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Girls learn about leadership skills, let go of their inner criticisms (EmpowHER Diaries)

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Kathmandu, August 20, 2016: In a programme recently organized in Kathmandu, a group of girls got to learn about the leadership and let go of their inner criticisms.

In the programme organized as part of EmpowHER, a project by Ujyalo Foundation for the women empowerment, the girls gathered for the programme and learnt on how to move ahead in their life, tackling all the challenges they have been facing so far on a daily basis.

Beginning the session, Amuda Mishra, initiator of the programme, asked the girls to make a human pyramid, making them to feel about the teamwork. In the process, participants learnt what it requires for a person to be a team player and how a team works and, in what way a minor lapse in the team might lead to the collapse of everything and how a good teamwork and collaboration leads to the overall success. Through the activity, they learnt about the balancing act in the team and, how the success of an organization/project all depends on the team-players working together.

Fun activity: making of a human pyramid
Fun activity: making of a human pyramid

In another session, the EmpowHER cohorts learnt how the process of empowerment happens. “Empowerment is all about speaking up, demanding and negotiating,” Mishra shared to the participants. The participants also realized through the session that people should estimate themselves, but never underestimate and be apologetic. They also learnt the necessity to make one’s counterpart as the real partner, by choosing the partner who really believes in partnership.

During the session, they were also made to self-realize and see if the tides are with them or not. “Most of the times, we need to be with the tides. But, if the tides aren’t with us, that’s still okay. We can still manage to maneuver and adjust with the tides.

“Most of the times, we think about what the other people might think about us. Hence, we censor ourselves too much. To be a good leader, we should never doubt our capabilities,” shared Mishra.

She concluded the session with a quote from Henry Ford, “Vision without execution is hallucination.”

Tuning out one’s inner critics

A session on tuning out one’s inner critics followed next in the programme.

As part of the session, the participants wrote their own criticisms, and those criticisms they want to let go of from their life; on the balloons provided and burst the balloons to mark that the particular criticism is finally over.

They also talked about their own criticisms that they really want to overcome.

One of the participants shared how she has been going through the situation of being too skeptic of her capabilities all the time and wanted to let go of that situation. And, burst the bubble of unconfidence, possibly marking the end of that situation from her life.

The criticisms from the other participants were like, getting criticized by her parents for staying in Nepal itself, whilst most of her friends are abroad, and hence the pressure for her also to go abroad; criticism for being too skinny and when she’s eating, passing off the comments like: “WOW! Do you also eat? It’s strange!”, criticisms for being too emotional, being too quiet and reserved, and laughing out too loud, etc.

In Nepal, entrepreneurs and those willing to do good things here itself have to go through a lot of such criticisms. One among the participants shared how she has gone through such criticisms so often with questions from her relatives on why she had to start things in Nepal while all of her friends are abroad. “I’m tired of hearing this on a daily basis, and am letting it go for forever,” she said, and burst the balloon of criticism.

In the programme, the participants also prepared a worksheet for their EmpowHER project and made a presentation on the project, the challenges within, and how they are going to tackle the underlying challenges. They also talked about the opportunities from the project, what they are going to do for the revenue generation and its sustainability, scaling up the project and taking it further.

EmpowHER cohort doing fun filled and cheerful exercise: head, shoulders, knees and toes
EmpowHER cohort doing fun filled and cheerful exercise: head, shoulders, knees and toes

The programme was organized as part of the 14-weeks long training session of EmpowHER and was 12th in the series. Started in the year 2015 with a belief that empowered women will empower society as a whole, the programme provides a platform for women to exude their ideas, exercise leadership, and contribute as an effective member to the community. EmpowHER seeks to ensure that the aspiring women leaders will be exposed to innovative learning through various trainings in leadership, networking, mentorship, and designing and implementing projects that help other marginalized women ultimately create a society where all the women are empowered.

Photos Courtesy: Ujyalo Foundation

By Basanta Kumar Dhakal