Field Report by: Prakriti Nepal
The main objective of the Didi programs that are held monthly is to bring in female leaders to empower our scholars by showing them what women are capable of if given the opportunity. On Feb 9, Rukmini Foundation had the rare opportunity of having our beloved Rukmini’s two great grandsons, Basu Aryal and Shashi Sharma Aryal, along with her inspirational grand daughter-in-law, Laxmi Aryal, speak to the scholars about the journey they have embarked on being part of the Rukmini Foundation. The program focused on revisiting the meaning of being a Rukmini Scholar while also focusing on each scholar’s ambition for their future.
Our honorable guests for the program: Mr. Basu Aryal (left), Mr. Kedar Nath Acharya (Middle) and Mrs. Laxmi Aryal (right)
With thoughts of Hellen Keller – “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement, Nothing can be done without hope and confidence”, the session started with fun activities geared towards building self-confidence of our scholars. The scholars were encouraged to share their thoughts and opinions on matters such as school and education and their views on how things should be. Salina, one of the scholars, expressed her dislike of small children being overloaded with homework. “Schoolwork is important, ” Salina said. ” But, it is equally important that children get to be children and enjoy time playing with their friends.”
Our Didi, Prabriti Nepal, hands out newspapers to the eager scholars as part of the second activity.
Once the environment was set and the scholars were comfortable being themselves, the program headed to the second session where the scholars were asked to take a newspaper and find something related to their ambition in the news. This exercise was more challenging as the scholars had to have a clear vision of what they wanted to pursue in order to do a presentation. With the help of the mentors and the RF staff, the scholars were able to find pictures and words in the newspaper that matched their ambition and did justice to their future. Srijana shared that she wanted to join the army and serve her nation and protect her family. ” My desire to join stemmed from the fact that in our society women are often seen to be weak and powerless,” Srijana said. ” Therefore I believe by joining the army I can set an example and show that women are strong both physically and emotionally.”
Mrs. Laxmi Aryal (left) facilitates a group of scholars and encourages them to share their thoughts and opinions on how Rukmini Foundation can change for the better.
Our Mentor Sabina (left) talks with the girls on their views towards the core programs of Rukmini Foundation
The final session of the program focused on discussing with the scholars their views on Rukmini’s core programs – Gyan, Ayush, Didi, and Kala Programs. Scholars were divided in a group and asked about the things they liked, disliked, areas where they wanted to see improvements, and what programs they would like to see more of. Once each group finished their discussion, everyone came together and shared their viewpoints. Mrs. Laxmi Aryal inspired the group with her story about being the first girl in her community to study and graduate SLC and how her life changed when she got the opportunity to go to the US to do a Masters degree, all of which would not have been possible if it were not for her dedication to education. “I was inspired by Rukmini and her vision to provide equal education opportunity for boys and girls,” Mrs. Aryal said.
Sunita KC (middle) stands up and talks to the group about being a Rukmiin scholar and her vision for Rukmini Foundation
Mr. Basu Aryal, Advisor of Rukmini foundation, also shared his experience and talked about how the Rukmini Team in the US has been inspired by the scholars and are trying their best to provide the scholars with all the support they need. He also thanked the girls for being part of the Rukmini Foundation and encouraged them to speak and actively participated in upcoming programs. “All of your stories and your journey towards getting an education is an inspiration to people all over the world. Keep working hard and you will achieve your goals,” he said encouragingly to all the students. The program was closed by Mr. Kedar Acharya, Selection committee head, sharing a small poem encouraging scholars to raise their voice against bullying children in the class.
It is not everyday that the scholars get to have so many inspirational figures at a single program. This Didi program revisited the inspiration behind Rukmini Foundation with the hope of encouraging the scholars to see the importance of education and pursuing their dreams.
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