Fortunately, in February, she found a job at SHINE cleaning company through the help of INCLUDED Nepal’s Program Officer, Smriti Karki. “The pay is perhaps the same as what I earned from selling one mattress, however, this is much more stable and has made things more comfortable for us.”

Thirty-five year old Maya Tamang, married to Purna Bahadur Tamang, is a mother of three beautiful girls—Bhawana Tamang (18), Srijana Tamang (14) and Samjhana Tamang (12). Originally from Charikot, Dolakha District, Maya moved to the city nearly 21 years ago. It was only in 2004 that her family and she moved to Manohara from her rented room to a house she now owns. She is a new member of mom’s club.

“I used to work as a labourer at first; without any skills and education there was nothing else I was capable of doing at that time. But after I moved to Manohara, everyone here knew how to knit mattresses so I learnt it as well and life became a bit easier. “Even then, her income was not stable and sending her children to school was becoming difficult. Her husband works for a catering company and his earnings barely runs the household. She adds that the mattress business was, and still is, very unstable and once she got an acute disease in her eyes, knitting difficult patterns became an irksome task.

Fortunately, in February, she found a job at SHINE cleaning company through the help of INCLUDED Nepal’s Program Officer, Smriti Karki. “The pay is perhaps the same as what I earned from selling one mattress, however, this is much more stable and has made things more comfortable for us.” Maya’s children’s tuition fee alone exceeds Rs. 2,250 ($ 23) every year without including other monthly expenses. For someone living in a slum settlement, every penny is worth saving and she, like any other mother, wishes that her children have a brighter future than hers.

“My second daughter is deaf so I have a lot to deal with—I used to go to learn her language but I cannot manage the time or the extra money. My oldest daughter wants to continue studying and I cannot deny her that, while financially I get more burden as the girls are promoted every year.” Nevertheless, she continues that the work environment at SHINE Cleaning and the money has helped her substantially to sustain their livelihood in Kathmandu City. “In the future” she says, “I hope to progress from my job and work at a place that takes care of my children’s education, so that I can worry about everything else that is less important.”

Report by Suhasha Malla