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HAT - Humanitarian Aid Trust Nepal

Bajura Climate Change, Adaptation & Livelihood Project

Gaining Financial Independence through Goat Rearing

Forty-two years old, Ganga Lawar is from Dadatol in Bajura. Being a single mother, she shoul­ders the respon­si­bil­ity of her house­hold with grace and strength. Ganga’s life took a dif­fi­cult turn when her husband passed away six years ago due to illness while they were in India. Since then, she has been the sole bread­win­ner for her family and has been taking respon­si­bil­ity for her three daugh­ters, all study­ing at the sec­ondary level.

Return­ing to Nepal and to her village, Ganga faced the chal­leng­ing task of man­ag­ing the house­hold and sus­tain­ing their liveli­hood. With just 0.06 Acre of farming land, most of it mar­ginal, uneven and hilly, the prospect for earning through farming appeared grim. Rec­og­niz­ing the lim­i­ta­tions of land-based income, she ven­tured into goat rearing, start­ing with just two goats.

Ganga joined the Ekitrit Lagani farmers group, where she actively par­tic­i­pated in group activ­i­ties and also made monthly savings. However, the inter­ven­tion of INF Nepal’s Climate Change Adap­ta­tion and Liveli­hood Project into her com­mu­nity was the turning point for her and many others like her who were mar­gin­al­ized. Through active par­tic­i­pa­tion in the group, she became more inte­grated into her com­mu­nity. Her group, com­pris­ing of other members from dalit com­mu­nity includ­ing herself, was selected for support under the project. Through the project, Ganga gained access to train­ing and resources related to modern goat farming prac­tices. This involve­ment in the farmers group not only pro­vided her with valu­able support net­works but also ampli­fied her voice within her com­mu­nity, empow­er­ing her as a woman.

The train­ing pro­vided through the project not only enhanced her knowl­edge but also improved her skills as a live­stock farmer, empow­er­ing her to manage her Goat farming more effi­ciently. With the initial grant support of Rs. 25,000 [USD 188] from the project, she further invested in her goat farming venture. Uti­liz­ing modern goat shed mate­ri­als, and plant­ing grass for the feed she ensured better care for her live­stock. She later expanded her herd from two goats to ten goats, lever­ag­ing addi­tional support from the provin­cial gov­ern­ment for Dalit com­mu­ni­ties. By invest­ing in goat rearing, she diver­si­fied her income streams and tapped into a sus­tain­able liveli­hood option that suited her cir­cum­stances and skills.

The results were promis­ing, Ganga sold several goats, earning a total of Rs. 60,000 [USD 450] to date. The initial grant enabled her to expand her goat farming venture, leading to increased income gen­er­a­tion. With a steady source of revenue from goat sales, Ganga gained finan­cial sta­bil­ity, allow­ing her to meet the needs of her house­hold without relying solely on land-based income. This income not only sup­ported her house­hold expenses but also enabled her to invest in her eldest daugh­ter’s edu­ca­tion and cover other essen­tial costs. As Ganga’s goat farming flour­ished, so did her con­fi­dence in her abil­i­ties. The success she achieved through the support of INF Nepal’s project boosted her self-esteem and moti­vated her to strive for further growth and success.

With the regular saving habits, Ganga has managed to save Rs. 22,000 [ USD 165] in her bank account. Today, Ganga’s life revolves around her thriv­ing goat farming venture. With a new­found sense of finan­cial secu­rity and sta­bil­ity, she faces each day with con­fi­dence, free from the uncer­tain­ties that once plagued her.

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Empowerment for women like Ganga means gaining control over their lives, making informed choices, and having the resources and opportunities to pursue their goals. It involves not only economic independence but also social and emotional well-being, as women like Ganga gain confidence, and a sense of belonging within their communities. Through small but targeted support, organizations like INF Nepal play a crucial role in enabling women from marginalized communities to realize their potential, contribute to their households and communities, and ultimately, lead more fulfilling lives. Ganga’s increased income allowed her to invest in her children’s education, highlighting how empowerment extends beyond individual women to benefit their families as a whole. By prioritizing education, Ganga ensured a brighter future for her daughters, breaking the cycle of poverty and empowering future generations.