I Can Lead 2nd Cohort (Jan – June 2021)
Project ‘I Can Lead’, is a youth-led initiative which aims to strengthen the leadership and decision making capacity of young girls of age group 14-22 years in sectors of Civic Engagement and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights. Challenging the deeply rooted patriarchal psychology which considers female as an incapable leader, our project will work directly with a total of 30 young girls, 20 girls from Kathmandu Valley and 10 young girls of the same age group from Kailali district. These 30 young girls will be the primary beneficiaries of our project ‘I Can Lead’. Through the following phase activities: ‘Mini-mock Parliament’, ‘Community Intervention Activities’, ‘Leadership and Communication Development Program’, these girls will be made aware, engaged, educated and empowered about female representation in politics, enhancing leadership and decision making capacity in SRHR, enabling them to make policy level changes and carry out community intervention activities to solve major girls related problems.
Project ‘I Can Lead’ is divided into three major phases Mini-mock Parliament, Community Intervention Activities, Leadership and Communication Development Program. All these components will align with the major goal of the project i.e. Strengthening leadership, policy level intervention and decision-making capacity among young girls of age group 14 to 22 years residing in Province-3 (Kathmandu Valley) and Province-7 (Kailali district) in the sectors of Civic Education and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights by the end of June 2021.
1. Kathmandu District
1. Mini-mock Parliament
It was the first phase of the project which is an activity phase in continuation to ‘I Can Lead’ cohort (July-December 2020). The phase aligns with the fulfillment of first project objective: To enhance leadership capacity, problem solving skills and build policy level intervention of 20 young girls in regard to the issues of Civic Engagement and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in Nepal. Mini-Mock Parliament will be conducted in Kathmandu Valley. Before the conduction of Mini-mock Parliament a preliminary meeting was carried out in January 2021 to briefly discuss the issues that were researched upon by the girl participants in the research phase of I Can Lead (July-December 2020). Research Phase of ‘I Can Lead’ 2020 cohort served as a base for the conduction of Mini-mock Parliament in Kathmandu. The implementation of the Mini-mock Parliament was based on parliamentary practices, electoral system and system of democratic governance used by Government of Nepal and encouraged 20 young female leaders to discuss about the problems brought forth through their research and be able to come up with powerful mitigating solutions to address these problems altogether. Also, Mini-mock Parliament helped to enhance the policy level intervention as the solution draft drawn by ‘I Can Lead’ fellows which will be implemented through three different community intervention activities in Kathmandu Valley.
The Mini-mock Parliament was led and facilitated by experts in the sector of Youth and Women Leadership in politics, democracy and good governance and SRHR. The Mini-mock Parliament used tools such as presentation, storytelling, games, dialogue and discussion to cover three major topics:
1) Mock Parliamentary discussions and representation of women in it.
2) Active participation of women in facilitating discussions of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and women’s participation in politics of Nepal.
3) Drafting of innovative and replicable solutions to solve the issues of Civic Education and of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in Nepal brought forth by their research.
2. Community intervention activities
The 3 intervention activities which were finalized from the mock parliamentary committee comprising of 20 fellows was implemented among the targeted communities of Kathmandu Valley by 3 teams:
- Team Moments developed and published a five-minute powerful video to raise awareness against Gender-based violence (GBV) where they prepared the scenario, dialogues and edited the video all by themselves. Due to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, the team reached out to different girls and youths online to be a part of this action. The dialogues in the video were expressed by 15 girls and youths of Nepal who recorded the video with their phone and sent it to the team. The video has been steadily gaining attention from girls and youths in our YouTube channel to this day.
- Team Lessons conducted 5 physical and virtual sessions with school going students addressing issues related to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) among 170+ participants.
- Team Conversations facilitated 2 sessions on the topic ‘Electoral Process in Nepal’ and ‘Women in politics’ reaching 55 school girls. The team also published a video documentary featuring Ms. Aleeza Dhakal, a woman politician highlighting the scope, challenges and urgent need of women’s engagement in Nepalese politics.
2. Kailali District
Leadership and Communication Development Training was organized in Kailali district to empower 10 girl leaders through strengthened public speaking skills. The activities consisted of script writing and speaking training followed by podcast recording of their voices. The podcasts were played on their local radio stations for 4 days. This training enabled young girls in Kailali to advocate for their SRHR and civic rights in their own voices through radio within their peer groups, families and local communities. Resilient Girl Kit inclusive of educational materials and menstrual sanitation kits were distributed to ensure easy educational access and encourage them to improve their menstruation hygiene. The leaders were also provided with the Resilient Girls Scholarship as a support and encouragement for them to continue their education in the coming days.