Nikita's story

May 11, 2018

The Fragile Seven Series

Seven examples of countries in crisis. Seven girls, coming of age amidst unthinkable circumstances. They share a common courage, in the face of danger and deprivation. And they share something else: an urgent need for education. For all vulnerable children – especially, girls – education offers a lifeline to safety for today and hope for the future tomorrow.  

Part 2. Nikita, Nepal

The earthquake which rocked Nepal in 2015 consumed 11-year-old Nikita’s thoughts by day and haunted her dreams at night. And, as with many girls, it threatened to claim her future.

Natural disasters of all kinds can do more than flatten girls’ homes and schools. They can shake girls’ realities to pieces. And the tremors can continue forever.

Long periods of missed learning – combined with economic desperation – can prompt parents to make impossible decisions about their daughters’ futures. A girl who has fallen behind in school may not have the option of returning. In poor families, destitution can sentence daughters to working outside the home, or even marriage.

Education has been critical for Nikita, and she’s fought hard for it. After the horror of the quake, Nikita struggled to find the courage to step indoors. It wasn’t much of an option, anyway. Her own home and school were badly damaged.

Nikita (left) sits in one of the classrooms in the new school building.

Nikita joined the thousands of Nepali students who were trying to keep up with lessons in temporary structures, during the weeks and months that their schools were off-limits. Concentrating was nearly impossible. Aftershocks were frequent, and terrifying.

In the years since, education has given Nikita both healing and hope. Her school is now rebuilt, better and stronger than before. Life inside is full of colour, interest and possibility – and a beautiful book corner stacked with stories. Best of all, Nikita’s face is no longer filled with terror. 

Newly built earthquake-resistant building of Shree Mangala School

"When I am in the new classroom I feel very happy and therefore, I smile," she says.

Nikita is able to attend school, thanks in part to Canadian generosity and local support in Nepal.

Does Nikita’s story speak to you? Then speak up! As the G7 Summit approaches, let the government of Canada know that you want them to invest in education for girls in crises by signing our petition so that all girls have the chance to shape their own futures.