Mina, age 15, lives with her mother, father, sister and two brothers in a small flat in Kathmandu with no electricity. The family was recently forced to move on short notice when their landlord sold the property, and is currently settling into their cramped new home, where construction is still taking place. It is not an ideal situation, but the resilient family is making it work.
A conscientious and hard-working young lady with a sunny personality, Mina was facing the prospect of having to drop out of school due to her family’s financial constraints. In 2008, she earned a comprehensive NCEP scholarship that enabled her to continue her pursuit of education, and she is making the most of the opportunity. She can be seen walking to school each morning with her sister in their uniforms through the winding pathways of Kathmandu, and consistently passes all her classes.
In 2011, both Mina and her sister Reshma switched from their old schools to the very well-regarded Shanti Nikunja School, which is much closer to their new home.
Her mother, despite being illiterate, sits with Mina every evening while she completes her homework, helping her understand the value of education. She also stays in constant contact with NCEP volunteers, helping out in any way she can. She has passed on this strong work ethic to Mina, who has volunteered her time to tutor Sudeep, one of the younger NCEP scholars. “I’m do not worry about my boys,” says Mina’s mother. “They will have opportunities. But it is more difficult for girls. If my daughters are not in school, then what life will they have?”
Outside of the classroom, Mina is skilled in drawing, painting, tailoring, and wants to learn dance. She is part of a multi-talented family: Reshma enjoys writing poetry, Isur is an avid sportsman, and Susan is a very talented artist.
Clockwise from top left: Mina’s mother, NCEP Co-Founder Raju, Mina, sister and NCEP Scholar Reshma, younger brother Isur, youngest brother Sujan.
Mina, Reshma, and Isur with their father, who recently moved to Kathmandu to join the family from their home village. He is currently looking for work as a plumber.
Mina and Sujan walk to the nearby store at night to get powdered milk for tea.
Reshma, NCEP Scholar Sudeep, and Mina wearing their new school uniforms. Mina and Reshma switched to Shanti Nikunja school in the 2011-12 school year.
Mina with her mother.