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Exclusive Interview with Supriya Maharjan Sapkota: Top 6 Finalist of Wai Wai Glocal Teen Hero 2019

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Supriya Maharjan Sapkota is a young social activist from Kathmandu who is currently involved in different projects and campaigns. She initiated ‘Project Hope’ and is a Female Champion 2019 at UNESCO Nepal.

She shared some words about her to Glocal Khabar during an exclusive interview after the Glocal Teen Hero 2019 event. The major highlights of the interview are given below:

Glocal Khabar: Can you share about your journey as Top 6 Finalist. What do you recall the most?

Supriya: At first being selected as the Glocal Teen Hero Top 6 finalist was more than anything to me. I was really overwhelmed because it felt good when people were appreciating the work that I had done. That was the fruit to my 3 years of effort. I felt blessed, happy and let’s say every adjective that goes along with joy. Since all the 6 finalists were from different field, I felt like 6 different leaders from six different countries being together in an event to attend. I got to learn different things from other finalists as per their expertise like programming, software development, etc.

5 days of intensive training and the most awaited finale day, we were all waiting with joy and excitement. Among these hectic and excitement filled 6 days, the thing I most recall is at first, meeting the other top 6 finalists, because they were the people who had excelled in their field and I was so excited to meet them. Secondly, the best thing I recall is meeting all those respected dignitaries from whom I could learn a lot even in a short period of time. It was my pleasure to be with them.

Glocal Khabar: How did your journey as a Social Worker start? What kind of challenges did you face on your way?

Supriya: Ever since my school days, I was active in social works. I was an active member of Social service and environment club in my school and was familiar with different pressing issues faced by people in our society. Right after SEE, I engaged myself in several platforms like debates, MUNs, and public speaking through which I could indulge more on the urgent issues. I am someone who wants to dig in deep about any issue that seems important. Through the events I participated, I got the opportunity to meet like-minded people with whom I initiated the social organization, ‘AAYAM‘.

Since December 2018, I have been working in an awareness campaign called ‘Project Hope’ which advocates for child children rights and dropout rate of marginalized children. In the first phase of the campaign, I and my team went to Kaski with an aim to solve local issues. Likewise, we headed to Dolalghat and Kavrepalanchowk for the second phase of this project. We showed young children documentaries and conducted several interactive activities. In one of the activities, we asked them to draw their dreams in a plain paper and make a paper airplane, which they later flew. This is a symbolism for ‘flying your fears away’,” We conducted these sessions in order to motivate young minds to pursue their dreams. This project also helped me reflect my Journey and ideas on dreams.

I also worked for children of Bansighat slum. The situation of the children was so terrible that they didn’t even know the importance of education in their lives. Our team consulted with some of the seniors and found out that because of the increasing dropout rates from school, poor children get stuck in a vicious cycle of poverty and end up in the streets. I am also the female champion 2019 at UNESCO Nepal through which I deliver sessions to young minds on ‘Wash Nutrition Gender equality and CSH’.

I advocated education is important. Through the awareness campaign, I can help the children and lead them towards good way. Likewise, for change, the problem should be mitigated step by step. Small changes lead to huge achievement. It’s not possible to abolish problems at an instant but can be mitigated through step by step reduction.

Talking about her hurdles, I had difficulty in juggling studies with my projects. I believe Nepali teens have huge prospects in activism and can get involved in various awareness things. They must focus on research in order to understand any issue deeply. Similarly, passion, hard work, and determination play important roles.

Glocal Khabar: What is your plan after GTH 2019? What will you be working on?

Supriya: As I have been working as a trainer and providing students basic knowledge on WASH, Nutrition, CSH and Gender Equality, I wish to take it out of the valley too. So probably I would be going to few parts of Province no. 1 after my exam and Dashain finishes. I want to work actively on my project after this festival Dashain gets over.

 Glocal Khabar: What message you would like to deliver to the youth?

Supriya: Everybody is unsatisfied with whatever is happening in our surroundings. Everybody wants change and everyone has a master plan. But unfortunately, that plan only remains within us because what we fear is the term “I alone cannot do it“. But I want to convey this message to youths that, change starts from you. Execute the plan you have. No matter what happens, consistently work towards your goal. A small step is much better than no step at all. So, you need not start big, start small and make it big. Cause every youth has the fire within themselves which they extinguish themselves. So, youths, change starts from you. Have patience and a heart to face any challenges. Be ready to work for your dreams and make sure to make it true.