Chuna's Story

What if your mother was sick, and you couldn't read the signs in the hospital to find her doctor?

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This is what life is like for millions of illiterate women across South Asia, like Chuna Devi, who once said that “being born as a girl is worthless." As a girl in rural Nepal, her education was never a priority. She grew up herding goats and cows for her family, and was married off at the age of 16.

At the age of 47, Chuna changed her and her daughters’ lives by finally learning to read.

She went to her local READ Center, and enrolled in a literacy course there. Once she had learned to read and write, she enrolled in other training programs, like livelihood skills training in mushroom and vegetable farming, and women's leadership courses. She wanted other women to have the same opportunity and support network that she had, so she started a women’s study group in her village, and invested in her daughter's education.

Today, she is the elected leader of a READ Center in her village, and her goal is to convince other women that it's never too late to learn.

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