I am Yangjom Lama and I live in Mugum Karmarong Rural Municipality. I am 47 years old. My time at home used to be mostly limited to household chores and farming. Since I hadn’t received even a basic education, I could never participate and speak in community-level meetings and workshops. I never got engaged in group meetings, interaction, discussion, training and workshops in my community. Even when I went to a group meeting, it was hard to introduce myself and sign up by writing my name.
Others used to help me sign by holding my hand. Since I didn’t know how to read and write, I could not openly speak up. I used to get frustrated even at minor things. As a result, I could not handle work fearlessly. The facilitator of UMN’s Mugu Community Transformation Project operated by Karani Community Development Centre encouraged me to join their group. I started attending group meetings during leisure time after the completion of household chores.
The facilitator highlighted the importance and need of groups to us. Similarly, they helped us to understand the benefits of the group, like house visits, and clarified that the group is a platform to share our thoughts and be informed about our rights. This created enthusiasm and willingness within me. I gradually participated in capacity building, empowerment and informal literacy class activities. The regular informal literacy class helped me to grow slowly, and I continued to practise writing my name, sign, identify numbers and read and write.
I gained enough confidence to start to ask about the things that I didn’t know and understand, did homework regularly and started exploring new things in the group. These days I have experienced happiness in my life. I can sign my name in the minute book. I can do a simple calculation and dial a number on the phone to call people. Like the idiom “where there’s a will, there’s a way”, if we have the will to do something, we’ll succeed. My life has been illuminated.