Sep 9, 2019

Our experience as Communications Interns!

A few months ago our 2018 LEADers Labbi and Dilasha graduated from our year-long LEAD Course. Over the last few months, they’ve made the transition into the professional world, interning for Women LEAD with our Communications Department.

We conducted a Question and Answer session with Labbi and Dilasha to share with you some insights and highlights from their internship experience:

Q: Why did you apply to be a Communications Intern?

Labbi: After completing the one-year-long LEAD course, I applied for the Communication Internship post, partially because I was interested in working with computers, making graphics, and improving my writing skills. However, most of all, I applied because I wanted to give back to Women LEAD. 

Q: What did you do as Communications Interns?

Labbi: We made a strategy to recruit online applicants for the 2019 LEAD course, used graphic design to make social media posts more attractive, took photos of alumni to highlight the benefits of joining women LEAD, and shot and edited videos. We also made designs for Women LEAD merchandise such as mugs and totebags.

Dilasha: During the internship, we worked on graphic designs, photography and video shoots. We also worked on the online recruitment process which included handling social media and online applications. All our hard work paid off and we were thrilled to meet our target of receiving 100 online applications! 

Q: What challenges did you face during your internship?

Dilasha: It was a bit challenging learning how to use the design tools to make infographics during the first few days of the internship. Taking headshots of the alumni and interns in the correct compositions was also a bit challenging for me as it was something I hadn’t done before.

Q: How did you overcome these challenges:

Dilasha: For me, I started asking more questions to my supervisor, Prajesh, which slowly built up my confidence in using the design tools. I also began experimenting more with different designs, which helped me master the tools.

Q: How did Prajesh, Women LEAD’s Communications Coordinator, support you?

Dilasha: Prajesh Dai supported us throughout our entire internship journey. He helped us to learn the basic design tools and editing applications such as Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom and Illustrator. He showed us many interesting videos related to videography and photography and gave us amazing books to read to grow our skills and knowledge.

Labbi: Prajesh Dai was the best mentor I have ever had! He was always patient with us and even when we made mistakes, he used to motivate us by saying that failure is not the end. He helped and guided us every step of the way.

Q: How was your experience overall?

Labbi: These past three months as a Communications Intern has been one of the best experiences I have had! Women LEAD was a great learning environment and we had the opportunity to participate in opportunities outside of the Communications Department, such as interviewing participants for the next LEAD Course. 

The best thing has been the additional opportunities we’ve received due to the skills we’ve gained through our internship. Dilasha got the chance to work as a freelance logo designer for a company, and I got a chance to design a t-shirt for Xaviers’ Model United Nations. 

Links:

Aug 19, 2019

Our 2018 LEADers Graduate!

Our 2018 LEADers at their Graduation Ceremony
Our 2018 LEADers at their Graduation Ceremony

Last month our 28 2018 LEADers graduated from our year-long leadership program, the LEAD Course after an intensive year of growing, learning and influencing others. 

Our 28 LEADers participated in sessions throughout the year on important topics such as gender-roles, privilege and bias, effective communication, and sexual and reproductive health. 

The participants also visited various government officers and learned to hold leaders accountable while also understanding what good governance and citizenship roles look like. The LEADers were inspired by visits to Election Commission's department, the central government at Singha Durbar and the National Youth Council. 

Our LEADers also implemented four of their own advocacy projects tackling social issues like bullying, mental health, dignified menstruation and gender stereotypes. 

Witnessing their journeys first-hand, I am so proud and inspired by the confidence, strengthen and ambition these young women. I truly believe they will go on to become powerful and strong leaders across all sectors of our society and I can't wait to see where their journeys will take them.

Reflecting on what she has learnt throughout the year, our 2018 LEADer Timila says, "A real leader is someone who not only steps up but is also comfortable stepping down. At Women LEAD, I learned that leadership isn't only about holding a position, but how we work with a team  by incorporating different ideas, uplifting each other, and growing together in diversity!"

Thank you for your support for building the next generation of leaders in Nepal.

We can't wait to introduce you to the next batch of changemakers as the next iteration of our LEAD Course begins next month.

Warm Regards,

Hima Bista (Women LEAD's Executive Director)

Links:

Jul 14, 2019

Dikshya's Eye-Opening Experience in Rautahat

Dikshya with a young woman filling out a survey
Dikshya with a young woman filling out a survey

Earlier this year, a fellow Women LEAD Alumni, Siwani and I won a grant through Women LEAD’s Sujata Baskota Changemaker Award Initiative. In May, Siwani and I travelled to Gaur Municipality of Rautahat District to implement our community project The Safe Motherhood Initiative to document the reasons why women marry early and to promote safe motherhood practices.

Before we travelled to Gaur, I did research on the situation of motherhood and early marriage in the area. The research gave me some insight into the situation, but having lived my whole life inside the Kathmandu Valley, I knew what I had read was only a glimpse into the lives of women living in Gaur.

The trip exposed interactions and experiences that were very new to me, even though these experiences occurred on a daily basis in this part of Nepal. Walking down the memory lane, there were various striking incidents which stayed in my mind.

One particular distressing memory was during an interview during which I asked a young woman about her thoughts on early marriage. The young woman said,All women in our region marry early, get pregnant early. If she is lucky she lives, otherwise, she dies early and her husband has the option to get married again.” I was aghast finding out that the life, dignity and worth of a woman were not valued, and that women were just regarded as child bearing machines.  So many women were being robbed of their youth and a lifetime of opportunities.

However, amidst this bleak situation, a highlight of the project was visiting Mayor of the Municipality, Ajay Gupta, to get permission to implement our project. I was pleasantly surprised by the Mayor’s support of our project and willingness to co-operate by referring us to the District Health Officer who could give us information about the initiatives that were taking place to raise awareness of safe motherhood practices within the community. This gave me a lot of hope for the future.

The second wave feminists used ‘Personal is Political’ as a slogan to emphasize the relationship between personal experiences and larger socio-political structures. Through this project, I gained a much better understanding of what this slogan means. As Carol Hanisch says, “One of the first things we discover in these groups is that personal problems are political problems. There are no personal solutions at this time. There is only collective action for a collective solution.”

This project was an eye-opening experience for me, as it made me more aware about the underlying problems faced by women in Gaur and the collective steps that we need to take to overcome them, create an impact, and to honor women’s lives.

I am now more inspired and motivated than ever to fight for the rights of women in Nepal. 

Kind Regards,

Dikshya

 
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