Women Circle: supporting each other

“I didn’t imagine there would be no computers in schools in Sindhupalchowk district as it is in close proximity to Kathmandu ” said one of the women leaders who was born and raised in the capital city, Kathmandu. For many other women learning about Hamro Palo’s work with adolescent girls in the rural villages was a new set of information. By the end of last year, 6,625 adolescent girls and 1,671 adolescent boys have graduated from our flagship Education and Empowerment programs “Her Turn” and ” His Chance” since the programs began in 2012 and 2017 respectively.

Women cirlce_3In recent years, we have been looking for ways to create a community of women from various professional backgrounds and begin a conversation about how we can inspire, coach, mentor adolescent girls and (boys) and create a support system. Whenever we visit our Her Turn graduates or hold meetings with Girls Support Committee or even our Girls Advisory Board we ask – “what would you like to pursue as a career?” and most of the common answers we get is – teacher, trainer at Hamro Palo. While their answers validate our work and we are happy to support, we also think it is good to learn and explore many other career choices. Hence, one of the many ideas of creating Women Circle is to learn about initiatives, organizations, campaigns, and projects that are women led.

Women circle_2From January to August 2020, we met 50 women in small groups inviting women entrepreneurs, non-profit leaders, corporate executives, independent artists, and others. Through a women circle lunch meeting, we wanted to connect with women from diverse fields, learn each other’s work and prospect the idea of coaching our mentors, Girls Advisory Board, Girls Support Committee members through various sets of skills. “I am happy to collaborate in teaching arts in schools as extra curricular activities” said Shivangi Bansal, founder of Danfe Arts.

Women cirlce _1The sense of bonding and interest in collaboration expressed by the women leaders led us to commission our work to women, hiring women consultants and choosing businesses led by women. While the plan was to invite all 50 women in one platform and celebrate women power, leadership and collaboration, we couldn’t do so due to safety concerns related to COVID-19. Also, we are yet to explore mentorship for the girls programming. However, we are continuing this journey and hopefully go a long way in supporting each other.