Pramod’s story is not unlike many others’ who live among Nepal’s marginalized communities. Although discrimination has been illegal for decades, families like Pramod’s often remain significantly disadvantaged due to deeply entrenched stigma in their communities. In this context, even sending a child to school in the face of such discrimination is an act of courage.
Pramod had a deep passion for learning from when he was young, despite the many disadvantages he faced. His parents were illiterate, and his father supported the family of seven on a meager income earned by repairing shoes and musical instruments. Payment was often received in the form of rice and wheat. There certainly was not extra money for sending a child on to higher education: a dream of Pramod’s as he diligently completed secondary school.
Despite his dream of earning his bachelor’s degree, Pramod recognized the need to help support his family, and quickly turned his mind to finding a job that would provide some steady income. What he needed was training in specific skills that would earn him some meaningful work.
When Pramod learned of a vocational training scholarship opportunity through MCC’s partner, the Brethren in Community Welfare Society (BICWS), he was immediately interested. He was selected as a participant for a one-year IT course in Nepal’s south-eastern city of Biratnagar.
Upon successfully completing the training course, Pramod was offered a job at a private company where he earns a steady monthly salary for supporting his family. Pramod plans not only to continue supporting his family, but also to work toward a higher-level IT degree. As he thinks about the impact of the BICWS scholarship opportunity on his life, he explains that he has gained not only much-needed income, but also the respect and acceptance of an entire community.