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Laxmi is now an advisor at her child's club, helping nurture the next generation of young leaders. Photo: Richard Wainwright/Caritas Australia

Laxmi's story

Nepal

After losing her father at a young age, Laxmi was at risk of falling further into extreme poverty. But with the support of our partner Caritas Nepal, Laxmi joined a child's club, became a leader in her school and is now a mentor to other girls in her village. 

Laxmi and her mother Mankala work in their fields close to their home in Jajarkot district, western Nepal.  Photo: Richard Wainwright/Caritas Australia
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Laxmi and her mother Mankala work in their fields close to their home in Jajarkot district, western Nepal. Photo: Richard Wainwright/Caritas Australia

Laxmi lives with her mother and siblings in Jajarkot, one of the least developed districts in the remote Karnali province, with almost half of the population living below the poverty line.

Tragedy struck when Laxmi was 10-years-old. Her father, who worked hard to pay for his children’s education, passed away. Laxmi was devastated. She used to love to go to school but for the first time she stopped attending her classes.   

 

Before her father’s passing, Laxmi joined a child's club at her school that was run with the support of Caritas Nepal, through the Nepal Livelihoods and Resilience Program. Child's clubs support students to develop their speaking, writing and leadership skills through extracurricular activities. 

Thanks to the support of her child's club, Laxmi was encouraged to resume her education. She became an active member of her child's club, where she developed the skills and confidence to become a leader, advocating for clean water taps at her school. 

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Laxmi stands under a suspension bridge next to her home in Jajarkot district, western Nepal. Photo: Richard Wainwright/Caritas Australia

If I don't get to study, then I'll experience hardship. I'll have to struggle like mother. If I don't get to study, then I'll have no knowledge.

Laxmi

Since 2018, Caritas Nepal has supported more than 5,000 children through the child's clubs. 

Laxmi’s grades have excelled since joining the child's club. But her proudest achievement is something that will have a lasting impact for future generations. 

Clean water has long been an issue at Laxmi’s school. Laxmi and her child club members discussed the need to build multiple water taps at the school so that all students can access clean drinking water. They lobbied the school administration, the ward office and the municipality office until they eventually agreed to construct a series of water taps on the school grounds.  

“Now, I know where to speak, what to speak. However big the gathering might be, I'm not afraid to speak,” Laxmi said.  

Laxmi using a water tap that she advocated to have installed as a member of the Child Club at her old school in Jajarkot district, western Nepal. Photo: Richard Wainwright/Caritas Australia
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Laxmi using a water tap that she advocated to have installed as a member of the Child Club at her old school in Jajarkot district, western Nepal. Photo: Richard Wainwright/Caritas Australia
Laxmi in class at her technical school studying civil engineering. Photo: Richard Wainwright/Caritas Australia
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Laxmi in class at her technical school studying civil engineering. Photo: Richard Wainwright/Caritas Australia

Laxmi is now excelling in her studies and working towards her dream of becoming a civil engineer. She continues to be involved in the child's club, serving as an advisor and mentoring the next generation of young leaders at her old school.   

“Even though I don't study in this school now, I have to show them what I did with my talent. How I changed. Teach them what they can do. I want them to learn from the things I did,” Laxmi said.  

Along with your generous support, this program is also supported by the Australian Government, through Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).

Your donation can help:

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Laxmi leading a rally with Child Club members calling for child rights, such as access to education and stopping child marriage and child labour, through villages near her home in Jajarkot district, western Nepal. Photo: Richard Wainwright/Caritas Australia

Young people advocate and stand up for their rights

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Laxmi facilitating a wall magazine poster making session with child's club members at her old school in Jajarkot district, western Nepal. Photo: Richard Wainwright/Caritas Australia

Protect children from harmful work and exploitation

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Laxmi looks out from a suspension bridge next to her home in Jajarkot district, western Nepal. Photo: Richard Wainwright/Caritas Australia

Nurture the next generation of young leaders

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Laxmi outside her home in Jajarkot district, western Nepal. Photo: Richard Wainwright/Caritas Australia

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