Fifteen years ago, at the age of 15, Maili ran away from home to marry a man ten years older than her. The couple left their village and came to Kathmandu where Maili found work in factory and her husband got work as a taxi driver. They had three children, who are now 15, 11, and 1 year old. After the birth of her first child, Maili’s husband took a second wife. He had three children with her as well. Somehow they managed the difficult dual family situation, all sharing the same small living quarters. This situation is surprisingly not uncommon in Nepal, a country where women are socially and culturally very inferior to men. For the first wives in such situations, even if they do not like it, they are left with little choice, as it seems a better alternative than trying to independently provide for a family.
During her last pregnancy Maili got jaundice, and during that time her husband ran away with his other family, leaving her behind with their children. She has not heard from them since and knows nothing about where they are now. When in the hospital in Nepal, patients must rely on friends and family members to bring food and help take care of them. Thus, Maili’s situation was a very difficult one, but fortunately some other women helped take care of her and the hospital helped her as well by forgiving some of her charges.
It was difficult after her husband left. She had to recover from her illness, and then she gave birth to her third child. She was alone, parenting three young children. Maili was very sad and in need of comfort. She had seen Christian believers going to church and living with peace in their lives, so she started going to church herself. At the church, she met a woman who worked at a fair trade company, a partner of ServLife, that employs single mothers and widows with children, and she helped her get a job. She has been working there for one year now, and is very happy; happier, she says, than when her husband was with her. She feels she might have been dead if it was not for this job, and yet in contrast, now she is so blessed. She can bring her younger two children to work with her and her oldest child attends a nearby school. This company helps with school fees. She also has a comfortable work environment, a job she enjoys and the continual joy of knowing products she makes are sold in countries all over the world.
The products in the ServLife store are made by Maili and other talented artisans in the regions where ServLife works. Through the ServLife Store, you can purchase these products and directly support Maili and others like her that are working to escape extreme poverty and trafficking.
40 new products have been added to the ServLife store, including wool hat and scarf sets, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and more..