published in Hope Spots 2024Women / Girls on March 8, 2024

Hope Spot 9 – From a ‘cage’ to unleashed!

Today (March 8) is International Womens Day – we’re sharing Rama’s story.

Today you might see a lot of media about International Women’s Day.


You should know that girls and women are a priority in the people you help through ALWS …


… because often they have suffered injustice and hardship, their needs forgotten, simply because of their gender.


At the same time, the girls and women you support through ALWS do amazing things – not only for themselves, and not just for their family, but for their whole community.


That’s why I want you to meet Rama.


I met Rama 15 years ago, in a remote village in Nepal. She told me:


“I felt like I was sitting in a cage.


My family migrated here from the hilly district because we were very poor. We have no house here to live, and we could only occupy a small piece of land.


My parents built a hut. The roof was made of leaves from trees, and it was only 3 metres by 3 metres for my mother, my father, my two brothers and two sisters and I.


That is why I say I feel I am living in a cage.”


The reason I still remember Rama now is because of what she was doing with her life, thanks to the support of caring Aussies through ALWS.


Rama was taught about her human rights, and social justice, and how to take practical action to make sure girls like her didn’t miss out on the opportunities every person deserves.


(Sadly, in Nepal it’s not just girls and women who face injustice and oppression, and whose human rights are forgotten – it’s former bonded labourers with unrepayable loans … people who are landless … people from the Dalit community who, in former times, were treated as ‘untouchable’.)


Rama told me she used to be shy…


… but training, through our ALWS partner LWF Nepal, gave her confidence to become Chair of a group of young people educating their peers about health issues, and sexually-transmitted diseases. She said the diseases are so serious, and so affected her generation, she overcame her shyness to lead the way.


I thought of Rama last Wednesday when I was invited to speak at Chapel for 700 senior students at a Lutheran College.


My topic? Narcissism + the war in Ukraine, centred around these words from Philippians 2:3,4 in the Bible:


Don’t be jealous or proud,
but be humble and consider others
more important than yourselves.
Care about them as much
as you care about yourselves.


Inspired by young people like Rama, I challenged the students that it was one thing to protest against poverty and injustice, demanding someone else do something …


… and quite another to get personally involved, to care about others ‘as much as you care about yourselves’. (Which is exactly what you do through ALWS!)


That’s why I share Rama with you today. While I don’t know where she is now, or what she is doing, back then she said:



See how the investment you make in someone like Rama unleashes energy and passion and skills and determination! Your impact keeps on growing!


On behalf of each person you support and help, (no matter what Day it is), thank you! The fact you care so much about others is why you are a blessing ALWayS!


PS: You can share in International Women’s Day by enjoying more inspiring stories about girls and women you support through ALWS here!

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