It’s been a month since the Nepal delegate returned back from Global HerStory Summit 2017. After coming back home, they have not only been sharing their stories with friends, family, and other LitClub members, but they have been busy networking with community leaders and stakeholders for implementing the lessons they learned during the HerStory Summit.

We wanted to share each of their stories as they tell it.

There are more pictures of the event on our Flickr Album

Leading the Nepal HerStory delegate has been one of the greatest privileges in my life. Besides being able to meet with the wonderful people of LitWorld and Global GLOW, and being in New York City, I am so happy to be helping the young girls of LitClub Nepal to share their story on an international stage. Thank you, LitWorld, Global GLOW, and Rukmini for making this possible.

Prakriti Nepal

Director, Didi Program & LitClub Nepal Lead, Rukmini Foundation

Bandana Adhikary – Her Story Mentor

When I first heard that I was one of the selected to attend HerStory Summit 2017 in America, it was very exciting news for me. Being a girl from a small town of Nepal, getting this opportunity to visit outside of Nepal for first time was a big moment, and also getting to visit the country of opportunities America was like a dream come true for me. The Nepal Team was very excited to attend the summit, and before we left for the summit we had a round of discussions on what we would present in the summit and how we would develop a community action plan. Together we talked about how we could make our visit a productive one, and it turned out to be very successful one; much more than even we had expected.

HerStory summit was full of fun activities, which was a wholesome package of art workshops, theater workshops, games, community activities from various countries, and wonderful songs. It was like we were living inside a dream. I have always been fond of these kind of creative works and I enjoy playing with imagination; thinking about beautiful things. It was so much fun, and at the same time I was learning so much.

Overall, the summit was a platform for me to develop my personality. Something that struck me during the summit was how I could be learning by sharing, learning by doing and learning by thinking. I realized how important it is to really think. It sounds like a simple thing that we often do anywhere at any time. But, it is important to understand what we are thinking about and that only happens when you share, write and understand its true essence. Every answer, every solution is right there, but it takes just a couple of minutes to really think and analyze. Often in a rush, in this robotic culture we live in, we forget to think, or we just underestimate our thoughts for the fear of being wrong. We don’t realize the power of our brain or the power of our heart, but from The Global HerStory Summit, my major learning was “believe in yourself because your opinion matters”. The summit empowered me with confidence and strength to be a better person, and to do better in life for myself and my people.

This 5 day program gave me a platform to meet and know people from all around the world, as if I was having a world tour. There were people from so many different countries (Peru, Colombia, Nepal, Afghanistan, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, Kenya, The Philippines, USA). Hearing stories from all around the world was one of the best part of the event, as each of them shared a voice of their strength, and inspiration that showed full determination to create a positive change.

Change is possible when we join our hands altogether to obtain a common goal. The summit itself was a real-life example of the power of girls and women as it truly changed each one of our lives. It made me realize the power of women in learning, believing and sharing, which can bring any required change. I could feel the change within me and also in the eyes of our LitClub girls that was reflected when they shared about it with other LitClub members. It really feels very good when you can see a positive change in your girls. We do not want to continue the current chain. I and our LitClub group wants that change, that positive energy to get transferred to our communities here in Nepal through our Community Action Plan.

With all the learning and brainstorming from the summit, we will be implementing a project for women of the Pharping area (focused on the moms of our LitClub members). Women 2 Women is our community action plan that will raise the voices of women to become confident and stand up for themselves and their rights. We are planning to conduct workshops and training in the initial phase and create a LitClub for moms to make the project sustainable. This energy must continue.

We don’t realize the power of our brain, the power of our heart but from The Global HerStory Summit my major learning was “Believe in yourself because your opinion matters”. The summit empowered me with confidence and strength to be better, have better and do better in life for myself and my people.

Bandana Adhikary

Mentor, LitClub Niharika

Alisha Shrestha: HerStory Ambassador

A small girl who comes from a small town, getting an opportunity to join the Summit where you could meet people from around world and explore the beautiful country of America was so exciting. Going to New York to attend the HerStory Summit with my mentors was a great experience because I had never got any opportunity to meet new people from around the world or even travelling in a plane. I remember vividly that at first I was not able to familiarize myself to the new environment filled with new people. Slowly I started to get comfortable with it, and I felt very lucky to get this opportunity to meet people from so many countries. The environment of the Summit was amazing, and I was very excited and nervous to give a speech to a big group. After the speech, it made me feel me more confident and inspired to give something back in my community.

On our way to USA for the Summit

During the program, I learned more about how performing different activities can build our capacity. Every activity, every moment taught us something new. I also came to understand that Nepal is not only the country facing problems, there are many others. I would like to thank the organizers of this Summit for allowing me to be a part of it and for helping me be more aware and capable. After the Summit, I feel that I am able to share with my friends what I have learned.

Some of what I learned was how to interact and collaborate with new people. I learned about different cultures and languages, and to respect them. We made many friends from all over the world, who were amazing. I still remember the time I had spent with my new friends from Colombia, Peru, Detroit, Philippines and other countries as they were our roommates. On the last day, we exchanged clothes from our cultures and shared a beautiful moment of friendship. I was very happy to see my new friends enjoying wearing our clothes and they also gifted us their cultural dresses. It was one of many amazing moments, which cannot be forgotten. Thank you HerStory, Lit World, Global GLOW, and Rukmini Foundation for this moment of bonding.

Nepal team with Modecai from Kenya. Our ambassadors exchanged their cultural dress with Philippines on the event to take part in and show respect each others culture.

After coming back home from the summit, me and my mentors have started to share the learning we gained. It was another moment of happiness for me when I shared my story with my friends in our LitClub. While sharing my story, I could see how excited my friends were. We (me and my friends) had a fun time doing the same activities that I learned from the summit. My friends enjoyed the part when I explained the meaning of the Statue of Liberty, and its meaning became even more clear to me as I was sharing with my friends.

I feel so happy that I was part of this wonderful summit and how it has helped me to be a better person, a stronger girl than before. I have learned to share and also to listen to the stories of others carefully to understand the meaning. Every story has a meaning.

I have learned to share and also to listen to the stories of others carefully to understand the meaning. Every story has a meaning.

Alisha Shrestha

HerStory Member, LitClub Niharika

Susmita Adhikary, Her Story Ambassador:

I was so excited to have a chance to travel to USA. It was the first time that I was travelling in a plane, and though it was very difficult to fly in a plane for me, I was so excited to see different people who came from different countries. As soon as we reached New York, we headed to the hostel where we were staying and were the Global HerStory Summit was taking place. We were greeted warmly by Jennifer and all of the LitWorld team.

We were also greeted by our Rukmini Foundation team in New York.

After reaching there we met so many new friends from different countries and to build up a friendship with each other we started to make friendship bracelet. I made it with my own style and everybody appreciated that, and I enjoyed the moment. In the same day, we also got chance to meet Rukmini Foundation team who were in US and two mentors from LitClub, Surabhi- who started the first LitClub in Nepal and Ekta- who was the mentor at Bhaktapur LitClub. I had great fun talking with them and they encouraged me to enjoy and share in the HerStory summit.

On second day, we attended the presentation of UN CSW in Salvation Army auditorium, where we heard stories from 13 different countries. This was a key moment for me in the summit to understand that not only girls from least developed countries are facing difficulty. Girls from developed countries also are in the same situation. This made me think, how fortunate I am for getting chance to study despite being a girl from a poor country like Nepal. These stories of my friends from Kenya, Sierra Leone, Detroit and other areas made me motivate to realize my own story and work for betterment of girls who are in my community. The summit became even more meaningful for me when I observed the Statue of Liberty and did an art workshop, which made me think about the role of women and how powerful women can be to face difficult situations. At the same time, the Summit also taught me to understand myself better. The self-portrait taught me understand my own skills and personality. The friends with whom I interacted during the summit taught me to laugh and be happy with who I am.

I learned that laughing and being silly is also important. (Alisha, Jennifer, and me)

I will never forget those days of the HerStory Summit. They are very special for me. I have many friends from different countries like Colombia, Philippines, Kenya, Peru, and more. I learned how to be friendly and to make new friends. I learned the importance of mentors. I never thought this program could be so special for me, and that it would change myself into a better person. Now I am back in Nepal I want to share all my learning with my friends. I have realized that creating a safe space for girls is very important for them to develop their personality. Therefore, I will help my mentors to create safe spaces for my friends, so that they also get a similar opportunity in Nepal. After arriving from United States, we all have been working for creating it through our community action Plan. Thank you Lit World, Global GLOW and Rukmini Foundation for giving me this opportunity- which helped me to be thoughtful about why understanding self-strength is important to become a better person.

The summit became even more meaningful for me when I observed the Statue of Liberty and did an art workshop, which made me think about the role of women and how powerful women can be to face difficult situations. At the same time, the Summit also taught me to understand myself better. The self-portrait taught me understand my own skills and personality. The friends with whom I interacted during the summit taught me to laugh and be happy with who I am.

Susmita Adhikary

HerStory Member, LitClub Shikharapur

About Prakriti Nepal

As a student of Conflict, Peace and Development Studies, Prakriti has a keen interest in grassroots development that can lead to a lasting peace and sustained development for Nepal. Along with her passion for promoting gender equality and education for all, she brings a wealth of experience in working with various youth groups on different projects and programs. With Rukmini Foundation, she is serving as a Lead for the mentoring program (Didi) as well as being the liaison between the foundation and partners in Nepal. Through her leadership and efforts, she is not only inspiring Rukmini scholars but also the other young ladies who serve as mentors for the organization.

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