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Profiles from Nepal: Jiwan Giri

March 29, 2018

Jiwan’s story is a journey from helplessness to prosperity. His unlikely story, however is met with the challenges of having no education in how to run a business, and we hope to change that.

 

In the narrow country of Nepal, the tallest mountains in the world, the Himalayas, swoop down into the flat plains called the Terai. This area contains rich and productive soil for farming, but it holds significant poverty and over half of the country’s population. Jiwan grew up in the Terai, in a small city in southeastern Nepal, but always struggled to earn money for his wife and two children.

 

Like many Nepalis, Jiwan moved to the capital. Kathmandu is a dusty, busy, and noisy city, with amazing colors and culture everywhere. On first arrival, Western tourists often find themselves taking time to absorb the visual overload that comes with a taxi ride from the airport. For Nepalis, Kathmandu has a reputation for opportunity and access to services that can’t be found elsewhere in Nepal. Away from his family, Jiwan started looking for work and had more trouble than Kathmandu’s reputation suggested. With the same feelings he had back home, depression set in and consumed him, fearing that fate would have him in poverty his entire life.

 

Jiwan, at rock bottom, persisted by travelling north to a village called Palchowk, where Aythos has ongoing projects. As a small rural Himalayan community of less than 2,000 people, Jiwan noticed that Palchowk has a Hindu temple pulling in tourists. He was immediately inspired and took on a loan to rent a small piece of land and started selling food to the temple’s visitors. He wasn’t earning much profit in the first year but had enough to begin selling groceries which allowed him to bring his wife and two kids to join him from the Terai. His wife then set up a stand to sell ceremonial items to temple visitors.  

Eight years later they continue their businesses and have made enough money to buy the rented land and save money for their future. Jiwan says, “Palchowk is a beautiful village with tremendous richness in nature.  My family and I are going to live here forever.”

 

We like to tell stories of people impacted by Aythos’s projects, but in this case, we wanted to share his story because he wants to learn more about running a business. He's accomplished so much on his intuition, but to help his family more he needs to take his skills to the next level.

Jiwan is an inspiration for his persistence to push forward in the face of obstacles. Your tax deductible donations to Aythos allow us to create projects that help people like Jiwan and his family earn incomes that make a difference in this quickly changing society. Please visit aythos.org to support these important projects.

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