SOS Children's Village Dhangadhi – January 8 2021

Taking Responsibilities of the Family

We often hear about parents struggling to handle their teenage children. They encounter difficulties while teaching and coaching about the responsibility and accountability to teenagers. However, this is different for Ram Bahadur BK, a 19-year boy from rural parts of Nepal. Here is how he takes responsibilities of his family during this pandemic.

Ram from Kailali, far western part of Nepal was studying in class XI when the government announced the lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19. His life was normal except his school was closed.

During this time, he started to help his mother in the farming. His family had a small plot of land in which they grow seasonal agriculture. This is the only source of income for his family.

“After the death of my father few years ago, my mother worked as a seasonal labour in the farm. The income as a daily wage labour and crops that we grew was not sufficient for us to feed the family of seven members. We struggle with food shortages even in the normal times as we have to store some seed to replant, sell some crops to fulfil the basic requirements of the family”, shares Ram.  

After the lockdown, all the family members were at home with no work. The expenditure was same as in the normal days with no income. Slowly, things changed. They finished the little food they had in stock. Life was complicated for his mother to feed her five children and an old aged mother.

“My mother doesn’t have saving nor she had enough money to purchase daily essentials. I am witness of her sleepless nights and struggles she has been doing to raise my siblings and I. For my family it was almost impossible to fulfil the basic needs. We had no hope of getting self-reliant in this situation. Therefore, I decided to opt foreign employment dreaming of better opportunity”, adds Ram.

In the meantime, SOS Children’s Village Dhangadhi through a Family Strengthening programme provided support to establish a stationery shop under the COVID-19 Response Programme. The programme aims to uplift the lives of the people who are affected by lockdown and Coronavirus to ensure that the basic needs of the children and family are fulfilled. With the support received, Ram established a stationery shop based on his interest.

“It was a silver lining in a dark cloud. I was clueless from where should I start. I was planning to go abroad but I had no money. I belong to such a place where there is no basic facility of health and education. Now, I hope to provide educational materials to the students through this stationery shop so that students do not need to walk a mile to buy an exercise-book or pencil,” says Ram.    

He is grateful for the support he has been receiving from SOS Children’s Village Dhangadhi. His three younger brothers and one younger sister are pursuing their education with the support of SOS Children’s Village Dhangadhi.

“This is a great start for my life. I have been contacting few schools to supply educational materials. They have responded positively. I hope this would be a pathway to a brighter future. I am confident to take the responsibilities of my family and help my siblings in the pursuit of their dreams. Thank you SOS for helping us in personal growth and also for providing us with educational support. It means a lot,” express Ram.