Bhagwati Rai, aged 49, a resident of Dhunibesi municipality-9, Jugedi village, Dhading district, spent nine years abroad in Lebanon as a migrant domestic worker. She is now starting to make a living providing veterinary treatment for livestock in her local community to support her family of seven.

“I had no knowledge of this kind of work before completing my three months Community Livestock Assistance (CLA) training in January 2018. It taught me many things about animal health care, including how to treat injuries, vaccinations, administering medicines and even surgery,” she said.

The training was provided to returnee women migrant workers by Paurakhi Nepal and Trade Link Pvt. Ltd. as part of a project: “The Future We Want – Creating Sustainability Foundation for Addressing Trafficking and Unsafe Migration of Women and Girls in Nepal,” implemented by IOM and UN Women, with financial support from Zonta International.

The project, which supports government efforts, targets survivors of trafficking and returnee migrant women in Dhading and Sindhupalchowk districts. Some 300 women have already received skills development training from IOM implementing partner Paurakhi.  

The training includes financial literacy, followed by job placements and start-up support to provide sustainable livelihood opportunities for small scale entrepreneurs.

“Through this training, I learned how to treat animals and gained technical knowledge about animal husbandry. Now I can work in my own country using this knowledge and these skills. It will be even better if I can get advanced level training and a Community Livestock Assistance certificate,” said Bhagwati, who will receive start-up support from the project. 

Paurakhi district focal point for Dhading Rammaya Shrestha agrees. “I am very happy with Bhagwati’s active participation in the training. She is older than the other participants, but has great promise as a Community Livestock Assistant. After completing the training, she successfully operated on a wound on the neck of an adult buffalo – not an easy task for anyone.”

Kanchhi Tamang, 28, who lives in Thakre rural municipality- 11, Sundar Bazar, in Dhading, also completed the Community Livestock Assistance (CLA) training with Bhagwati and hopes to become a poultry farmer.

After working as a domestic helper in Lebanon from 2009 to 2013 she returned home to Nepal and made a living selling chatpate -  a popular Nepali snack. But she and her family are still very poor and she hopes to make more money from raising chickens.

Kanchhi, who will also receive start up support from the project, says that her main challenge is finding space for her chicken farm. She currently lives in a two-room temporary shelter on two aana (63 m2) of land.

"If I can get some funding, I’ll rent a land and immediately start the business – initially with 1,000 chickens. I have learnt a lot about chicken farming from the training and understand many of the challenges of running my own poultry farm,” she said.