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A young Nepali startup shines on the world stage

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Bonita Sharma, cofounder and CEO of Social Changemakers and Innovators (SOCHAI) was announced the winner of the Lead 2030 Challenge for Sustainable Development Goal –  2 ‘Zero Hunger’ category initiated by One Young World and supported by the RB (Reckitt Benckiser) Group.  

Lead2030 is a new initiative of One Young World to drive progress on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Supported by some of the world’s most prestigious brands, Lead2030 will fund and accelerate 10 most impactful youth-led solutions that are moving the needle on the SDGs.

SOCHAI was chosen as one of the most impactful youth-led solution from 1200 applicants from 100 countries around the world.

Bonita had initiated SOCHAI with three other colleagues, Neha Malla, Manjita Rajopadhyay, and Aasutosh Dhoj Karki in 2017 to address the issues of silent emergency of malnutrition in Nepal. This youth led initiative is focused on improving health and nutrition for vulnerable people through education, innovation and entrepreneurship.  At the core of SOCHAI’s social business model is the belief that global malnutrition can be prevented with access to simple and affordable solutions.

As a challenge winner, Bonita has been awarded $50,000 and will receive 12 months mentorship support from her Challenge Partner RB to help amplify the impact of her project at SOCHAI. In addition, Bonita will also receive an opportunity to attend the One Young World Summit 2019 as a delegate which will take place in London from 22 – 25 October. 

More about SOCHAI’s work

As a part of the ‘Youth For Nutrition’ project, SOCHAI is implementing several innovative community based learning programs that are contributing to accelerating impact for SDG 2 – Zero Hunger – aiming to end all forms of malnutrition by 2030, and addressing the nutritional needs of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women, and the elderly.

The project is a combination of service and products designed to maximize output. SOCHAI creates and implements educational programs for different groups such as golden 1000 days mothers, health workers, mothers’ groups, adolescent girls and school children. To deliver this service, SOCHAI select, train and recruit young volunteers working at ground level to implement these programs.

SOCHAI has also created innovative tools such as the ‘Nutribeads Bracelet’ and RedCycle bracelet, low-tech educational tool that helps mothers and young girls learn about child nutrition and menstruation.

The Nutribeads bracelet created by SOCHAI has also won the Asia Pacific Youth Innovation Challenge organized by UNICEF in 2016.

SOCHAI is incorporating social entrepreneurship into its non-profit model by involving local artisans and women in making and selling these innovative bracelets, helping them to find a way out of poverty and in turn, malnutrition.

More about One Young World and Lead 2030 Challenge

One Young World (OYW) is a global summit bringing together young leaders to discuss solutions to the world’s most pressing issues.

Lead2030 is a new initiative of One Young World to drive progress on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Supported by some of the world’s most prestigious brands, Lead2030 will find, fund and accelerate the most impactful youth-led solutions that are moving the needle on the SDGs.

Following its launch in October 2018, the initiative undertook a global search to identify the most impactful youth-lead solutions for the SDGs, analyzing more than 1,200 submissions in 100+ countries. The 10 winners were announced on May 22nd 2019.

Winner’s Quote

In the world where youth are still considered as a mere beneficiaries, Lead2030 has uphold the power of young people and fueled our determination to solve the global challenge of hunger and malnutrition.

We at SOCHAI are highly moved and motivated by the commitment and action from the leaders and stakeholders. We are thrilled have received this huge opportunity and super excited for our journey ahead. With this mentorship and support, we aspire to reach to the most vulnerable and undernourished population and SOCHAI will leave no stone unturned to make zero hunger a reality by 2030.