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The schoolgirl transforming her community in Nepal

By Agnes McGrane | 20 Nov 2020

Jenu has always had a passion to help those around her. But as a teenager from a poor background, she wasn’t sure how she could make a difference.

Jenu has always had a passion to help those around her. But as a teenager from a poor background, she wasn’t sure how she could make a difference.

Jenu lived a quiet life in her small village in Nepal, focusing on her school work. She knew the value of education – her older brother had been forced to drop out of school to help provide for the family – so she studied hard to get good grades.

Despite her own family’s financial problems and lack of resources, Jenu longed to do something practical to help others in need. The only problem was that she didn’t know where to start.

A small group with big impact

When Jenu was invited to a community group run by Tearfund’s local partner, she got the opportunity she had been looking for. The group provided training on how to work together with others in the community to solve problems and improve living conditions.

Jenu became an enthusiastic member of the group, and was eventually asked to help lead it. The group was able to bring the villagers together to discuss and address issues such as road maintenance, safe hygiene practices and helping those in need.

‘The changes have made a lasting impact on my family and community,’ Jenu shares. She says that she has found a fresh sense of purpose and fulfilment since joining the group. ‘Since then I have been supporting families, groups and community activities.’

Acts of kindness

Recently, Jenu came across an elderly man in her village. He was struggling to get around, had no-one to support him, and couldn’t afford to buy food.

Due to the training she has received, Jenu felt confident to act quickly and gather others to help. Jenu and four of her friends raised money to buy the man what he needed, and helped him get his groceries and other essentials. Once isolated and alone, suffering in silence, he now enjoys the support and friendship of those in the community.

‘It’s so inspiring when we see young people like Jenu get involved in our community transformation projects,’ says Pranaya Chhetri, who oversees Tearfund’s work in Nepal. ‘We want to encourage and empower young people to lead in their communities, and equip them with vital life skills for the future.’

‘The process has motivated me to do such good things,’ says Jenu, who is excited to learn more and take part in new community projects. And she’s not alone – the villagers have been inspired to dream for a better future and face their challenges together.

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Written by Agnes McGrane