24th May 2022

Leading the way in community development: Rish Maya’s story

When The Gurkha Welfare Trust begins a water project in a remote Nepali village, we seek to involve everyone in the community. We provide training for those in the village so that they can educate others on the importance of clean water, sanitation, and hand hygiene. We also set up a Water Users Committee to empower the local community to take responsibility for the water project, regularly testing water quality and carrying out routine maintenance. This ensures its sustainability for years to come.

Along with installing infrastructure to provide clean, safe water, one of our goals is to uplift and empower women in the village.

Rish Maya Gurung, aged 46, became involved with our water project for her community in Lapsibot, a village in the Lamjung District. Once she received training from The GWT, she shared what she’d learned with others in her community and became a role model for the village’s youth. After she showed great leadership on the Water Project Committee, she was appointed as a Chairperson of the village’s School Management Committee.

“I was so happy that I was appointed as Chairperson of Lapsibot’s School Management Committee,” Rish Maya said. “Women should not just stay at home and do household chores. We can achieve anything if we set our hearts on it.

“Now, I am confident enough to give my opinions and recommendations. I used to lower my voice in front of men, but now I can speak openly. We need courage and we need to take leadership so that we can move forward.

Rish Maya is a role model in her community, and earned a place on her village’s School Management Committee after showing great leadership on the Water Project Committee.

“I did not go to school when I was young due to difficult circumstances, but I always wanted to be educated. So, I joined informal education. Following that, I became a support teacher and taught villagers. Now, my family is proud of my achievements. We as women should have the confidence to make wise decisions which can help us move forward in our lives.”

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