Since 2011, Rukmini Foundation has been working with the community to improve the lives of underprivileged girls by empowering them through a holistic program of quality education, supportive mentoring services and a physical well-being program. Recently, we celebrated the 6th year of our organization where we achieved a lot of success stories. We are now supporting scholars from more remote villages where access to education and opportunities for girls are even more limited. Also this year, we added 2 more LitClubs in these more remote area schools. With the support of Rukmini Foundation, students from our partner schools took part in an international Robotics Challenge called FIRST Global Challenge. This year, we also supported girls for higher education so that they can continue learning even after graduating from high school. We have also conducted focused programs around prevention of child marriage with the support of a grant from Niwano Peace Foundation. These are just some of the many highlights of 2017.
The girls were all smiles for the event.
To celebrate these successes and 6 years of empowerment, 130 participants gathered at Shikharapur School Event Hall early in the morning. Attendees included Rukmini Scholars; LitClub members from Shikharapur, Setidevi, Pachakanya and Shree Krishna; Rukmini Foundation Staff; Principals of partner schools and Volunteers. We started the program by distributing new T–shirts to all scholars, and everyone was so excited to receive the lovely shirt.
The girls were so excited to receive a new t-shirt to celebrate our birthday.
The program was hosted by Scholar Tsultrim Sangmo who started the event by showing a video that was created to show what we did in our 6th year. This was followed by Scholar, and now graduate, Sajina Dhudhraj singing a song with the help of our Kalaa Program leader, Mr. Indra Balami.
Tsultrim was fantastic as the host of the program. We love seeing the scholars lead these events.
Rubi Balami then shared about her experience in being a part of the FIRST Global Challenge and of being the spokesperson for the team. This was followed by LitClub Shikharapur member, Shristi Bisunke presenting a poem about Rukmini Foundation as a way to give thanks for providing opportunities for girls.
Rubi shares about her experience with FIRST Global and also talks about RukuBot
During the event, the foundation team also gave a small award to Puja Didi for all of her report writing, which has been featured in many blogs on the foundation website. Mr. Shashi Sharma presented a coffee/tea cup with the foundation logo to her as a token of appreciation.
Puja was very happy to receive this small gift of appreciation.
Towards the end of the program, we all enjoyed a cake to celebrate the foundation’s birthday. The scholars who were early to the program were given the first pieces of cake. Scholars Tsultrim and Sukrira said that it was a good way to show that it is important to be on time.
The scholars who made it to the program early got to cut the cake first.
After the anniversary program was concluded, we celebrated the International Day of Girl and “Stand up For Girl”. These events bring together community members to think about the challenges faced by women and girls all around the world. There was a separate Stand Up for Girls program in Kathmandu as well. All of these celebrations aim to create atmosphere of community building, story sharing and empowerment. All LitClub members and scholars participated in the Stand Up for Girls program, which was led by Prakriti Didi. The “Hello” song started this program, and Prakriti Didi shared why we were gathered on this important day. She led us into workshop activities, such as Strong Girls Make HerStory. This activity gave all of us a chance to think about and share what feeling strong is like.
Monika, Rubi, Prakriti Didi and Usha Didi Stand Up for Girls
As part of the program, we did a workshop activity called, Community Action Pledge. In this program, all of the participants pledged that we will work to make our communities stronger for women and girls. These pledges were linked together to form a chain, a symbol of how each action can build and support one another and make the community stronger overall.
This program was even more festive because Dipawoli / Tihar, the Festival of Lights was also near. Using the theme of Dipawoli, all participants of program celebrated Rukmini 6th anniversary and Stand up For Girls by making a symbol using the lights. At the end of the program, all participants were awarded Certificates of Community Action, and after finishing the program, we all enjoyed a delicious meal together. What a great way to end a great program. Happy 6th Birthday Rukmini Foundation.
In my village there are so many illiterate women. My action pledge is to increase awareness about education in my community.
I was never able to do anything in front of a group, but after I joined a LitClub and after the LitCamp this year, I am able to dance in front of a large group in my community. That is my story of empowerment.