Each morning, 7-year-old Rasu wakes before the sun to feed the chickens before getting ready for school. Each child does her part to keep the family afloat, but Rasu’s older sisters Jamuna and Ganga handle most of the heavy household work–cooking, cleaning, laundry, gathering firewood and tending the the family’s few vegetable plants.
Their mother, who is the family’s primary means of income, does back-breaking labor in the fields or on a construction site to provide for her family. With mom away from the house from sun-up to sun-down, the girls step in to fill the void. No matter how much importance the family places on education, daily survival always comes first. The Santi School Project is working to strengthen public school education for students like Rasu and her sisters by training teachers, placing volunteers in classrooms and improving school buildings in hundreds of locations around Nepal.