Chandan Thakur is now 19 years old and currently awaiting his grade 12 result. He was registered with World Vision International Nepal’s sponsorship programme in 2004. A resident of Sunsari district, Chandan’s family was poor. His father was the primary breadwinner of the family, who used to work as a hairdresser in other barbershops to support his family. His family often struggled to meet the basic needs of the family.
Chandan’s family got opportunities to participate in World Vision livelihood training, targeting marginalised people in his community. They received livelihood tools and equipment like chairs, mirrors, scissors, razors, fans from World Vision to start their business.
It has been four years since they started their salon. Now, Chandan actively supports his father running the parlour. They earn NPR 800-1,000 ($ 8-10) per day from the salon. With the sustainable income source, Chandan and his father have been supporting the basic needs of the family members, including education for his younger brother who studies in grade 11. Chandan and his father are also planning to expand their business.
Besides the start-up support, Chandan’s mother received a cow and training on vegetable farming from World Vision, which apparently helped the family to get nutritious food.
As a sponsored child, Chandan actively participated in activities or events initiated in his community through World Vision’s sponsorship programme. He was selected as the SKYE (Skills and Knowledge for Youth Economic Empowerment) club leader because of his confidence and leadership skills. Today, he leads one of the SKYE clubs formed by World Vision and several community-level development and awareness initiatives such as community cleaning campaign and campaign against alcohol and drug abuse, working closely with community and local government. He also encourages youth to get involved in community activities as much as possible.
"He is very active and often comes with different creative ideas. He has been an inspiration for the youth in the community,” highlights the head teacher of Saraswoti Basic School, where Chandan’s SKYE club is based and also the school he graduated from.
“Chandan has developed a completely new profile in the community because of the SKYE club. People now recognise me as the father of Chandan. I am very proud to be his father and very thankful to World Vision,” says his father Hareram Thakur.