When a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal in April 2015, Debaki was left homeless and without the finances to rebuild. But thanks to Plan International, she has been able to support her family through an incredibly difficult time.
She also discovered that being a female isn’t a hindrance.
All she could initially salvage in the aftermath of the earthquake were a few items of her daughter’s clothing. With her husband working overseas, she joined Plan’s cash-for-work program and was the only female leader from her community.
Her role was to supervise 25 people to build a path from their village to the main road.
As of December 2015, more than 7,800 people have participated in the cash-for-work program, an opportunity for men and women to access short-term employment, earn an income, and rebuild their communities.
“I was given the task to find women who are vulnerable and could work,” she said. “I found people who are trustworthy. I am so happy that we decided to work, females and males together. I feel happy and proud of myself that we could work equally and I am satisfied that my team members and I were equally paid. This is the first money I have earned.”
“For one month, the cash-for-work team made a path up a hill,” she added. “I carried my child, because I couldn’t leave her. The money I used from my work allowed me to buy plates and glasses for my home. I’m going to invest the rest in educating my child. Earlier there was no such thing as equality between men and women, but this program has made us equal.”