Written by Bidushi Adhikari, Women LEAD intern.
Thick, black locks, an inquisitive smile, and an almost shy demeanour: these characteristics surface through Poojan Shrestha’s personality. However, with more time and conversation, Poojan comes off as a curious and confident young lady.
It was two months ago that Poojan joined Women LEAD. “I think it was my list of extra curricular activities that lead Women LEAD to choose me for their program,” she said, pointing to the CV she is currently working on. And it is no surprise: the list contained everything from gardening to community service to awards won in scholastic achievement. She has also been actively engaged in several rallies on Environment day, Children’s Day, and an Anti-Smoking Campaign.
Coming from a family of six, Poojan rejoices in the fact that there is so much activity at home. “I’d love to play some soccer and basketball in college, but it doesn’t always work out. So, instead, I play with my siblings at home. I learn a lot there too,” she said.
Joining Women LEAD has been quite an experience for her. “I like Women LEAD because it’s a place where I can interact with people, different and similar to myself, and build my leadership skills. Sonu didi, Shilu didi, and Ms. Claire are all really cooperative and friendly. It’s easy to talk to them,” she said.
In the two-week training that Poojan attended in July, she learned about a wide range of topics, aside from building leadership skills. “It was really educational. We learned about time management and human rights accountability. We even learned about sexual harassment and how to keep safe from it,” she said.
With her 10+2 drawing to an end, Poojan remains unsure as to what career path she is going to choose: joining the army or becoming a businesswoman. “There are people we know there in the Army, so it becomes easier for me, and the environment there looks very attractive. But also, it seems like there are only boys there, and I want to show people that although I’m a girl, I can join too. Through the Army, I can also go outside of Kathmandu or even Nepal to rural places to help out other people.”
As for business, Poojan said, “I have chosen management, so it also makes sense to choose business. I want to be able to earn money and utilize that money in social work.”
Poojan named the celebrated founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale, as one of her treasured idols. “Her sense of serving, motivation, and delegation are characteristics that I too aspire for.”
As of right now, Poojan is looking for an internship through Women LEAD for the next coming months. She has chosen to apply to the Association for Children, Nepal, as an intern. “I like to teach little kids because it’s easy to teach things you already know. This is another kind of a hobby,” she said.