Investing in a Better Future

March 31, 2022



A victim of domestic violence hopes to secure the future of her daughters through UNDP’s Prayash programme

"My husband had another wife and children that I did not know about," says 30-year-old Rama (name changed), a mother of two. “He abused and beat me when I questioned him."

Devastating though the discovery was, Rama stayed with him. After all, she had no other option. Then, a few years later, she found that her husband had again married someone else.

This was too much for Rama. Helpless, with her two little daughters in tow, she left for her parental home, where she started living in a small room. Since then, she has had to toil hard to feed her children. A resident of Bajura in Nepal’s far-west, Rama worked as a labourer in a road construction site, and washed dishes in hotels and people’s homes.

But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, she had no way of earning. Rama struggled hard to feed her daughters during the months-long lockdown. The only support she received was from her parents when she had no food.

"I thought we would die of hunger," recalls Rama.

Then, help came in the form of UNDP's ‘Prayash: Temporary Basic Income for Marginalized and Excluded Women in Nepal programme. In collaboration with Rastriya Banijya Bank, the programme helped her open a bank account, where NRS 13500 was deposited as a grant.

"I spent some of the money to feed my children," says Rama, who derives strength from her daughters. She truly believes that investing in their future is the best investment.

“And with the rest, I bought books and stationery materials for my daughters as they need to continue their education.”

The Prayash programme is a joint intervention of UNDP, UN Women, and Rastriya Banijya Bank. In 2021, over 2350 vulnerable women affected by COVID-19 were provided basic income through the project.