Recently, we brought together 4 LitClubs: LitClub Bhaktapur, LitClub Durgabhawani, LitClub Greenland and LitClub Niharika along with its 36 LitClub members to jointly celebrate a Story Summit in Balaju Park.

Balaju Park was a beautiful setting for this program.

Simran, being a resident of the Balaju area, explained about the historical importance of the park. We loved hearing about how the park was very special as there was a pond in the shape of Nepal’s map, and a bush in the shape of a flower, the Danphe. It is also believed that famous Nepali poet, Bhanu Bhakta Aacharya, was so mesmerized by the beauty of the park that he wrote a poem dedicated to the park.

This place was very familiar to members of LitClub Niharika because they are lucky to be nearby and come here often as part of their clean-up campaign. It was a bright, sunny day and we started the summit by singing a new song “Now we are ready to start the day”. To make sure everyone knew each other’s names, we played the name game by making particular gestures for each of our names. It was fun to see all of the girls performing different gestures with enthusiasm. Speaking of names, we had a little activity where the check-in question was “how your name makes you powerful”. Divyani, a LitClub Bhaktapur member, said that initially her name was a combination of letters from names of both of her parents, and she takes power from that connection.

Exchanging stories and ideas

After those initial activities, we went into the key part of the program where the members were asked to write short stories, and we read aloud those beautiful stories. All of the girls wrote their stories beautifully and even decorated and wrapped them in a very creative style. Four of the members from each clubs read out their story, which were both interesting and inspiring. Barsha, from LitClub Niharika, shared an emotional story about the love of a father for his child; and Lucky, from Lit Club Durgabhawani, shared an imaginary story about a frog, which was fun to listen to. Similarly, Anshu from LitClub Bhaktapur, shared a very inspiring story of a girl who overcame her struggles, and Divya from LitClub Greenland, shared her own real story with photographs.

Lucky, sharing her story.

To wrap up the summit, the LitClub members were divided into groups of 6 to discuss and develop “A story in the round” starting with the words, “Once Upon a Time”. The purpose of the game was to build a story using a piece of the story shared by a previous team member. This activity taught the girls to be creative, but it also highlighted how much they support each other in creating a meaningful story. There were many laughs during this game.

Speaking of working together, we also worked together to learn how to create a zine, which is a creative way to express an idea. All of the girls seemed to enjoy being able to share something about themselves using art, writing and anything else they could find. It was also great for us Didis (mentors) to see how they were helping each other to develop their zines.

The creative zines from our Story Summit were beautiful.

Before we could leave, we made sure we cleaned up after ourselves because we wanted to leave the park even more beautiful than we found it. We cleaned up everything around us while singing the “clean up” song and waved everybody goodbye with the “goodbye” song. It was a great summit because the girls were able to express themselves, learn something new, make and strengthen friendships and most importantly have fun.

Creating the magazine made me feel empowered because I could blend my feelings with art and words, and I was able to share my thoughts through a small piece of paper.

Erisha Shrestha

Member, LitClub Bhaktapur

About Bandana Adhikary

If Bandana could choose three words to define herself, she would pick “learner, dreamer, and believer”. Bandana is a go-getter who believes in the power of hard work and hard work alone to obtain results. As a passionate Rotaractor, she loves expanding her worldview through dance, storytelling, poetry, and painting. She currently studies development finance and has mentored Niharika School’s LitClub for the past two years. Her experiences here have inspired her to help children and build platforms for young girls to practice self-expression and fearlessness. Bandana sees herself as a future social transformer through innovative entrepreneurship.

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