Kathmandu, July 16, 2018: Have you ever been amidst a new group of people from totally different backgrounds and yet feel so homely? If you were in the cohort of EmpowHER 2018, then you’d definitely say yes after the 8th session of EmpowHER that was held on Saturday, 14 July at Ujyalo Foundation.
What set this session apart from rest of the sessions was Mitini, which translates to ‘a close friend’ in English. Mitini is a part of EmpowHER where 18 changemakers from Kathmandu and 9 changemakers from Kalikot have come across for leadership and cultural exchange. Having diversity as one of the core values of this cohort, the addition of Mitinis has made it more diversified and unique.
The day started with the introduction of all the changemakers followed by sharing of experiences by one of the alumni of EmpowHER, Nucchu Hangma Rai who focused on moving ahead together to bring change rather than working alone. It was so inspiring to see Nucchu talking passionately about giving back to the society where your roots are.
After her session, Amit Timilsina conducted a very interactive and intriguing session on sexual and reproductive Health. He not only explained about the advantages/disadvantages of different contraceptives but also demonstrated how to use them. The changemakers were quite hesitant at first but slowly started opening up as the session proceeded. This informative session included various topics like family planning, maternal health, postnatal care, child care, sexually transmitted diseases and so on.
The cohort also got to listen to some of the inspiring stories of guest speakers like Maya Gurung and Chewan Rai. They shared personal stories of how they have faced struggles in life, fallen down and yet stood up to come back stronger.
Maya Gurung, one of the members of Seven Summits Women Team, was an early rebel who took her life in her hands at a young age. She shared how she has been giving back to her community by building schools in Sindhupalchowk, her hometown, and also by giving various trainings to trafficking survivors on mountaineering.
Chewan Rai mainly suggested not to perceive any work as upper or lower class work but instead to set concrete goals and be determined to achieve it.
One of the enlightening part of today’s session was Community Level Problem Analysis where changemakers discussed the prevailing problems of their communities in groups.
Each session was followed by intense discussion and real-life reflections so that changemakers can implement the learnings in their own life.
As it was first day for the nine change makers from Kalikot at empowHER, Ujyalo had arranged a cake cutting session to welcome them, which also worked as a sweet dessert after the potluck lunch.
By Alita Shrestha.
Alita Shrestha is one of the changemakers of EmpowHER 2018.