Even after completing higher education and joining an undergraduate degree program, Subina usually felt non confident and unapproachable among her classmates and friends. Stage fright would scare her the most and she would rarely communicate in mass or with strangers. It was hard for Subina to adapt to her new environment and friends at Kushadevi Campus when she just joined her Bachelor Degree in Business Administration.
Subina Sapkota lives in Kushadevi, Panauti in Kavrepalanchok district of Nepal. Kushadevi is a small semi urban town in Panauti Municipality and it acts as rural-urban linkage to some of the rural regions of Kavre. The place has its own beliefs and traditions, and so do their people. We cannot say all Kushadevi’s residents are conservative, but most of them surely keep high regards of tradition and religion. Kushadevi Campus is a public campus located in the same region. Subina joined Kushadevi Campus and she was looking for some opportunities to develop her personal and professional skills. Subina was once approached by one of her teachers in the classroom. The teacher explained about ‘Kushadevi Youth Club’. Despite being a young and shy student, she decided to step out of her comfort zone and join the club.
Encouraged by her teacher and her family members, Subina’s decision to join the club in February 2022 impacted her life in a positive way. She joined the club with an expectation to learn about networking and build her confidence to speak in a large group of people. Apart from this, she also wanted to get an exposure to activities that could be insightful and innovative to her. Miss Sapkota claims that she has improved her ability to interact with people and is participating in a variety of activities organized by the club. Looks like Sapkota’s expectations regarding the club are fulfilled but she says there’s a lot more beyond her expectations that she gained from the club.
Subina started getting the opportunity to participate in different trainings and sessions. She says one of the best sessions she has taken so far was related to Youth and Sustainability. She claims that she started feeling obliged to participate in environment conservation and sustainability after she was engaged in the session. She participated in a plantation program organized by the club and she is looking forward to participating in more of such activities.
In addition to sustainability, Subina says, she often has discussions within the club regarding other different important topics. Some of the discussions mentioned by Sapkota are ‘Issues related to Youth Development’, ‘Environmental Issues and its Minimization’, ‘Climate Change and its Impact’, ‘Role of Youths to minimize and adapt to climate change’, ‘Environmental Rights to Youth’, ‘ Internet Safety’ etc. Sapkota also says that she was unaware about the 17 Sustainable Goals until she got the training from the club. Subina feels that joining the club has not only made her feel confident about herself but also made her feel responsible towards her environment and community.
“I was just a shy and introverted girl who remained silent among the group of people. After joining the club, I got the exposure to opportunities to learn and share my opinions. Most of all, I started feeling responsible towards my environment” says Sapkota.
Subina says she has become socially active these days. She also said she recently participated in a mock youth parliament because she felt confident after her engagements at the club. She shares the change she observed in herself after joining the club as:
“Who knew Subina? No one. I also did not make many friends or knew any of my seniors before joining the club. After I joined, other students at college and even the people of the society started to recognize me. My engagements with the club have improved my leadership skills, networking skills and event management skills. The knowledge is expanding every other day”.
She also shared that she disseminates her knowledge from the club to her friends, family members and community. She says she is more than happy to integrate her studies and youth club together.
“I have a perfect balance of studies and social engagements right now. I feel energized. I aim to be the president of this club someday”, says Subina.
Subina Sapkota is one of the many students who have benefited from Association for Rural Development supported Kushadevi Youth Club. In addition to improving leadership skills and making youth responsible towards sustainable development and environment, the club also has been setting examples of youth networking. Similarly, the club has not only been benefiting its members like Subina, but also the community as a whole through the social activities the club conducts. Subina says she is looking forward to more training and more discussions in the near future from the club.