Breaking Barriers, an Engineer in the Making
Phulmaya is a bright, young girl with a very bright future. A few short months ago, this future was uncertain. The COVID pandemic meant schools were closed, work was hard to find and meeting the basic family needs had become very difficult. Instead of being in school, Phulmaya was working in the fields when she was bitten by a venomous snake. Phulmaya was rushed to the hospital in Kathmandu where she was treated and nursed back to health with the help of the Little Sisters Fund’s Preventative and Emergency Healthcare program.
While serious, recovering from a snake bite was not the only thing standing in the way of Phulmaya’s dreams. Phulmaya’s intelligent and inquisitive nature made her extremely successful in school. After completing the School Education Exam (SEE) with outstanding results, she took and passed the entrance exam for a 3-year diploma program in civil engineering. Additionally Phulmaya received a highly competitive scholarship for engineering. However, her family felt it was socially unacceptable for a girl to enter the male-dominated world of engineering and were convinced becoming a teacher was a safer route for Phulmaya. That is where LSF staff and Phulmaya’s Coordinating Mentor, Prativa, stepped in. Through counseling and awareness raising, they helped Phulmaya’s family see the benefits of allowing Phulmaya to pursue a diploma in the Civil Overseer program. Phulmaya will continue to break through the barriers girls and women face in traditional Nepali society and will continue to be a beacon of hope and accomplishment for Little Sisters.