Center for Conflict Studies Knowledge as Action, Action as Change

One Dollar 4 Change

Pujita Shahi in India

Pujita Shahi is from the remote district of Jumla. She is one of the recipients of the Empowering Women of Nepal (EWN) midwifery scholarship. The Center for Conflict Studies, partners with EWN to provide a small stipend to Pujita Shahi and other EWN scholarship recipients during her one year midwifery apprenticeship.

Pujita parents separated when she was very young. Immediately after separation, her father re-married. Pujita and her mother had to leave home and live on their own. Since her father had been the breadwinner for the family, Pujita mother was unable to meet their basic needs. Consequently, Pujita started working as a wage worker and also attended local government school as well. She and her mother led a very difficult life of misery and poverty.

Pujita married when she was 15 years old. Her husband Mr. Birkha Badhaur Tamang was from another district and drove a tractor in Jumla to make a living. Unfortunately, a few years after marriage, her husband died in a tragic accident. At the time of her husband’s death, Pujita had a son who was just over two months old. Pujita, her mother, and the little child again had no means to support themselves. They had no home, no food, and no skills to survive.

The villagers in Pujita's community could not bear her sorrow. They provided one room for the family to live in temporarily. Pujita and her family were very grateful to the villagers for providing a roof over their heads, but they also were worried because they were not assured of how long they would be able to live in the one room house.

In 2010, Pujita was selected by EWN for a scholarship in order to pursue her career in midwifery. She believes she is the luckiest person in the world because she is getting an education that will allow her to follow her dream, by becoming a good midwife in her community as well as overcoming poverty. After completing the program she hopes to offer her knowledge and skills to help poor women in her community. She also hopes to support her son’s education and live a respectful life.

Archana Chettri, one of the co-founders of EWN says "women in these remote villages lead a very harsh life. Most of them are uneducated or have had very little education, they work extremely hard from early morning until late at night with limited food, health care, and support from their husband and families. It was very clear, that these isolated rugged-mountain communities were still very traditional and male-dominated. Girls in these communities marry at a very early age and thus suffer a lot due to pregnancy complications, many of which result in death."

EWN supported Pujita and two other girls to undergo a 29 months midwifery course at the Karnali Technical School (KTS) in Jumla. As part of EWN's contract with them, they will need to serve their community for at least one year.

The Center for Conflict Studies, partners with EWN to provide a small stipend to Pujita Shahi and other EWN scholarship recipients during her one year apprenticeship with EWN. During this paid apprentice program, Pujita and others will be required to travel to nearby villages (one day a week) and give a full-day workshop on do’s and don’ts during pregnancy, child care, adequate nutrition, uterine prolapsed etc.They will also be provided with a medical kit with some basic medicines and equipments.

Our goal is to collect 1500 dollars in three months (April-June, 2012). We ask you to donate at least a dollar to support Pujita and others like her. It takes just one dollar for change to happen.