Kabita finds purpose in heartbreak

Kabita Belbase overcame significant personal trauma, including abuse, mental illness and the loss of her beloved mum to rise beyond and complete her higher education studies. Now, she is passionate about helping others.

Kabita Belbase’s personal motto is to never give up.

It’s a mantra that has helped her overcome the most horrific personal trauma and darkness to achieve incredible things.

In her home country of Nepal, Kabita says she experienced domestic violence and child abuse.

“I was into the category of adverse childhood experience,” she says.

Kabita came to Australia in 2019 on a student visa and enrolled in Chisholm’s Certificate IV in Mental Health and Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other Drugs.

“When I studied the Certificate IV, I was really interested and felt like the whole course was made for me,” says Kabita.

Kabita went on to enrol in the Bachelor of Community Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs.

While studying, she began to recognise and understand her own unresolved trauma.

“I was struggling so much mentally,” says Kabita. “I was so deep in depression and my trauma was always interrupting me during my studies. There were so many symptoms that were undiagnosed before.

“Later on, I got to know that I had mental illness and it made so much sense.”

In the third year of her bachelor’s degree, Kabita lost her mother to suicide.

“It was my mum’s birthday and I was about to call her and I got to know from my cousin what had happened,” says Kabita.

“I feel like more than my trauma, more than my mental illness, more than everything, losing my mum was the hardest – she was everything to me. After I lost her, I was completely broken.”

At the same time that Kabita was dealing with the grief around her mum’s death, she had to get her sister out of an abusive situation in Nepal.

Kabita made it happen. Her younger sister, aged 20, is now safely living with her and studying a Bachelor of Psychology.

Kabita has since completed her bachelor’s degree and often shares her journey on social media.

“My mum was always so proud of me and wanted me to finish this course. She always wanted to see me graduate,” she says.

“After I finished my course, I was crying because my mum would be proud to see me achieve my successes.

“I didn’t give up on my career, on my sister, on my mum.”

Kabita’s dream is to become a counsellor and work with people who are going through similar experiences to herself.

For her courage, resilience in the face of adverse challenges and strong academic performance, Kabita was nominated as Higher Education Student of the Year at the 2023 Chisholm Education Awards.

“In Nepal, it didn’t matter how much effort I put into my study, it was never celebrated,” says Kabita.

“I always felt left out, like I was never seen. When I heard about my nomination, that feeling was different. I didn’t feel like an average student anymore.”

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