I’m reminded of these cheesey song lyrics when I think of sisters Sapana (pictured) and Anjana and their Umbrella story. The girls came from Solukhumbu, a himalyan area in the Eastern part of Nepal. Both their mother and father remarried, leaving the girls unwelcome in either home. With nowhere to go, they ended up in an ‘orphanage’ in Kathmandu in 2004. But all was not lost, the 2 sisters showed great resilience and strength of spirit. When Umbrella rescued them in 2006 and they joined our Sagarmatha home, they worked hard to make the most out of the opportunity they had been given. With such positive attitudes they were great role models to the younger girls in the house.
In 2011, Sapana sat her SLC exams and joined the NSYEP. She chose a +2 diploma course in Education and worked hard at her studies throughout. With the support of Umbrella’s Reintegration team, Sapana reconnected with her mother and began to live with her again. When she completed her course in 2013, Umbrella found her a voluntary teaching placement. She had to commute 4 hours every day and take a part-time private tuition job in the evenings. She was very dedicated and impressed the school. After 3 months, she was offered a full-time job teaching street children! We are so proud of her and wish her all the best of luck in the future! She is a perfect example of the success of the NSYEP – living independently, employed and making a contribution to society - and also what a bit of hard work and a positive attitude can do for your future!
We interviewed Sapana about her experience in Umbrella. Here’s what she had to say:
What is your experience of NSYEP?
NSYEP is like a perfect platform for us, I was supported in each and every steps of my life. Education support and monthly support really helped me to come up to this position. I got a chance to stay with my family after enrolling into NSYEP, and also got to learn about importance of family ,which I realised after living with them.
How did NSYEP help you to find a job?
I always looked forward for teaching job which I shared with NSYEP team and listening my interest, I was sent to teacher’s training in Nepal English language Teacher Association for one week. Furthermore the programme prepared me to face interview with different type of job skills training and then supported to connect me with the organisation I am working with.
Share your experience of working as a teacher with street children?
As I said earlier I always liked to work as a teacher, I am enjoying working in area of my own interest. I am working as a teacher where different age and different level children mostly from street are in the class. Its different than regular classroom and experience I am getting from this job is different and of great value.
Do you think volunteering is necessary for getting job?
Yes, volunteering is very necessary for getting jobs these days that is why I did three months of volunteering before getting into the job. After then, I got a job in the same organisation.
Are you happy with your job?
Yes, i am very much happy with my job. This is my first job and I am lucky that I got an opportunity in the area I am interested in.
How many hours do you travel every day to go to your job?
I spend four hours every day for a job, and I am happy because I love travelling!
What are the challenges in your work?
As I have to work with different age and different level children in same class room, I need to give equal time to every child which is difficult and time consuming. Street children are not disciplined as school children, so it’s difficult to control them.
You are also working as a tutor after your job? How do you manage your time?
I reach home by 5.30 in the evening and then I go for tutoring from 6 p.m that is not difficult because the tutoring is near my house.
Life is different now for than it was in Umbrella’s Home – is there anything you miss?
Every programme, picnic and I would say every day was memorable for me. Mostly I miss my dancing because I forget to dance these days.
Do you have any advice for your friends, brothers and sisters in NSYEP?
I would like to share that volunteering or internship is the first step in getting job. We learn many things and get firsthand experience through volunteering so, if you all would like to do something in future then don’t hesitate to start with whatever comes your way. And also we should be hardworking and disciplined to achieve success in life.