Reflection by Rasmita KC, Former Head Mentor, Didi Program; Current Volunteer, Rukmini Foundation
Rasmita (yellow) smiling as she discusses her experiences as a Didi (head mentor)
Although education is very important to be successful in life, one cannot go further without work experience. The power of knowledge lies in the way it is applied. I fondly remember the day, four years ago, when Rukmini Foundation Nepal invited me to join their team as a head mentor (Didi). This was my first professional job experience. I feel very lucky to have had this opportunity, which helped me develop my career and learn so much about myself and the community.
I worked as a head mentor from November 2011 to February 2015. In four years I worked with more than forty scholars from five partner schools (Shikharapur Community School, Setidevi School Talku, Pharping Higher Secondary School, Arunodaya Higher Secondary School and Setidevi School Sokhel). I worked with teachers and students in these schools but also learned a great deal from them. I loved visiting partner schools and homes of Scholars. The fire in my stomach—the passion I have for being a mentor—never let out.
Rasmita (yellow) and other Rukmini Foundation Didis with Ms. Bandana Aryal, Program Manager ( pink)
Rukmini Foundation has empowered me to take initiative to meet and lead individuals in our communities—something I am very proud of. It has been humbling to interact with Scholars’ parents and teachers to discuss scholars’ progress, community issues, and family obstacles. Families and teachers valued my opinions and thoughts although I have not had as much experience as them in facing certain obstacles or issues.
When I first began working, I was very shy. I did not enjoy public speaking—especially in front of teachers and people I did not know. Now, I have built my confidence and I am able to share my views with everyone. The Didi program, Rukmini Foundation’s mentorship program, has been the most effective tool for scholars’ and me to build self-confidence.
In four years, I gained the trust and respect of 40 bahinis (Rukmini Scholars), schoolteachers, and community members. By working in the community, I have gained a better understand myself—my strengths and my weaknesses, my achievements and my failures—all of which I will improve upon. The relationships and community I helped form are achievements that I will never forget.
Rasmita and Pramila didi with Rukmini Scholar Asmita (center)
I also worked as a volunteer in A School for Community, Shikharapur Community Learning Center (SCLC), and Shreshnarayan Women School (SWS). These experiences helped me learn about leadership and other areas related to the community and people.
I have gotten to know the community and Rukmini team members very well. I was also able to connect with Rukmini team members in the United States, particularly Bibhuti Sir and Priti didi (sister). They both are very inspirational people who have guided my work in the foundation. In a short period of time, I became close to Priti didi. She has taught me so much about leadership, mentorship, and community.
“No one who achieves success does so without the help of others.”
My sincerest gratitude and thank you to all of the individuals who have directly and indirectly assisted in my journey and experience with Rukmini Foundation:
My teacher, Mr. Kedar Natha Acharya and Dr. Nabin Aryal for guiding, helping, and inspiring me to work in Rukmini Foundation. Mr. Sashi Sharma Aryal, Mr. Niroj Shrestha, and Satish Aryal for their unforgettable help. My deep appreciation to Ms. Pramila, Prakriti, Prabriti, Mr. Santosh Thapa, Aryashree Aryal, principals of partner schools, and Rukmini Scholars.
I would also like to express many thanks to all of the staff in ASC, SCLC, childcare center, Bottle house, and Shikharapur School. Thank you Principal Binod Mahat, Project Based Learning Co-coordinator Amit Lama, LitClub coordinator of Ms. Manisha KC, and Music teacher Mr Rewant Bhandari of Shikharapur Community School.