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Girls and young women learn the essence of startups; enhance connection between each other (EmpowHER Diaries)


Kathmandu, June 19, 2017: The seventh session of EmpowHER held on June 17 began with all the changemakers introspecting as well as evaluating where they stood. This session kicked off with self-evaluation on how we had performed until now.

There was an experience sharing by one of the big sisters, Ms. Palzom Pradhan, who is a cohort of EmpowHER 2016. A pre-medical student who changed her direction to Anthropology and Liberal Arts. Her simplicity and achievements dazzled the cohorts of 2017. A young, vibrant woman whose achievements are wide and vast, shared with us many of her core values motivating us to take smaller steps in the right direction rather than one big step in the wrong one. Her advice to the participants was to be like a sponge that absorbs all the things. She also shared that having diverse experiences always adds value in life. She opened a notebook just in case she had forgotten to mention anything, and then said that as a woman to always support each other. She gave an example between the domestic banters between a mother-in-law and the daughter-in-law about they are constantly driven to bring each other down in a world where the gender already stratifies women. She looked at us while saying this and her gratitude toward Ujyalo Foundation for forming a union of innovative women who are cooperative and call themselves ‘sisters’ despite the project idea and the differences.

Palzom Pradhan

Followed by the experience sharing was the session on ‘Ethics and Values’ which had all the change makers introspecting on their contribution towards respecting the ethic and values of EmpowHER. It was a very practical session where we learned more through introspecting. We learned about how much have we deviated and how we should be endorsing the values. The entire session was totally evaluating the maintenance of self-integrity. The session had all the change makers thinking about that are the ethics that govern their personal project as well their lives. One of the main takeaways from the particular session was that integrity and sincerity are very important to every human being and values have no value given that you devalue them.

Then we had Mr. Pranab Pradhan, the CEO of Green Bamboo Creation as a guest speaker. He explained that opening up a startup plan always needs to have a well-defined prototype which needs to be evaluated and re-structured in a persistent manner. “Planning is one of the most important aspects in business nevertheless; execution plays an equally important role,” he shared on the occasion, adding that execution prototyping plays a role of the guiding factor. He helped us with prototyping for our service impact ideas and emphasized that skills play an important role than knowledge. His wit and intelligence were praiseworthy during the session, putting jokes here and there with his experience as an entrepreneur in Nepal.

Pranab Pradhan, CEO of Green Bamboo Creation

The last session was an emotional one for all the participants. Little did anyone expect that to happen, because until now, every session on every Saturday was based on something to do with our individual project and our collective contribution to the society. So, at around 4 pm, several packets of colorful candies were brought and all the participants sat in a circle, closing eyes and filling a Styrofoam cup with the colorful candies. The instructor, Ms. Amuda Mishra, asked each of the participants to randomly put those candies one by one inside the cup.  When we opened our eyes, we could see the colorful candies inside the cup indicating the several desires, love, compassion, discipline, determination, heartbreaks, remorse, disappointment and all the abstract factors that make us different from one another. Moreover, she went on adding that it is always important to fill the empty cup once in a while, to enrich it, to love it and to respect it. That was a sweet gesture that enhanced our connection between each other.

By Ashna Khadgi and Pradhanya Yonjon

Over the course of four months, the EmpowHER cohorts will go through various activities related to leadership development, and get involved with the community. Glocal Khabar, as the official online media partner, will bring out regular updates about the programme throughout the project duration.