I am Bimala Rai, 32 years of age and living in Maina Maini village, Udayapur district of Nepal. I am a single parent of two children: a daughter and a son. I have been separated from my husband since last five years. To sustain my children I started operating a small shop in the street selling ‘chatpate’ – a spicy fast food. Fortunately, I came to know about improved cookstoves and the training being organized by WEE-Nepal Project in July 2015. I was selected in the training which provided me a new skill and also a key to boost my confidence. I looked upon this skill as a prime source of income for my children’s upbringing. Today I work together with Kalpana Rai another WEE-Nepal trainee and I am so encouraged to move ahead with this work. To start with the installation myself and Kalpana Rai have jointly borrowed a loan of NPR 150,000 from Sahayougi Saving and Credit Cooperative, a Local Financial Institute. We have invested this amount into place orders for the metallic components for the stove so as to expedite selling and installation of the stoves. I am very excited and hopeful in this endeavor. However the challenge is on demand collection and encouraging behavior change; “Now I understand what the importance of improved cookstoves in our kitchen is. But do I have to pay for the cookstoves?” these are common questions asked by the village community when we interact with them.
I need to motivate them to use cookstoves in their kitchen. This will keep women healthy and provide them time for other activities. Women need to have their own money to spend as per their needs. This will help them have their voices heard by all.