Wasn’t it fantastic to hear Gaurika Singh named as flag bearer for the Tokyo Olympics? A young swimmer back in the Rio Olympics, she was rewarded with the honour of carrying the nation’s flag alongside her swimming counterpart Alexander Shah.
We can never underestimate good role models. Gaurika’s dedication to her sport sends a message to other girls in Nepal. That message? There is the potential to achieve anything with a committed and determined attitude and with some support from friends, family and mentors.
When you see an athlete like Gaurika Singh there is no doubt that there are young girls looking from afar maybe dreaming that they too can achieve in the sporting world or perhaps another field of interest. Role models help make a difference.
In Nepal women’s empowerment project we embrace the value of role models as well as the importance of learning new things and aspiring to achieve your goals.
Our programme supports women to learn English, a valuable asset in a country that relies heavily on tourism. The added value is young children seeing the mothers and other women in their lives, dedicating themselves to learning new skills. Showing that even with the commitments of family and work, taking the time for self-improvement is important. The women in this group show that even if you left school at a young age there are opportunities for learning and these opportunities can be embraced.
The women’s empowerment programmes also bring awareness to potential. In our school programmes, for example, we can explore career opportunities and draw attention to role models in the community as well as more well-known models such as Gaurika Singh. We can also draw on local success stories. What comes to mind is the SASANE an organisation that trains women to achieve their goal of being a paralegal. Women who have survived extremely challenging situations have gone on to develop skills to support other women in their roles as paralegals.
When we think back to the Olympics team we can also think about the connections one makes through sport. Our women’s groups have that element too! Getting together to learn, share ideas and feeling comfortable with each other. It is not unlike the sense of belonging you feel as part of a sports team. Your support in allowing these groups to happen means women are not only developing their skills but developing a sense of belonging with other women, building networks and support systems. All valuable connections.
Your ongoing contributions allow programmes to reach a range of females, Some young students perhaps aspiring to reach the level of a Gaurika Singh or maybe with their heart on learning new skills or following a new hobby or interest, The women benefit from workshops that develop new skills and interests. Our programmes help build supportive networks in the community.
We thank you for your ongoing support. The women and girls who benefit from your support can be inspirational role models for others.