“I have been spreading awareness among the girls and community people focusing on early marriage, as this has been one of the most difficult challenges that I have myself faced.”

She now works to identify vulnerable children in her community and motivates them, and their families, to restart their education. In co-ordination with the ward office and schools, she makes them aware of the risks and dangers of human trafficking, especially for girls.

For many years, Paru faced immense pressure to get married by her family. However, she prevented herself from being trapped by sharing the risks of early marriage with her parents. Now, with the help of her sister and a maternal aunt, she has been able to convince her parents that she needs to focus on becoming physically and economically ready, before getting married.

“I used to feel that I was a burden for my family. The idea of being forced to take on the responsibilities of my in-law’s house and to have children at a young age, when my body and mind would not be ready, scared me. I wanted to study, learn and become financially independent.”

In one of the YCA review meetings, Paru shared about the extreme financial crisis in her family and of her own interest in becoming self-reliant. CLAMP staff visited her house and conducted a needs assessment. With referral from the ward office, as a young adult at high-risk, Paru was selected for vocational training in tailoring.

“Shakti Samuha and F-skills (training institute) presented me with a certificate when I had successfully completed the training. This has boosted my confidence so much! I have also developed my communication and leadership skills working as a YCA. I feel good mobilising communities and spreading awareness on important issues.”

In coordination with Dupcheshwor Rural Municipality, the ward level Shikharbesi Women Network selected Paru for a further six-month training programme. This training was funded by Dupcheshwor Rural Municipality under its women empowerment initiatives. Paru then selected a girl from her village as a trainee helper. They both earned 10,000 Nepali Rupees (£75) per month as trainees. Having successfully completed the training, they are now looking for suitable work opportunities.

“I was shortlisted because of my dedication and commitment to this profession. I am determined to continue in the tailoring profession and help people that are in need by sharing about my own life experiences.”

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