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12 young girls embark on journey of leadership and entrepreneurship

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Kathmandu, November 19, 2017: Prerana Tamang is a high school student at Chilaune Secondary School, Sindhupalchowk where Teach For Nepal fellows are teaching. On Saturday, she was in Kathmandu to attend inauguration of a special training program that seeks to impart leadership and entrepreneurship skills to girls.

Similarly, Dipti Sharma is a class seven student at Rato Bangla School. After the three-months-long journey, she wants to see herself as a confident and friendlier person with leadership capacity.

Like Deepti and Prerana, as many as 12 young girls from diverse backgrounds have gathered in Kathmandu to join the special leadership journey that seeks to turn girls into changemakers, entrepreneurs, and leaders. In an effort to capacitate young women leaders and entrepreneurs, Ujyalo Foundation had launched EmpowHER Junior Program on Saturday, November 18, with the theme of “Girls with Grit”. It is the first leadership development and idea incubation program solely focused on young girls in Nepal. The inauguration program brought together 12 young girls from the ages of 12 to 16 and their parents, UN Women Civil Society Advisor Group (UN CSAG) members, heads of different schools, along with speakers and leaders from diverse fields.

The 12 individuals, who were selected from a pool of dozens of applicants, will now go through 12 weeks of rigorous entrepreneurship and leadership trainings and activities. They will also get the opportunity to learn from industry leaders including Amuda Mishra Founder and Executive Director of Ujyalo Foundation, Pavitra Gautam CEO Karkhana, Punjita Pradhan CEO Uttkarsha Nepal, Samanata Thapa Winner of EmpowHER 2016 and Keshu Khadka Changemaker of EmpowHER 2017, who will be the advising committee for the program. The selected participants will also have six personal mentors who have already been through the EmpowHER journey and will guide them through the process. The girl will have to pitch their ideas to the judges at the end of the program. The winner will then get the seed money that she will use to further develop and implement her idea.

Ujyalo Foundation is already in the third year of running the EmpowHER program. However, this is the first time of the EmpowHER Junior program, shifting the focus to younger girls. “We realized that we have to start working with girls from a young age so as to get more people talking about women equality and make better women leaders and entrepreneurs”, said Yajaswi Rai, Program Coordinator for EmpowHER Junior.

Charu Chadha

The keynote speaker for the event was Charu Chadha, Editor in Chief at Media 9. “I have seen EmpowHER’s journey throughout the 3 years and I’m glad that Ujyalo is started the Junior program for young kids,” said Charu on the occasion, adding, “Success has been defined for you. Different labels are already there in place. Please do not allow yourself to fall into these labels. Don’t hold yourself back from taking on challenges and never be afraid to fail.”

Amuda Mishra

“This is not only a program for our change makers but also for the parents and everyone involved. We will each learn through the journey of the program. We are trying to move towards the creation of an equal society and this will only be possible if every one of us take the learnings from the program and share it with everyone around us,” said Amuda as she gave the closing remarks to the program.

EmpowHER Junior fellows

Glocal Khabar, as the official online media partner, will bring out regular updates about the program throughout the project duration.