Report prepared by:  Pramila Gajmer and Sabina Bisunke

Rukmini staff Pramila Gajmer, Sabina Bisunke and Niroj Shrestha participated in a three day residential training program on Developing Capacities for Strengthening Literacy and Lifelong Learning in Nepal. The program was held in Kritipur Kathmandu from September 24-26, in cooperation with the Life Skills Components in the NFC Post-Literacy Program.

The training was organized by Shikharapur CLC and funded by UNESCO Kathmandu. It covered topics such as group learning, teaching learning techniques, and NFE tools, as well as group work and communication skills related to dealing with people of various ages and experiences. The team hopes that this type of training will help them to develop their communication skills, and already believes that it helped them develop their personalities. 

Sharing thoughts by Sabina jee

Sabina (left) shares her thoughts and views with the rest of the rest of the participants at the training session

“We really enjoyed the workshop and I feel that it has helped me a lot with my communication skills. We also had the opportunity to present during the training to the other participants, which really boosted my confidence in public speaking,” our head mentor Sabina said.

For an organization that is dealing with the relatively novel prospect of educating girls from rural villages and who come from families that may not necessarily be supportive of their daughters’ education, it is important for the Rukmini Foundation team to be able to effectively persuade and present our successes. “After we received our training, we saw the importance of sharing what we learned in those three days. We held a workshop in our school and taught the mentors of Rukmini Foundation the knowledge we gained on the different teaching methods,” Pramila added.

Pramila jee listing the Speech

Pramila (left) listens intently to the presentation during the training session.

Furthermore, staff within the foundation deals with many types of audiences: students, families, collaborators, and donors. In order to understand the background and motivation of all these different groups, it is important for our staff to undergo regular training workshops to improve their communication, and thereby, their confidence.

Showing the drama by Sabina and Pramila Jee

Sabina (left) and Pramila (right) perform a little skit to the participants

As a student at the University of Pittsburgh, I have also had the opportunity to attend leadership workshops in order to improve my speaking abilities. As a woman pursuing a career in the sciences, it is sometimes difficult to find a foothold while working amongst colleagues that often look quite different from me. However, by learning techniques to minimize frustration and anxiety during group work, and by forcing myself to continue taking on tasks that scare me, like public speaking, I’ve learned to be much more assured in my ability to succeed. For this reason, I am excited to see the staff’s incentive in pursuing similar training, because it will result in a noticeable improvement in Rukmini’s ability to spread our mission.

About Shruthi Shankar

Shruthi is a junior neuroscience major at the University of Pittsburgh, and is pursuing certificates in Global Health and the Conceptual Foundations of Medicine. She is excited to be a part of Rukmini because she is interested in the intersection between women’s health, rights, and education. Throughout the next several years, Shruthi will be supporting Rukmini’s various community events, as well as raising awareness of South Asian women’s issues within the Pitt campus by coordinating the foundation of a Pitt Rukmini club. Shruthi hopes that her work here helps pave the way so that a girl’s education is no longer seen as a privilege, but as a right.
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