Growing up, Anita attended a government village school. Paying for school was difficult because of her family’s low income, so Anita worked in the fields to buy school supplies. “Most of my friends left school after year 9 to go to work. They do not read well,” she says. “I wanted to go to school and read and pass.”
Anita is the first in her family to finish high school. In 2014, she was baptised as a Christian and married a young man from her community. Both of their families support her decision to finish her college degree.
When she’s not studying, Anita helps with household and farm chores, including cutting grass for buffalo, planting fields, and cooking “dhido gundruk food” (a traditional Nepali staple that includes a cornmeal, buckwheat or millet porridge with fermented greens). As a volunteer, she teaches Sunday school and helps children do homework at WPPC Safe House in Hetauda, a residence for kids rescued from human trafficking.
“There are so many problems in our society, and women have many burdens. Some brokers sell women into prostitution in Mumbai and their lives are damaged. They can’t say anything, because they are uneducated and don’t know their rights,” Anita says.
“After I graduate, I want to be a social worker and counsel women about health and education, so that they understand their human rights and send their children to school. I want women to know that they are strong, not weak. If they get an education, they can have a better life.”