Little Sisters: Where are they now?
Our mission is to help Nepalese girls to become empowered leaders through education, mentoring, and community support. This is especially important in Nepal due to the level of poverty which increases vulnerability. Approximately 25% of the population in Nepal lives on less than $1.25 per day, only 43% of women can read and write, and over 70% of girls drop out of school in rural areas before the age of 16. Girls who are not in school face a high risk for human trafficking, exploitative child labor, and early marriage. Education can prevent these injustices. A World Bank study shows the transformative power of education for girls by looking at its impact on six areas:
- Earnings and standards of living
- Child marriage and early childbearing
- Fertility and population growth
- Health, nutrition, and well-being
- Agency and decision-making
- Social capital and institutions
Universal secondary education, especially in poor countries, has a multiplier effect that builds both wealth and health. A lack of secondary education for girls has a price: an estimated loss of global wealth of between US$ 15 trillion and US$ 30 trillion. Girls who don’t go to school will earn less and are more likely to marry as children and have more children, at a cost to their own health and that of their families. If every girl could receive 12 years of quality education, the future would be altered tremendously and would be brighter for all. Educated girls are many times more likely to become empowered individuals, informed mothers, and agents of change.
Little Sisters Fund started with 1 girl and has now provided education, healthcare, and mentoring to over 2,900 financially disadvantaged and at-risk girls in Nepal. Below please find out about the successes of some of the Little Sisters.
Puja has been with LSF since 5th grade. She started college in the U.S. in 2017 at Keene State College in New Hampshire. She says her journey in the U.S has been wonderful so far. She is majoring in Business Management with a minor in Studio Arts and Women’s and Gender Studies. She currently works as the Administrative Executive Editor for the college newspaper, treasurer for the Global Culture Club and helps with the LSF social media. She says that in a short amount of almost 3 years, she says “I have grown so much personally and professionally. I cannot express how thankful I am for the people I have met, the experiences I have made, the classes I have taken, and the skills I have learned so far.
LSF has been impacting my life since I was 10 years old. It has shaped me as the person I am today. LSF provided me with many opportunities that have made me feel empowered, confident, and a woman with a vision. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t have the support of LSF. I love being called a Little Sister. It is a significant part of my identity.”
Benajil began with LSF at 15 years old. She is now a junior at Keene State College located in Keene, New Hampshire majoring in Multimedia Journalism with minors in Political Science and Public Relations. She is working as a Multimedia Director for the college newspaper, the Equinox. Along with another LSF graduate, Puja, she won the “Outstanding Women of New Hampshire” award in 2017.
Benajil was selected to participate in a 10-day Inside Washington Academic seminar through the KSC honors program in Washington D.C. She also works as a Treasure for the KSC Global Cultural Club. She had the opportunity to visit the United Kingdom last May through her Honors Program. She represents Nepali culture in Keene International Festival every year. She enjoys meeting new people, networking, and learning about different issues.
Sweta entered the LSF program in 8th grade when she was 14 years old. What has she been up to since? She has accomplished a lot! She is now in 11th grade studying Computer Engineering and spoke at the UN in the fall of 2019 at the Women’s Conference to deliver ‘Her Story’ on International Women’s Day.
We have seen first hand the impact of education and we are so proud of the girls that have worked so hard to empower themselves and change the world around them. Huge thanks to our donors for making what we do possible. Follow us on facebook for more Little Sister spotlights.