News Release

Building a Hopeful Future in Nepal

Latter-day Saint Charities partners with CHOICE Humanitarian to foster self-reliance.


Five years ago, life was hard for Shyam Pariyar. He, his wife and three children, who live in the village of Udipur in the Lamjug District of Nepal, were barely surviving by doing seasonal farm work and sharecropping. Even though they worked hard, they could hardly produce enough food for survival, let alone have enough money to buy warm clothes for winter or send their children to school. Shyam was also in debt. 

Things started to change in 2014 when NGO CHOICE Humanitarian, with the support of Latter-day Saint Charities, started the Nepal Self-Developing District Program. Shyam was identified by his local village development committee as one of several extremely poor families in his area.  After being interviewed and offered aid, Shyam and his wife decided to participate.

The couple attended business development classes run by CHOICE and also participated in a savings program. After assessing his strengths and resources, Shyam decided to start a pig farm.  CHOICE approved his plan and provided him with a $500 micro loan. Shyam bought three pigs with the money.

After the first season, he sold all but two piglets from one sow’s litter to settle his debts and kept the entire litter of the other sow to raise for market. He now has a herd of 14 pigs and is debt free. While his wife looks after their business, Shyam works for neighbors to bring cash home.

For Shyam, the loan was important, but, he says, “The money alone would not improve my situation—it was the encouragement, teaching and mentoring that did it. It made me start thinking positively about us. I thought, ‘You are investing a lot in me. Why shouldn’t I try?’” 

Things continued to look up for Shyam. After receiving some government funding following the 2015 earthquake, he was able to build a new house and make improvements to his pig shed. The family is very grateful and happy for what they have been able to achieve.

When asked how he feels about his success, Shyam says, "I never imagined that I could improve my situation. The neighbors would not trust me even to lend 10 cents. Now they are ready to lend me even hundreds or thousands. I feel I have a voice. My self-esteem is high."

Latter-day Saint Charities, funded by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is a world-wide humanitarian organization focusing on self-reliance. 

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