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Four young girl change makers win seed funds to kick start their innovative social impact projects

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Kathmandu, September 4, 2017: Four young change makers in Kathmandu have won seed funds to launch their social impact projects. They were awarded a seed fund amount totaling Rs. 150,000 amidst a special program organized in the capital on September 2, Saturday.

Angela Shrestha, Nancy Agrawal, Pabitra Majhi, and Prarthana Saakha were handed over with the seed fund amount in an action packed graduation ceremony of EmpowHER, a 4-months-long leadership program organized by Ujyalo Foundation in Kathmandu.

Angela Shrestha’s project ‘Hamro Avash’ aims to revive the home stay tourism in Sermathang village and promote Helambu as a tourist destination. Similarly, Nancy Agrawal’s project Sutradhar seeks to cover the stories of deprived communities, a song of hardships and communicate such stories via television to generate help. She wants to develop it in a similar way as that of Satyamev Jayate, a popular TV talk show hosted by the great Bollywood star Aamir Khan.

Meanwhile, Pabitra Majhi’s dream project Sahasi aims to work on providing non-formal education, awareness regarding various social issues and capacity development training to the underprivileged and disadvantaged women of Ishworpur municipality in Sarlahi district. Whereas, another winner, Prarthana Saakha’s project Prayas will train college youths in Kathmandu with a professional safety course designed for the roads of Nepal to sensitize them on proper and safe riding etiquette and skills so that the number of causalities on road accidents is reduced.

Delivering a keynote speech on the ceremony, Dr. Prativa Pandey, a research scientist and founder of Catalyst Technology Nepal, emphasized the need to have courage for a societal change. She also shared various moments when she took courage, and became rebellious; questioning the blind faith that still persists in our society. She shared why she returned to Nepal after the April earthquake of 2015 to do something here itself. She shared why and how she returned to Nepal completing Ph.D. and gaining enough work experience, and founded the research organization. “Courage gives us an initial impetus to go ahead against the current of stream, to benefit all,” shared Pandey, motivating all the personalities present on the program.

Speaking on the occasion, Amuda Mishra, Founder and Executive Director of Ujyalo Foundation, the host of EmpowHER, shared that the program was initiated to build a safe space for young women to learn and lead in Nepal, and live without stigma, discrimination, and fear. “While individual bold triumph self and enriches one’s willpower to overcome the odds, the collective bold changes the discourse of the wind for the self to change, foster and thrive,” she shared the reason behind initiating EmpowHER.

Amuda Mishra, Founder and Executive Director of Ujyalo Foundation

Pabitra Majhi, one of the participants and winner, said, the cohorts took courage to empower themselves and learned a lot, that they will apply in their real life.

The graduation ceremony held at Rajdhani Academy in Mid-Baneshwor was attended by 100+ personalities of Nepal from different walks of life, such as entrepreneurs, media persons, social leaders, experts and renowned professionals from various fields, and many more.

By Basanta Kumar Dhakal

Over the course of four months, a total of 18 EmpowHER cohorts went through various activities related to leadership development, and got involved with the community. Glocal Khabar, as the official online media partner, had brought out regular updates about the program throughout the project duration.