Microfinance: Making families resilient in Nepal
In today’s highly connected world, people’s opportunities are less and limited by their geography. The flow of migrant workers, which is as old as civilization, has grown with the advent of technology and brought both new challenges and new opportunities.
Kamala Dhungel, a forty-year-old resident of the Subba Chowk, Birtamod Municipality, is well acquainted with the demand for migrant workers from Nepal that pulls their loved ones away from their homes and many times from their lives. Migrant workers are driven by poverty and economic hardships in their home countries. They search for income from more prosperous countries so they can send money back to their families. They struggle abroad for years to build a better life at home.
Kamala’s husband, Hom Nath, spent ten years working in Saudi Arabia, while she raised two children without him in a small mud-plastered hut with cracked bamboo walls and a leaky corrugated iron sheet roof. The family was dependent on the small remittances he sent home to supplement Kamala’s irregular and underpaid work as a daily wage laborer. He arrived home only three months ago to stay, then handed the mantle over to his twenty-two-year-old son, Aashish, who now works in Dubai as a migrant worker.
Life in Subba Chowk is not easy; they moved from their village Kafle Tar eleven-years ago in search of a better life, but they struggled to find work even in the more prosperous Jhapa district. Their current rented hut is downright dangerous; the rooms are small and are often overrun by pests. There is no toilet, and the family is forced to resort to the practice of open defecation. During rain, the roof leaks leaving a puddle of waters on the floor.
In our new house, we no longer have to fear snakes getting through the holes in the walls, rainwater leaking from the roof or food stocks getting damaged during rainfall or flooding.