Dorothy Khan (Nepal)

Dorothy Khan received her MS in Global Affairs from New York University, graduating with a concentration in Human Rights and International Law. She conducted field research on both registered and unregistered Rohingya women in the refugee camps of Bangladesh. During the summer of 2015, she traveled to Iraq to implement a self-designed project, aimed at empowering youth in the Duhok region of Iraq to become local community peace builders. In addition, she previously worked with urban refugees in South Africa, aiding them in navigating through difficult legal issues as they formally applied for refugee status. Her experience over the years in refugee rights, women's empowerment and human rights has imbued her with substantial experience working with disadvantaged populations throughout the world. Dorothy is also a recipient of a MA degree in Public Policy and and BA degree in Political Science from Stony Brook University. After her fellowship, Dorothy wrote: "Working with students in rural Nepal really changed me as a person and my outlook in life. Not only was this fellowship the most challenging experience I have ever had but it was rewarding and powerful, and I would do it again."



10 Rupee a Cup

04 Aug

Dorothy Aug blog2-1 Dorothy Aug blog2-2

Sapana’s smile has a tender gleam with a mischievous, yet innocent twinkle in her eyes. After all, she is just 12. 

But, Sapana is not a typically carefree adolescent, as she should be. While traveling to Gutu, I met her at a bus stand selling berries. She left her house at 6:00am and instead of going to school, she reached the market at 8:00am to sell chutra (berries) at 10 rupees a cup. She spent all day yesterday picking these tiny chutras from really thorny plants just so she can sell them to help her mom buy essential food items. Her mom is the sole caretaker of her and four other siblings. Turns out, her father is drunkard and does little to help out her family. This shy 12 yr old is missing school and will sit at the market for the whole day just so can make money to have food on her plate. While her brothers are happily attending school, she was given the responsibility to bring home money.

In Nepal, keeping girls in school beyond their adolescence years is nevertheless a major obstacle. From my observation during my time in Gutu, I realized girls’ education is not the ultimate priority for many families. For these families, their daughters are often needed to work in the rice fields, collect firewood, fetch water and finish household chores and in Sapana’s case, sell items in the market. Often times, many of these girls are forced to marry at an early age.

While staying in the village, I saw young girls with haunting eyes carrying around little babies while completing chores. I doubt some of these girls will ever enter the door to a secondary school classroom. 

Sapana is just a representative of hundreds of girls in her village. Girls like her do not understand the importance of education often find themselves as victims of child marriage. Sapana is a girl that you will see every day in Nepal but choose to disregard.

Yes, there are laws and organizations that are working to combat discrimination against children and there are lots of organizations that work for the betterment of child rights. However, it does not seem to be enough. Efforts needs to be put towards raising the self-esteem of children so that they can be the lead decision maker of their own lives and ensuring that  young girls like Sapana grow up educated, healthy and happy.  

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Sapana\u2019s smile has a tender gleam with a mischievous, yet innocent twinkle in her eyes. After all, she is just 12. <\/span><\/p>

But, Sapana is not a typically carefree adolescent, as she should be. While traveling to Gutu, I met her at a bus stand selling berries. She left her house at 6:00am and instead of going to school, she reached the market at 8:00am to sell chutra (berries) at 10 rupees a cup. She spent all day yesterday picking these tiny chutras from really thorny plants just so she can sell them to help her mom buy essential food items. Her mom is the sole caretaker of her and four other siblings. Turns out, her father is drunkard and does little to help out her family. This shy 12 yr old is missing school and will sit at the market for the whole day just so can make money to have food on her plate. While her brothers are happily attending school, she was given the responsibility to bring home money.<\/span><\/p>

In Nepal, keeping girls in school beyond their adolescence years is nevertheless a major obstacle. From my observation during my time in Gutu, I realized girls’ education is not the ultimate priority for many families. For these families, their daughters are often needed to work in the rice fields, collect firewood, fetch water and finish household chores and in Sapana\u2019s case, sell items in the market. Often times, many of these girls are forced to marry at an early age.<\/span><\/p>

While staying in the village, I saw young girls with haunting eyes carrying around little babies while completing chores. I doubt some of these girls will ever enter the door to a secondary school classroom. <\/span><\/p>

Sapana is just a representative of hundreds of girls in her village. Girls like her do not understand the importance of education often find themselves as victims of child marriage. Sapana is a girl that you will see every day in Nepal but choose to disregard.<\/span><\/p>

Yes, there are laws and organizations that are working to combat discrimination against children and there are lots of organizations that work for the betterment of child rights. However, it does not seem to be enough. Efforts needs to be put towards raising the self-esteem of children so that they can be the lead decision maker of their own lives and ensuring that  young girls like Sapana grow up educated, healthy and happy.  <\/span><\/p>\n”,”class”:””}]}]}[/content-builder]

Posted By Dorothy Khan (Nepal)

Posted Aug 4th, 2016

5 Comments

  • Hannah Chi

    August 5, 2016

     

    Thank you for shedding light on this Dorothy. All around the world, girls are forced to tend to household responsibilities while their brothers get to go to school… Nepal is certainly no exception to this. It makes me so sad knowing how much potential Sapana has, and I wish she had the opportunity to have the riveting and intellectually challenging academic experience that she deserves.

  • Rachael Hughen

    August 9, 2016

     

    What kinds of new legislation is being passed to improve child rights/ do you think it is enough? I agree with you and think the first, most grassroots step of raising the self- esteem of girls in these areas is the most important foundation to work off of! Hopefully you’ve been seeing this with WRRP’s work… can’t wait to see more updates on Sapana and if she gets to break free from this unfair lifestyle. Great work.

  • Amanda Reis

    August 10, 2016

     

    This is infuriating! It is so heartbreaking that Sapana and girls like her are not given the same opportunities as their male counterparts. Finding a solution is so difficult when the payoff is food on the table for Sapana and her family. Thank you for this blog, keep up the great work throughout the final days of your fellowship!

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