Stories of Nepal: Our Girls
Monday, August 13, 2018
We have partnered with our brilliant friend Jay from Stories of Nepal to tell the stories of individuals at Kopila Valley and in the surrounding communities. In case you missed the first post, read our co-founder Tope Malla's story here.
"If I do well in SLC, I am going to try to become a Pharmacist. When I do, maybe I will be able to learn about new medicines so that I can grow back my hair. When my hair started falling, I used to get teased a lot. Some mean boys and girls would call me names and question my gender. I felt humiliated and I would try to hide my hair all the time by wearing a cap even when it was summer. After I shared my feelings with my teachers and counselors at school they told me I was beautiful. They told me that no one was born perfect. They helped me understand that it was okay if I did not have any hair. Slowly I started wearing my cap less and less and eventually, I gave it up altogether. I do not need a cap anymore. I do not need to hide my head in shame anymore. My friends have also accepted me as I am. And today, I actually like my short hair. It looks nice, doesn’t it?"
"I could never share my feelings with anyone. Most of the times I was afraid of what they were going to say. I am a girl and where I grew up no one listened to girls or women. When I came here, I made friends with girls who had similar stories from home. Some were of a difficult childhood and some of the traumas they had to endure. I could relate to these stories and I felt I was finally understood. However, it took me a while to open up. The more stories I heard, the more I felt I was not alone in this fight. I started wanting my life back. I started wanting happiness. I started clinging to the hope that I had almost let go of. Today, I feel like I am one of those lucky ones who got lucky. I found guidance and genuine people who care about me even though they are not immediate family. They have become my family. I am still healing but I smile these days you know. I can enjoy a moment without fear or worry, you know. I recently got accepted for my vocational training in agriculture and eventually, I want to open up a farm where there will be green grass, tall trees, happy people and happy animals. I will find and give jobs to girls like myself who have struggled for survival throughout childhood. I hope that they too can find the freedom. I hope they too can become one of the lucky ones. Just like me."