International Day of Friendship is celebrated annually on July 30. Friendships are a great way to unite people of the world for the greater good. Our carers Self-Help Groups (SHG) are an excellent example of how friendships can bring positive change to people’s lives.

“Ayan” is a carers SHG based in Lalitpur, Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. They are a group of 12 members who meet monthly to discuss caring issues and to support each other. In 2018, 4 members from Ayan joined 3 carers from other SHGs and started an embroidery livelihood project where they stitch fabrics and make saris and purses. This enterprise has significantly increased the financial wellbeing of the carers involved.

Ramita Maharjan was invited to join Ayan by a neighbour who was involved with the group from the beginning.  Ramita cares for her 5-year old daughter, Rasmi who was born with a hole in her heart and has a cleft lip, hearing problems and limited mobility. She is separated from Rasmi’s father and is responsible for providing 24-hour care to their daughter. Rasmi’s father does not provide any financial support for Rasmi.

Ramita describes the support she has received from the group as “amazing”. She goes on “All the carers are so kind and have a positive attitude. Now, if she needs assistance caring for Rasmi, she can ask another carer from the group to help out. Since joining the group, Ramita is now also saving 500 NPR (around £3.70) per month which is something she could not previously do. She now has some security in knowing that she can access funds in emergency situations such as needing to seek medical treatment for her daughter.

For Rasmi’s most recent birthday, Ramita wanted to make a birthday feast for her daughter. Another carer from Ayan SHG went to Ramita’s home at 4am to help cook the food for the feast. That’s true friendship!

Ramita with daughter, Rasmi

If you could help us support more groups such as Ayan Carers Group then please consider making a donation.