"I finally felt like my life mattered to someone."

Nani resized for web

Nani Pariyar, aged 50, from Jhyalungtar in Nepal was supported by Womankind Worldwide’s partner, Women for Human Rights (WHR) so she could rebuild her home. Nani was married at 19 and has three children. Her husband died and she had no property or income.

“Before being supported by Women for Human Rights (WHR), my life was very difficult. I always cried myself to sleep at night and I didn’t talk to anyone. I was relieved when I found WHR, I had hope for the first time in years.

My husband died of Tuberculosis and it was difficult to take care of my small children. I have one daughter and two sons, I was just 19 when I got married. I faced many obstacles after his death: I had to ask people for clothes and food; he didn’t own a house so we had been living in a cow shed where I gave birth to my children. When he died, we were left with nothing.

I was doing some tailoring but the income wasn’t enough. Due to the problems with my legs, I can only do non-physical work. I used to work in construction, carrying rocks for 20-25 years, but I’ve not been strong enough for a long time. WHR provided me with chickens so that I could earn a living. By selling the eggs and some of the chickens after they grew, I was able to buy materials to build a house. I was able to leave the shed and have somewhere of my own.

I didn’t receive any government provisions after my husband’s death. They should do more for single women and mothers, they should have ensured that me and my children had somewhere to live. I needed just a small piece of land so I could grow vegetables and build a house.

After the 2015 earthquake, WHR provided me with clothes, blankets, a radio and some kitchen materials. I was listening to the radio when I was lonely, it meant so much to me – for the first time in a while I felt like I had company. Then, I was looking after my seventeen chickens. I sold their eggs and, when they grew big, I sold them off to buy the materials to build a house. I am very happy because of the support I received from WHR. Before, I used to wish that there had been someone to help me and I finally felt like my life mattered to someone.

I feel so proud that I have built a home. However, I still feel incomplete because the ground is not mine and the neighbours discriminate me because I’m a widow. They use chemical fertiliser on their land even though they know it is bad for my chickens – they don’t want to live near someone who doesn’t have a husband.

My chickens lay one egg per day. I just need to keep growing my poultry business so I can buy some land. Currently, my rent is 1,200 per month (12 dollars). I want my children to be successful so they don’t have to struggle like I did. I feel happy because WHR has done so many things to help me improve my life, I am so grateful. It is extremely important that single women are properly supported.”

  • Women for Human Rights (WHR)

    Nepal, Asia
    WHR strengthens the lives of single women (widows) through their economic, social, political and cultural empowerment in order to enable them to live their lives with dignity and respect. It believes there should be "no discrimination on the basis of marital status".