– 8 January 2019
Sita’s story: The small gift that changed my life
Leaning over a sewing machine, her two sons looking on, Sitta Sunar sews the final stitches on a gold-coloured kurta - a women’s dress commonly worn in Nepal. She sells her dresses in a small shop that SOS Children’s Villages helped her to open a year ago.
Sitta has been raising her young sons alone since her husband was killed in a motorcycle accident six years ago. Since then she has struggled to earn enough money to support her family and has often had to take the children out of school because she could not afford fees or uniforms.
“It was a very hard life,” she tells us.
Our family strengthening team in Nepal has helped Sitta get her family back on its feet - contributing towards food and education costs so that the children have a healthy diet and the chance to return to school and supporting Sita’s career ambitions.
Sita was already a talented seamstress and had long dreamt of running her own business mending clothes and making women’s dresses – so we purchased two sewing machines for her, and the fabric she needed to get started.
Often even a small gift such as this can be enough to transform lives. One year later, Sitta is optimistic about the future for her business. She runs her shop out of a converted storage area at her sister’s home and has almost trebled her monthly income. She now plans to start making school uniforms and a wider range of women’s clothing, so she can expand her business further.
“The support I get from SOS Children’s Villages has been a godsend,” she says. “I never dreamt I could do this before - now it’s very different. I want to learn more, get more training, and expand my business. I’m confident that with this line of work I can earn enough to become independent.”
SOS Children’s Villages supports thousands of families like Sitta’s across Nepal, ensuring children can go to school and helping struggling families improve their incomes so they can escape poverty and better provide for their children.
This type of support is crucial for families in Nepal, where more than a quarter of the population lives below the poverty line.
“Empowering women is crucial”, Rajendra Regmi, an SOS coordinator working with families around the picturesque city of Pokhara at the foothills of the Annapurna mountains, explains.
“Women are often the most vulnerable. The fathers leave and marry another woman and it is up to the mothers to educate, feed and take care of the children.”
We support 2,700 at-risk families – including 4,500 children – in Nepal. Our teachers, social workers and family counsellors are ensuring children have access to education and providing training and career support to families in financial hardship. Our work is keeping families together and preventing children from suffering the trauma of family separation, abandonment and neglect.
For Sita, her new venture means she can offer her sons, who are now just six and eleven years old, the childhood they deserve. You can help a family like Sita's by making a donation today.