Though she would like to, Fulmaya Moktan, a 13-year-old disabled girl temporarily living in Kathmandu, has never attended school because of her family’s economic condition. She and her family are seasonal migrants, and together, the seven of them work in a brick factory as day laborers. Their workday begins at 2:00 am and does not end until 2:00 pm. When she was three months old, Fulmaya slept near a hot fire and damaged her leg. Her disability has made her work at the brick factory more difficult, and despite the contribution of all family members, there is never enough money to feed the family.
However, Fulmaya heard about a free learning center near the factory. The Dahachok learning center, part of World Education’s Naya Bato Naya Paila (NBNP) program, appeared organized and welcoming, and she became interested in joining the other children learning in the facility. She asked the facilitator if disabled children could join the center. “It was a great opportunity for me because now my family won’t be tense about my education,” Fulmaya says. She has impressed the facilitator of her class with her regular attendance, seriousness, and interest in her education. Fulmaya plans to enroll in second grade at school after completing the course at the learning center.
Now, Fulmaya aspires to leave the brick factory. Her time at the learning center has helped her see that education is possible, and that her disability is an obstacle that can be overcome.