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Tika: a strong voice in her community

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16-year-old Tika is driving change in her community in Rukum, Nepal – and your support has helped her overcome the barriers she faced to get there.

The pressures of poverty meant Tika’s parents had to leave her at home as a young child, while they struggled to earn an income. One day, an accident with the stove left Tika with severe burns, and without access to effective treatment, her left leg was amputated. All her family could afford was crutches, making day-to-day life – like the hour-long walk to school – a huge challenge. When she reached middle school, Tika began to feel increasingly isolated from her peers and uncomfortable about her disability.

But things began to change when Tika connected with Tearfund’s partner, United Mission to Nepal (UMN). Inspired by the love and teachings of Jesus, UMN have spent the last 65 years helping communities in Nepal to experience hope, dignity and fullness of life. They recognised that Tika’s situation came from a complex mix of inter-related causes, all of which were limiting her ability to thrive as God intended. With UMN’s support, Tika accessed necessary treatment and was finally fitted with a prosthetic leg. UMN also provided Tika’s family with some goats to raise, which helped them generate steady income.

Tika with mum

8,016 people with disabilities were directly impacted by the work of Tearfund's partners in the past year.

Not only is Tika now thriving in her schooling, she’s become a leading advocate for marginalised people. Within and beyond her community, Tika speaks passionately about disability rights, and helps those facing barriers to access support and resources. “People are disabled only by the barriers,” she says. “I have a spirit to feel this issue because I am part of it.”

Her passion has led her to become chairperson of the local disability network – a significant achievement for a teenage girl in rural Nepal. “I have yet to do a lot of things,” Tika shares, and there’s no doubt that more people in Rukum and beyond will enjoy new opportunities and empowerment thanks to her leadership.

Through your generosity, support is reaching people like Tika. Thank you for helping people to overcome barriers and experience hope, dignity and fullness of life!

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Related projects have received support from the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).