Written by: Gulshan Kumar Tripathy (Community Volunteer)
Edit: VSO Nederland
Radhika Patel (14 years) lives in the Parsa District of Terai region in Nepal together with her parents. The family livelihood runs by working on other people’s fields and daily labor wages. Until the fourth grade of the Sri Pashupati Primary Radhika studied there. Unfortunately she was compelled to leave her studies in order to support her family. Her daily tasks took up so much of her time that she decided to drop out of school and keep busy with daily chores such as: cleaning, cooking and even helping her parents in the field caring for cattle.
When Big Sister spoke to Radhika’s parents about the ENGAGE (Empowering New Generation of Adolescent Girls with Education) Project in the village and the importance of education, they agreed to send her to the bridge class in one off the catch-up centres. There she was supported with essential educational materials which encouraged her to study with further dedication.
Big sisters are a part of the educational project Sisters for Sisters. This project aims to help girls from rural and/or poor area’s to go to school and stay in school. Read more about Sisters for Sisters here.
Upon completing the bridge class, Radhika was able to enroll in formal school. But due to Covid-19 schools were forced to close and the country went into lockdown. Despite the fact that facilities were closed Radhika’s Big Sister maintained regular communication and helped her review lessons at home. Big Sisters taught Radhika and her parents to be safe during the pandemic. Once the lockdown was over, she took her placement exam and to her parent’s delight, she was admitted to seventh grade in Sri Kali Prasad Lakhe Secondary school.
How are thing with Radhika now?
Radhika is still being supported by ENGAGE. She receives remedial classes to further improve her learning experience and has all the necessities to go to school. Owing to her hard work and dedication, she is now completely caught up to her class and is performing at the proper level.
Throughout this process, Radhika has received regular mentoring from her Big Sisters and Community Volunteer to continue her studies. Big Sisters pay regular home visits for support and provide counseling sessions with her parents to encourage her pathway to the independent life she aspires towards.
Her teachers are proud of her, her constant progress and to see her determination to study. Radhika herself is confident and made friends at school. She is very happy with the positive changes in her life that began with the opportunity to re-join school and now dreams of a bright career in the future.