18 year old Thalama Malla is a young social activist living in Kathmandu who founded a Leo Club while she was doing her A levels. She helps the helpless children of streets and orphanages through the club.
Thamala’s Journey of social activism started when she was only in grade 6. She got the opportunity to be a part of students’ and ‘Eco Club’ of her school where she was encouraged to participate in different campaigns. “We started off with various awareness campaigns on cleanliness and hygiene,” she said. When she reached grade 8, she joined the Leo Club of Bhanubhakta which was a major breakthrough in her activism journey. She and her team helped many street children and old people of old age home. After few years of involvement, she was elected as the president of Leo Club of Bhanubhakta and she initiated many campaigns and programs. Her campaigns specially revolved around helping street children and children of orphanages. She was especially touched by the fact that many children in orphanages have poor living conditions and hygiene. Her team also provided sanitary materials, stationary, sports equipment and food to these children.
In grade 11, Thalama initiated her own Leo Club called Omega Club where she worked on her ideas more. “After getting some sponsors, my team and I actively worked to make the lives of the children of orphanages better. We have worked with 5 orphanages till now and even sent some volunteer teachers to teach the young minds,” she said. She also conducted blood donation programs and street animals feeding programs. To collect funds for her campaigns, her team organized ‘Deusi Bhailo; programs. With the money they collected, they went out of the valley in order to build libraries in schools of rural areas.
Talking about the hurdles she faced, she had difficulty in gathering funds and sponsors for her projects. “People often underestimate us because of our age and this makes it difficult for us to gather funds,” she said woefully. Her team is also diverse in terms of opinions so the clash of ideas on different projects was also another problem she faced.
Glocal Teen Hero and her future plans
Thalama heard about the platform of Glocal Teen Hero via the district president of Leo club, Ranjit Bhatta. “My work makes me feel very satisfied but recognitions like GTH helps me validate my work and keep me motivated,” she said.
She wants to continue working for children in orphanages who she thinks have every right to live a prosperous and healthy life like us. “Many street children are moved to orphanages but the living conditions of orphanages aren’t that good which is heartbreaking. I want to reach every orphanage of Nepal and fight for the rights of these children,” she said.
Thalama also has plans on becoming a social entrepreneur to solve different deep rooted societal issues.
Thalama Malla was selected among the 20 brightest young entrepreneurs, innovators and game changers below the age of 20 in Nepal, for the year 2019. This annual list is the ultimate honor roll of young game changers reshaping Nepal for the better. The platform seeks to encourage the youth to share their initiation, creativity, and enthusiasm which will then motivate them and more of the other youths in the nation to develop an entrepreneurial thinking.