Dining for Women’s Impact: Pushpa’s Story

Nepal Youth Foundation was a Dining for Women Featured Grantee in 2012 and a Sustained Grantee from 2016-2018. In total, we have invested more than $100,000 in the organization. These funds have been used to help eradicate the selling of young girls into bonded servitude and to promote gender equality and empower women in Nepal. Our Sustained Grant helped to increase the employability and end poverty of the girls freed from the Kamlari system of indentured servitude.


When Pushpa C. was only 10 years old, her desperately poor parents sent her into servitude as a “Kamlari” so the family could pay their debts. This type of domestic slavery was all too common in some regions in rural Nepal.

Pushpa was made to wash clothes and do chores for the entire family, while suffering verbal and physical abuse when she was unable to meet the unreasonable workload. She never got enough to eat or decent clothes to wear. Although her “master” promised to send her to school and provide for her, that was a lie.

Finally at 24 years old, Pushpa was rescued by Nepal Youth Foundation (NYF) and returned to her village.

Because Pushpa was already a young adult with no education or work skills, she was pressured into marriage. Her husband’s family was also very poor, and the young couple struggled to survive. Pushpa had lost hope for a good future until NYF staff informed her of their skills training and business opportunities for girls like herself.

With support from Dining for Women, Pushpa completed NYF’s Vocational Training Program. In the “tea and snacks” course, she learned how to make a variety of desirable street foods along with basic accounting and business skills.

Pushpa then received a small loan to set up her own food cart business in her village.

“The food-cart business is doing very well and making a profit,” says Pushpa. “With the income, I have been able to send my son to a good school. Not only that, I am now a trainer as well, and have provided similar training to other young girls and boys. It makes me immensely happy that this opportunity changed my life, and I have been able to change the lives of others too. I am thankful to those who have made this possible for me and thousands of girls like me”.