Glancing at his two sleeping sons, Bir Ram has mixed emotions but in a good way. He is relieved that his children can sleep peacefully in a healthier home that is safe from animals, insects and extreme weather. “I feel their sound sleep not only makes them healthy and happy but it allows them to have better dreams. My heart cries with joy because I know my kids are dreaming about a better future. When you dream, it becomes a reality, and safe shelter creates the dream and hope.”
Thirty-year-old Bir Ram gained his freedom after the Government outlawed the bonded labor system in 2008. He left his village Mahendranagar in western Nepal to work as a cook in Malaysia when his eldest son Shisir, now 6, was just over a week old. He was torn between taking on a job that would ease their financial burden and leaving behind his wife Lalita and infant son who were both suffering from jaundice.
Although Bir Ram was anxious and even depressed during the four years he was in Malaysia, he worked hard to realize his dream of improving his family’s life.
With the support from Habitat Nepal and the Government of Nepal, Bir Ram and his family finally have a house they can call home. He is currently working as a mason in his community, earning enough so he does not have to leave his family again. “After building our house, my hope for life changed. I plan to work hard here in Nepal, so I can see my boys sleeping soundly. I always think about how beautiful their dreams must be, and I want to make my kids’ dreams a reality by providing them with the best education I can, so they can live a life they deserve.”
Bir Ram realized his dream that his children can sleep well and dream big.