Shree Shanti Niketan is a secondary school located at Panauti Kavre. The school also has a child club of total 25 members. Jenisha Shrestha is the chairperson of the club. Shrestha is a highly energetic and active to conduct a number of activities and events in the school. She is leading the entire club and has a strong command. Shrestha shares that she was not this much active and confident. Jenisha shares herself before joining the club as ‘unconfident’, ‘reserved’ and ‘unknown’ person. If you go to Shree Shanti Niketan and ask about Jenisha, each of the students and teachers recognize her today. Even the society recognizes her. This girl who dreams of becoming an IT engineer someday is already acquiring her soft skills by becoming the president of the child club. Shrestha shares, “I am confident that I can bring changes by stepping out of my comfort zone in my society. After being the member of the club, I had received a training on safte hygiene during menstruation and about menstrual taboos. I do not hestitate to speak on such topics anymore. In fact, I proudly educate the people around me.”
Its not only Jenisha who shared her happiness from the club. Another young girl from grade 9, Urmila Shrestha, who is also the secretary of the Child Club had joined the club after she received an encouraging statement from her teachers. She joined the club with the hope that she would become more expressive and even speak for herself. Her hopes are reality these days. After joining the club and having the leadership of a group of students, Urmila checks accountability of her seniors as well as teachers. She can question about her consfusions without any fright in the classroom as well. She barely used to participate in events but Urmila is one of the organizers of the all the events conducted by the club. Sharing her growth, Urmila adds, “The most satisfying part of being associated with the club is that I can help other students to grow and everybody recognizes me. I feel happy and my parents also feel proud.” So far Urmila has already hosted more than five big events of her school and child club this year.
After hearing the anecdotes from Jenisha and Urmila, it was clear to notice that the child club is creating an opportunity hub for members of the club and other students as well. However, Suprit Sapkota’s experience justified it more clearly. Sapkota, who is also the vice president of the club shared that he has become vocal about his needs and his opinions after joining the club. He used to remain alone and silent even at home, but joining the club has made me more approachable and socially reliable. Regarding the impact of the activities organized by the club, he added, “We put a lot of effort to organize programs such as spelling contests, quiz contests, cultural programs, sanitation activities, etc. But the success is determined by the overwhelming participation from the school students. We are creating opportunities for school students to come forward and showcase their talent by organizing such activities. When they receive prizes, they become more encouraged and happy.”
Children like Jenisha, Urmila and Suprit engage themselves into planning an activity in school, disseminating information, collecting the information from attendees, handling logistics, hosting program and what not. Getting involved in such activities as a member of the child club certainly boosts their interpersonal skills, soft skills and professionality. When we asked about the sustainability of the child club, all three of them replied, “So what if we complete our tenure, we will have new students joining the club. We highly encourage our juniors to take this opportunity. This is the best platform anyone of our age can have for their growth.”