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Hundred Rupees for Women Empowerment

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In Nepal, most of the social enterprises depend on foreign donors to launch and carry out their projects. But, Ujyalo Foundation, an enterprise based in Kathmandu seeks to stand apart from others on this front.

Immediately after the last Dashain festival, Ujyalo started NRs. 100 Campaign, that seeks to support women empowerment programmes of the foundation along with supporting different projects of aspiring young women leaders working to upgrade the status of women in Nepal.

The campaign wants to give a message that Nepalese themselves can afford to run such projects. And, through the campaign, they are making the community accountable to help its women.

“We have never waited for donations to launch our projects, and finance has never been a factor to impede us,” says Amuda Mishra, the Founder and Executive Director of the organization. “We are of the thought that our community itself can and should bear the cost,” she says, adding that the contribution of one’s own community on a small scale is very important to bring real transformations in the society.

“It only costs around 15 thousand rupees to empower and transform young women’s leadership capacity. And, if one offers 1200 rupees in a year (12*100 Rupees a month), it’s only 13 persons whose generous investment of that small amount of money that can transform young women’s skills to lead and contribute substantially in their community,” explains Mishra.

Mishra is of strong determination that they will reach 1000 pledgers into the campaign within 2073 BS itself, and help speedy women empowerment.

Sharing the journey of the campaign so far, she says that the campaign has been getting an overwhelming response and supports from public, and running the campaign has been easier than they had expected while launching it.

So far, the campaign has already been successful to have 126 pledgers. Various celebrities and public figures including Malvika Subba, Miss Nepal, Mongolian Heart, Musical Band, Sugarika K.C, Miss Nepal, Usha Khadgi, Miss Nepal, Malina Joshi, Miss Nepal, Sanjay Gupta, Media Person/Actor, Reecha Sharma, Actress and DJ Sishir Lama among many others have endorsed the campaign.

Started with the slogan-YOU for HER, SHE for ALL, the campaigners at the foundation are sure that once young women get empowered through the projects funded by the campaign, they’ll surely contribute substantially in their community, ultimately helping transform the whole nation. Currently, a number of change makers from Ujyalo Foundation are leading their communities.

“As today’s youths are more serious and feel the responsibility towards the society, and know that there is much more to accomplish for us to change the society, most of them we approach have been helpful,” Mishra says with pleasure on getting support from the younger generation. “Today’s generation is responsible, responsive and willing to give. It’s just few days of their tiffin expenses,” she adds, saying that public support is there for women empowerment in Nepal.

“But, as we are from a culture in which we don’t hesitate to donate to temples and for religious purpose to make Gods happy, but hesitate to donate to poor and needy, we also had to go through numerous challenges while running the campaign,” Mishra reflects from the problems that she had to face while conducting the campaign.

“Though it was challenging in the beginning to convince people to invest 1200 rupees into the campaign, and running a philanthropic campaign in Nepal is hard, we feel proud that we initiated the campaign that will support empowerment of girls and women in Nepal,” she expresses her pleasure for starting the campaign.

The campaign seeks to revolutionize how NGOs work and how financing on such organizations is carried out, and change the mindset of people that our community itself can fund such projects to support women empowerment.

By Basanta Kumar Dhakal