Islam is a minority religion in Nepal. According to the 2001 Nepal census, 4.27% of the population are Muslim. Parts of the Muslim community in Surkhet, Nepal, have been lacking in areas of education, economy, and gender equality. They live day-to-day life saving little for the future. Education of children had not been a priority. In this context, Navjyoti Center took up working among Muslim women and children in 2010.

Five women groups were created for saving and investing. Though initially it was hard to convince the women to form saving and credit groups, after a year they were able to save some money in these five groups. Dozens of women have started small scale businesses like grocery shops, fancy shops, restaurants, buying and selling of spices, raising goats and chickens.

All the children are being sent to Madarsa Madina Middle School in the village. Navjyoti Center supported 65 poor children with uniforms and note books. On May 9, Madarsa Madina school celebrated 6th annual day. On that occasion Navjyoti’s service to the Muslim community was praised by the organizers and Rosita Kavilpurayidathil, SCN, co-ordinator of Navjyoti Center, was honored with the offering of a shawl by the principal, Ratna Subedi, in the presence of invited guests, women and school children.

Sister Rosita spoke about the great changes that have taken place in the Muslim community over the past years. The Muslim community applauded the service offered by Navjyoti Center and requested to continue to walk with them in their struggle to change the society.

Rosita Kavilpurayidathil, SCN