Kathmandu, September 14, 2018: We wanted a smooth beginning. We wanted a perfect ending. We saw a competition; we wanted to win it. We, 18 innocent souls, set off on a journey of 14 vigorous weekly training to shape our ideas into projects. We learnt; we tried, we stumbled upon and cried, we lost; we gained, we loved and contested, but all in all we pride on our overwhelming ride! We are glad to have been introduced to this sisterhood. And last Saturday, 25th August was the conclusion of that passionate journey with determination to win the world.
Emotional as we can get, the 14th session was conducted indoors at Ujyalo Foundation premises as the last interactive session by Watsal Rajbhandari and Anish Raj Shrestha. It started with a mock interview sitting whereby we, 16 of us, were challenged with realistic scenarios that could be thrown at us during the interview and pitch session. We received constructive feedbacks and experienced what real enabling environment actually meant.
That plenary was the time we realised that now we aren’t just 18 timid girls, but 18 established changemakers, who are persistent to proceed with their service ideas to positively impact the society. We are content.
The cohort together with the Ujyalo Foundation team, then, discussed about major upcoming events of EmpowHER, mainly the preliminary interview to be held at Alpas on the 29th of August; and Umang – EmpowHER Entrepreneurs Expo, which will be held at Bikalpa Art Center on September 1. Logistics were exchanged.
After the session, we got ready for the Networking event to be held at Alpas Restaurant the same day. We got the opportunity to interact with 9 distinguished guests from diverse backgrounds and walks of life. Guests were from Advertising world, to Health field, to entrepreneurs from Technology field and Social welfare. Namely: Diwakar Pyakurel, Sanam Doka Sherpa, Mohini Lama, Bibhuti Neupane, Pradipta Kadambari, Sajal Pradhan, Richa Rajbhandari, Kushal Man Bajracharya and Ultha Niraula. The main objective of this session is to help the changemakers share their ideas to the community stakeholders, network, and seek advice and suggestions on their ideas before the main pitching event.
The event started with speed networking where changemakers had 5 mins each with their allocated four guests fully monitored with buzzer and time reminder. The speed networking was followed by open networking. Unexpectedly this was one of the best events organised by Ujyalo Foundation and we are thankful for the opportunity. The day ended with nice hugs from and for most of the individuals present at Alpas.
We now understand that some poems don’t have to rhyme. Some stories don’t have a clear beginning. And, some narratives are not flawless.
Life is about not knowing, it is about having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.
By Agma Malakar and Alita Shrestha
Agma Malakar and Alita Shrestha are changemakers of EmpowHER 2018.