Janaki’s story – A just future starts with empowerment

19 February 2018
Janaki (centre) with some of her trainees. Image: Richard Wainwright/Caritas.

For each of the six weeks of Lent, the Diocese of Parramatta is sharing one of Caritas Australia’s  feature stories of lives changed through support and empowerment programs.

FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT – 18 February, 2018

In Nepal, Caritas Australia and its partners are assisting the country’s youth to start their own businesses.

Janaki is a young entrepreneur who has turned her life around.

In the Surkhet district of Midwestern Nepal, where Janaki grew up, she lived with poverty and disadvantage.

Forced into marriage at the age of 12, her already vulnerable position deteriorated further following the death of her husband only two years after they wed.

“I was so frustrated that I thought that my life was a waste.  Slowly I realised that I need to move on and have some skills,” says Janaki.

In 2015, she joined a youth club formed by Caritas Australia partners, Caritas Nepal and the Ekata Foundation Surkhet – part of a Children and Youth Empowerment Program (CYEP).

CYEP gives jobless youth the skills and training they need to start their own income-generating projects.

Janaki not only participated in training but also received a loan from the youth club to purchase her sewing machine.

“Everybody used to doubt my skills. But I stand on my determination and stand firm to learn tailoring skills,” says Janaki.

Nine years on, Janaki has 11 sewing machines and is running her own small business, teaching others the craft. She is now considered a community role model.

“My confidence level has raised,” says Janaki.

“I appreciate all those respected peoples of Australia who are supporting this wise cause. Through their help, women who experience domestic violence and who are financially vulnerable are getting new hope in their life.

“I thank you from bottom of my heart.”

Please donate to Project Compassion 2018 and help our most vulnerable neighbours in Nepal to build a just future for their families and their communities.

This year Caritas Australia, the International Aid and Development Agency of the Catholic Church in Australia, highlights the way that the pursuit of ‘Just Future’ is changing lives.  Youth are the future leaders of their societies, and are the focus of this liturgical, ‘Year of Youth’, in Australia. During Lent, Australians are invited to support Project Compassion by making a donation, or by hosting fundraising events in their local school, parish, community or neighbourhood. Supporters can also to share their stories on social media at #ProjectCompassion. To donate to Project Compassion or for fundraising ideas visit www.caritas.org.au/projectcompassion or phone 1800 024 413.


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