community of Jahada.
Coming from a family of 9, she knew the income of her father and elder sister was insufficient to pay for her siblings’ education much less afford daily needs.
Shanta is one of many young women in Nepal who lack access to resources to develop skills needed to pursue formal economic opportunities. To address this, READ Nepal launched the Youth Program to empower and develop livelihood and vocational skills so that all members of the community can improve their lives and lift their families out of poverty. Shanta’s life turned around when she joined a career guidance workshop at the Jahada READ Center where she developed employment skills. This opened the doors to a chance to pursue a 6-month advanced beautician course in Kathmandu. Located 7 hours away from Jahada, the Center provided the resources Shanta needed to her pursue the course.
Right after completing the course, Shanta was encouraged to start her own beauty parlor. With financial support from her relatives and a loan secured from a cooperative, she invested NRs. 30,000 (USD 3,000) to start her business. From having no income source, Shanta now earns between NRs. 2,400-3,000 (USD 240-300) monthly. She now pays for her siblings’ college fees and has made her sister’s dream of completing an art course in Kathmandu come true. Besides supporting her family, she is able to put aside savings and pay back her loan.
Grateful, Shanta is paying it forward by sharing what she learned from the Center and training other women in the community. "I am very happy and encouraged. I believe in myself and am now able to give my brother and sisters a better life as well. While I’m thankful to be earning, what truly satisfies me is being able to create employment opportunities for female youth in my caste," Shanta says. Through READ Nepal’s Youth Program, Shanta now shares READ’s vision to empower women to stand on their own two feet and encourage others like her who dream of supporting their family.