Saru, former sponsored child, now Hidden Hero for her community

Former sponsored child educates her community in the fight against COVID-19

At a time when the entire world is frightened by COVID-19, 20-year old Saru, a resident of Morang district in Nepal, is active in helping community members stay safe from the coronavirus. She is engaged in educating adolescents and people of her community about the lockdown implemented by the Government of Nepal (GoN) across the country to limit the spread of the virus. As Peer Educator of Rupantaran (a life skills lesson class for adolescent boys and girls) she has developed her interpersonal skill, which she is utilising in time of this crisis to sensitise and encourage adolescents and community members to abide by the rules/regulations of the government during lockdown. She also demonstrates and teaches proper handwashing techniques and ways to maintain hygiene at home.

Saru loves to spend time with her mother and father, learn and help them with chores. While at home, she likes to watch informative videos on YouTube. These days, she is practicing to sew cotton mask and Kurta Surwal (a female dress typically worn in South Asian countries) for her mother learning from YouTube.

To encourage adolescents girls and boys to remain inside their houses, practice healthy behaviours and engage in fruitful activities during lockdown, Saru is also keen to share how she is utilising her time through videos and in-person whenever possible.   

A young motivated woman, who aspires to be educated and contribute for the development of her community, hopes to educate more people so they can remain safe and protect their love ones from the coronavirus.

“I like to learn new things and share with my friends and adolescents of the community. I believe our small effort could turn out to be a great support for our country to beat COVID-19,” says Saru.  

Currently, she works as a Key Leader at Nari Bikas Sangh, a partner NGO of World Vision in Morang district of Nepal. Having received trainings on child protection, her main role is to learn and identify issues relating children such as child abuse, child marriage, etc. and report to the ward child network and NBS for further action. She is also associated with the SKYE (Skills and Knowledge for Youth Empowerment) club formed with facilitation from World Vision and is actively involved in community-level awareness activities against child marriage and child labour.

Saru engages children in a discussion about child marriage

he recalls her memories with World Vision as one of the life changing moments of her life. She loved participating in programmes, drawing and writing messages to her sponsor. Registered in 2006, her engagement with World Vision’s sponsorship programme completed last year in September.

“I am the only member in my family who has higher education and all my family members are proud of me. My parents want me to study further as they are able to support me now,” adds Saru. 

Both her parents who used to work as daily wage labours in a carpet factory, now owns a Chatpate (a type of spicy and tangy Nepali snack) cart and are earning decent amount of money. Until the lockdown came into effect, they used to roll their food cart in the local markets and schools.  

“People in my community have started to recognise me. I belong to a low caste but now people address me ‘Miss’ (considered as a title of respect for women),” concludes Saru.