Our #HumansCare feature is helping to amplify the voice of carers in developing countries. Before 2012 when Carers Worldwide began to engage this hidden population, they remained excluded, isolated and undervalued within their communities.
Thank you for hearing their stories and following our efforts to create change in their lives.
Renu Khatri lives in Toripani in Myagdi district, where she cares for her husband Dambar, who has bipolar disorder. Dambar is unable to work and relies on expensive medication to manage his illness. Renu’s daughter also has a disability but is able to overcome her challenges to attend college.
Seeing her daughter living her life fills Renu with pride and she helps her as much as she can. Even though it’s a great strain on the tight family budget, Renu makes frequent and costly trips from her rural home to the city to support and encourage her daughter. Recently, Renu began to worry that this situation was unsustainable and she knew she needed to find an alternative to help her family.
Renu had already connected with the carers group set up by Carers Worldwide in her village. Aside from emotional support and new friendships, she had been contributing to the group savings programme for some time. This offers a level of financial security for the members of the group by offering the opportunity to apply for a small loan from the group savings for medical assistance, emergency situations and livelihoods initiatives. Knowing she couldn’t continue as she had been, Renu took a loan to start up a small goat rearing business.
Renu now has fifteen goats and is rearing kids to sell at market. The ongoing income generation from the business generates enough money to run her household. Since the business operates from her home, Renu can care for her husband and maintain her farming duties throughout the day.
“My money worries have been lifted from me, and I feel much healthier, physically and mentally. I am proud to be able to help other carers now,” she told us.
Sharing what she has learned with other carers is extremely important to Renu, and critical to our programmes. Through the carers group network she is keen to support other carers facing the same challenges that she did. Renu is now a cluster level representative and was nominated to the Myagdi district Carers Association, where she is actively lobbying for better recognition and support for carers.
Read more stories in our #HumansCare series here