In the quaint village of Phalebas, Parbat District, Nepal, morning sunlight filters through the windows of Bishnu Chopai's home and casts a warm glow on the faces of her young girls.
As they gather around their mother — books in hand — their eyes twinkle with curiosity. It's a new day, and school awaits.
But this image of educational opportunity wasn't always so clear for Bishnu's family.
She remembers the challenging days when her husband, Hari, was working abroad in India, and money was scarce. As the sole caretaker for the family during this period, she was supporting the children and raising the family’s goats for extra income, but her dreams went beyond merely surviving.
"I wished for a time when we could all be together as a family," she recalled. "A time when my husband would be at home, and we could create a better life for ourselves."
The turning point came when Hari returned home, and in 2010, they decided to start their journey in dairy farming, recognizing it as a chance to earn money from milk sales.
As they transitioned from raising goats to cows, their income began to improve significantly. "With the income from the cows, we were able to cover all our household expenses and improve our living conditions," Bishnu beamed.
However, the impact of this newfound income extended far beyond their daily needs: It paved the way for a brighter future for their daughters.
"We decided to invest in our children's education," she shared proudly. "They are the future, and we wanted to give them the best opportunities."
Bishnu and Hari joined a Heifer project in 2013, and it added value to their dairy farming journey. The support and resources provided — including targeted training and crucial loan assistance — helped them improve their farming practices, leading to increased productivity and profits.
"Our income has improved since getting involved with Heifer," Bishnu acknowledged gratefully.
With the increased revenue from their flourishing dairy farm, the couple could now afford to send their children to school regularly. "Every morning and evening, we all drink a glass of milk," Bishnu said. "And knowing that the milk is contributing to our children's health and education makes it even more special."
As the years have passed, Bishnu and Hari's commitment to education has continued to thrive alongside their farm.
With every success in their dairy business, the couple have found more ways to invest in their children's schooling. They saved and acquired essential equipment for the farm, which further boosted their income and enabled them to provide even better opportunities for their daughters.
More recently, they made the decision to focus solely on dairy farming, channeling all their efforts into making it a prosperous venture. The income from their dairy farm is now the cornerstone of their family's future — and the once distant hope of education for their children is now a vivid possibility.
"I feel very happy when I see my children going to school with enthusiasm," Bishnu said with a smile. "Their dreams are becoming a reality, and that is the greatest achievement for me as a mother."