A new life for two families in Nepal – the Majhi family

Stories | March 31, 2022

People with disabilities and their families living in poverty face many challenges just to survive. From finding the right health care to paying for medication, to trying to earn a living, everything costs precious time and money. These families are often living hand to mouth. When disaster strikes, the consequences can be catastrophic.

When two families living in rural Nepal found themselves in this situation, a CBM-supported local project changed their lives forever.

A double disaster brought opportunity to the Majhi family

Rita Majhi lives in rural Nepal with her husband, daughter and teenage son, who was born with a physical disability. They lived together on a piece of land around the size of a basketball court. Rita’s husband worked as a labourer while she grew vegetables on the family’s land. While her son’s condition had improved over time, the family had paid a heavy cost in expensive treatments. However, Rita’s farming was going well and she was able to feed her family for an entire year.

Disaster struck first in 2015 with a catastrophic earthquake, and then again, in 2019, with the outbreak of COVID-19. All of Rita’s careful management was destroyed along with her home, food storage, livestock, and hope. The family’s situation was dire.

Finally, Rita’s life took a positive turn when a CBM-supported local project arrived with the goal of helping families with disabilities to improve their livelihood. After attending an inclusive event supported by the project, Rita and others formed a farmers group and Rita was named chairperson. The group started a savings program and one of the first items they funded was a new home for Rita and her family as well as a greenhouse, where she now earns a good income vegetable farming.

Rita can now support her family and also give back to her community – sharing what she has learned about business planning, farming and greenhouse building.

She is a source of inspiration for her entire community.

“I will motivate all the members of my group to grow vegetables,” Rita said.

Rita is only 33 years old but she has big plans.

“My goal is to earn a good income by cultivating vegetables and gradually I want to be the first to grow vegetables commercially at this young age,” Rita said.

 

CBM acknowledges the support of the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) for this project,

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