Written by Bishushi Adhikari, Women LEAD Intern
On the 23rd of September, the LEADers gathered at the Women LEAD office to discuss their next project of recruiting students from different high schools to teach and pass on the leadership skills they have learned through the training programs. In total, LEADers from each of the schools are going to spend 16 two-hour sessions over the course of four months with their students.
The discussion started off with problems that the girls have encountered in gathering applications, getting permission from those in charge to carry on with the training, and the appropriate day for kick-starting their classes. Together, the LEADers and Sonu didi came up with practical solutions for each of the problems.
Sudixa Malla, who has now chosen a school and received applications for the program, said, “The first school we went to had good response, but they kept delaying us and saying that they wanted to hold meetings and get back to us in a couple of weeks. That’s why we just moved on to another school, and it worked out. This one focuses a lot of extra curricular activities.”
After snacking on some momos, the girls gathered again to talk about how the actual training programs will go. Sonu didi presented the forms, financial and record-keeping, that need to be filled out by the LEADers and include everything from overall outcome of the class to challenges and surprises the girls encountered. Each class that the girls will give will tackle a specific subject, like public-speaking, study habits, bullying, relationships, youth activism, and reproductive health, to name a few.
Malla added, “I know that students will be really cooperative. So, my overall expectation is positive. And I also feel like since the students are younger, it will be easier to teach them.”
The discussion then went straight to what the Introduction session will look like. Sonu didi and the “School Leadership Orientation Session Plan,” which was handed out to each of the LEADers, said that this first session is essential in setting the “tone and expectations” of the program. They asked the girls to provide “high energy and excitement levels” and come to class prepared.
The girls are to introduce themselves and their purpose, hand out registration forms, classroom necessities, have the students answer some questions (“If you were a superhero, what would your super power be?”), come up with some rules and regulations together, and finally, set some goals.
To further illustrate the point that sometimes they will exceed what they strive for and sometimes they will fall behind, Sonu didi had the girls play a “Circle-Circle” game, she asked the girls hold hands in a circle and predict how long it would take a them to pass on a squeeze all the way round. The squeeze went around faster than expected the first time and was disturbed the second time to illustrate how goals work.
Sonu didi also explained the importance of stepping out of one’s “comfort zone” in order for one to be a good leader. She explained this using a problem-solving game of connecting nine dots with four lines, urging the LEADers to think outside the box when they are giving their classes.
Sagma Maharjan, who is eager to start the sessions, said, “We will have to see how much we are able to socialize with the students and how freely we are going to be able to talk with them. Our overall goal is to make them LEADers like us, but we will have to see how it goes and get constructive feedback.”