(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
I: I believe in adaptation.
I: I believe in a silver lining.
I: I believe that being flexible keeps me going.
I: I believe every single person deserves to be acknowledged.
I: This, I believe.
LIANE HANSEN, Host:
Here's our series curator, independent producer Jay Allison.
JAY ALLISON: Here is Chameli Waiba with her essay for This I Believe, read in English by Ramyata Limbu, recorded in Katmandu.
CHAMELI WAIBA: (Nepali spoken)
RAMYATA LIMBU: Before learning how to write, my life was like the nearby Indrasarovar Lake, always stagnant. I had the pain of child marriage, my husband did not support me, abject poverty was my way of life and I didn't have any skill or courage to do anything. But I saw that the number of people learning to read and write was growing - and their lives were improving. I then realized it was neither wealth nor beauty that I lacked, but letters.
I: I am now heading five women's microsaving groups. Ten or 20 rupees that used to be spent buying petty cosmetic items have been collected into a fund of 300,000 rupees. We are planning to open a small cooperative in the village soon. We also want to run permanent literacy classes for women and open a library. All this is the result of my knowing the alphabet, even though I learned it late. Letters have immense power. They have magic. The greatest thing in the world is the alphabet. That is my belief.
WAIBA: (Nepali spoken)
ALLISON: To find out more about her and to see links to the This I Believe project in Nepal, visit NPR.org/ThisIBelieve, where you can also submit your own essay. By the way, our series will be finishing its four-year run in April, so, if you want to send us an essay, do it soon. For This I Believe, I'm Jay Allison.
HANSEN: Jay Allison is co-editor with Dan Gediman, John Gregory and Viki Merrick of the book, "This I Believe, Volume 2: More Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women."
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