Puja (19) changed her life around thanks to the work of Stromme Foundation. Born to poverty and hardship, she says "I can overcome anything in life now."

The ladder of success

Starting with a small step, every rung is an accolade for a girl born to poverty and hardship. A little step up is all the push she and countless others need to get a fighting chance at life's second best.

(NEPAL): “Life is an endless circle of poverty. There is never enough of anything. My parents tried very hard to give my siblings and I two meals a day. But food was more a dream than reality.

“So much agony and hardship, it was raw pain to see my family miserable,” said Punja.

After the death of her parents, the young children had little to keep afloat.

Life’s building blocks fell into place however, when a villager convinced Punja to visit ‘Samvad’ and spruce up her schooling. An adolescent empowerment initiative—Samvad—helps  re-school rural village dropouts by speeding up catch-up lessons, but by first letting them have a dream and set a vision for their life and make themselves realize the goals are within reach.


I have a dream—what is that and why does it even matter? wondered Punja* (19).


“In my role as an animator soon after, I acquired new skills. It was a steep learning curve at first, but I enjoyed learning how to facilitate discussions on topical issues of interest to young people. It helped me to connect and create marked change in adolescents just like me.

“I became a new person with each dawning day bringing the possibility to be better than yesterday. SAMVAD changed my life. It brought winds of change. I stepped out of the shadows and am now growing a strong sheltering tree.


Feeling empowered and enabled to fight for their rights--young girls say 'NO' to child marriage. 

Adolescents get a chance to discuss life issues and create a vision for their lives

“I thank whatever Gods may be for throwing me the SAMVAD lifeline. I was able to hoist myself up rung by rung.

I advocate to make SAMVAD available in every community,” said Puja.

Exhibiting great skill and potential as an animator, Puja was selected to work as a primary school child development teacher. I use the skills I have gained from the process of changing my thoughts and behavior into positive intentions.

Her experiences as a SAMVAD animator brought her one step closer to her dream.

“As I said SAMVAD is a life changer, it changed my life; I changed my thoughts and behaviour. Though my work as an Animator, very soon I was recognized in the community for trying to bring positive change for adolescents and my community.

I also got opportunity to take part in several programs. My community selected me for a vacant post for a Child development teacher in this school. This goes to show that my community has faith in me, in my capabilities.

SAMVAD is a life changer, it changed my life; my thoughts and behaviour

I gained my confidence, knowledge, experience, determination in one year being an animator. The exam and interview that I faced to get selected as an animator gave me enough strength to face the exam and the interview for the post of Child Development teacher”. Now I can pass every exam in my life too”, says Puja.

Puja’s dream was to be a teacher but now she dreams to be a lecturer to teach at college. She has widened her horizon because of the opportunities that were made available to her through SAMVAD.

She is now pursuing her Bachelor’s degree that she never thought was in her reach.  She is also the breadwinner of her family and supports her younger brother.

Puja in action - teaching in the classroom