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डोल्पा मेरो सपना मेरो अनुभब

By विद याक (विनोद शाही)
Sep 06, 2021

१७ बर्ष सम्म निरन्तर बर्षेनी १०/१२ दिनको त्यो यात्रा, भिन्न भिन्न सहयात्रीहरु संगको त्यो अविस्मरणीय र रोमान्चक यात्रा । कहिले ढुंगा खस्ने कहिले पहिरो कहिँले हिउँमा फस्ने कति कति कठ्यांग्रिने रातहरुको निराशा र जीवन मृत्युका संघर्षहरु । चिसो नदिहरु थिचोल्दै साघुरो गोरेटोहरु हुदै, हिउँमा चिप्लेटी खेल्दै बिकराल हिमशिखरहरु माथिको विजय उत्सवहरु । असुविधाहरु, अभाबहरुसंगै अशिक्षा अज्ञानता चेतनाको कमि जस्ता अन्धकार मा फाइदा उठाईरहेका विकृत भ्रष्ट मनस्थितिका व्यक्तिहरुसंगको लामो युद्ध । युद्ध लडेर होइन, कर्म बाट विजय प्राप्त गर्दै । फरक भाषा, संस्कृति जीवनमा घिल्मिल हुदै रोम्बा (बाहिरको मान्छे)को उपनाम देखि उनीहरुको हुरी मी (हाम्रो मान्छे), लामा, घाँग्ज़ोङ सर Sir of the Himalayas को उपाधि उपनाम पाएको सम्मको यात्रा । अहिले सम्झिदा हिजो जस्तो लाग्छ सबैले नजा नजा भन्दा भन्दै सबैलाई रुवाएर डोल्पा तिर लागेको पनि १६,१७ बर्ष पुगेछ । समाज सेवामा दत्त चित्त भएर बिद्यालय पछी देखि लागेरहें पनि मेरो पहिलो लक्ष्य भनेको चित्रकला, अभिनय नै थियो । जीवन मृत्युको संघर्ष गर्दै बिकराल हिमशिखर पार गरि पुग्नु पर्ने उप्पल्लो डोल्पा पुगें पछी देखि मेरा सबै इच्छा आकांक्षालाई त्याग गरि मैले सम्पूर्ण जीवन यहि ठाउँको लागि नै समर्पित गर्छु भन्ने प्रण गरें । यति दुख कष्ट हुदाहुदैपनि थाहा छैन किन त्यो ठाउँ संग यति धेरै लगाब भयो । संगै गएका साथीहरु बर्षदिन तथा केहि महिना पनि बस्न सकेन । त्यहाँ बाट पलायन भएका केहि स्थानीयहरुले नै हाम्रो ठाउँ त धेरै गार्हो छ यस्तो ठाउँ मा पनि को बस्छ भन्थ्यो । हुन त मलाई पनि शुरुवातका दिनहरुमा त्रास, निराशा, बहिस्कार, तिरस्कार चित्त दुखाइले गर्दा त्यो ६ महिना को कार्यकाल सके पछी कहिले नफर्किने गरि जान्छु भन्ने लागेको थियो । तर त्यी बालबालिकाहरु, गाउँले साथीभाई आमा दिदीबहिनीहरु किन किन आफनै लाग्न थाल्यो । त्यी सब बिचरा लाग्थ्यो कति दुख हो । बच्चा होस् बृद्ध होस् सबैले दुख गर्नै पर्ने । केवल सामान्य आधारभूत आबस्यकता पुरा गर्न पनि कति दुख गर्नु पर्ने । बाह्रौं शताब्दीका जस्तै यहाँका मानिसहरु केबल गाँस बास र कपासका लागि मात्र कडा मेहनत गर्दै गोबर टिप्दै, भेडाच्यांग्रा चउँदै, ऊन बुन्दै, याक संग बर्षेनी हिउँद तल्लो डोल्पातिर बसाईसराई गर्दै प्रकृति संग संघर्ष गर्दै कठिन जीवनयापन गर्दैछन् । यहि अवस्था देखेर उहाहरुका लागि त्यो ठाउँका लागि केहि गर्नु पर्छ भन्ने लाग्यो । र यहि मेरो देश र यो समाज को लागि केहि गर्ने अवसर हो भन्ने प्रबल भावना मनमा आए पछी मैले यहि क्षेत्र को लागि केहि गर्छु भन्ने प्रण गरें र बिशेष रुपमा त्यो क्षेत्र को शैक्षिक विकासमा आफुलाई समर्पित गर्दैगएं । शुरुमा बिकट भूगोल, भिन्न संस्कृति, भाषा, सचेतनाको कमि र फोहोरी राजनीति आदि कारणले त्यहाको समुदाय संग भिज्न उनिहरुबाट आफ्नो हो भन्ने स्वकार्य हुन नै धेरै संघर्ष गर्नु पर्यो | अर्को विकास, स्वस्थ, शिक्षाको महत्व बुझाउदै बालबालिका हरुलाई कक्षा कोठा सम्म ल्याउन पनि अर्को ठुलो संघर्ष थियो | उहाहरुकै भाषा, भेषभुषा सिक्दै जीवन सस्कृति लाई अंगाल्दै भिज्दै उहाहरुलाई सचेत बनाउदै गएँ । पठनपाठन र कक्षा कोठामा मात्र आफुलाई सिमित नराखी अतिरिक्त क्रियाकलाप, आफुले जानेका जीवन जगतका कुराहरु सिकाउन सुनाउन थाल्यौं । विद्यार्थीले मात्र नभएर अभिभाबकले पनि सिक्नु पर्छ भन्ने हेतुले प्रौद्ध कक्षासंचालन गरें । शुक्रबार शनिबार बिदाका दिनहरुलाई सदुपयोग गर्दै ४/५ घण्टा हिडेर हिमालपरिको गाउँ जान्थें । त्यहाका बिद्यालय आउन नपाउने बालबालिकाहरुलाई पढाउथ्यें । घाउ चोटपटक लागेकाका लागि मलमपट्टी र पोलियो,भिटामिन ए, जुका का औषधिहरु वितरण गर्न गाउँ गाउँ घर घर पुग्थ्यौं । संगै काठमाण्डौबाट औषधि र अरु आबस्यक सामग्रीहरु संकलन गरि स्वास्थ्य केन्द्रमा वितरण पनि गरें । संचालनमा नआएको क्याराभान हिरो थिन्लेको स्वस्थ्यकेन्द्रमा मेरा पुर्व विद्यार्थी नर्सलाई स्वास्थ्यकर्मीको रुपमा पनि नियुक्त गरेर स्वास्थ्य सेवा प्रदान गर्न लगाए । शे चाकांग गुम्बामा पुराना धार्मिक पुस्तक हरुको संरक्षण गर्न छोर्तेन स्तुपा निर्माण गर्न सहयोग जुताइदिएं । पछी सरकार ले स्थापना गरिदिएका तर कहिले संचालन मा नआएका विद्यालय हरु पुन: स्थापना गर्ने अभियान शुरु गरें त्यहि शिलशिलामा शे फोकसुन्दो गाउँ पालिका अन्तर्गत कोमा गाउँ मा सन् २००८ मा श्री दशरथचन्द आधारभूत विद्यालय र निजालगाउँमा सन् २०१० यांग्जेर गुम्बा आधारभूत विद्यालय स्थानीय साथीहरुसंग मिलेर पुनस्थापना गरें । भर्खरको युवा अवस्थामा जीवनको लक्ष्य के हो भनि सोध्दा म नायक - वास्तविक जीवन को नायक बन्न चाहन्छु भन्थ्यें । त्यहि नायक बन्ने प्रबल चाहना ले गर्दा म अपराध संग लड्ने क्राइम फाइटर बन्ने विचार गरे (धन्न त्यो विचार त्यागें र कुनै गलत बाटो गएन छु) । त्यही नायक बन्ने चाहनाले म सामाजिक कार्यहरुमा लागि परें र त्यहि नायक बन्ने कोशिसमा देश कै सबभन्दा दुर्गम उपल्लो डोल्पा पुर्यायो र डोल्पा को शैक्षिक बिकासमा यति धेरै गर्ने आँट र जोश दियो । सांच्चै नायक बने कि भन्ने भान पनि भयो । तर त्यो संगै नायक बन्नु, रक्षक बन्नु, भगवान बन्नु कति सम्म उचित छ कति जायज छ भन्ने प्रश्नहरु आफैभित्र उठ्दैगयो । नायक बन्ने, भगवान बन्ने कोशिसमा समाजलाई झन् हामीले विचरा पात्र बनाउदैछौँ कि झन् हामीले उनीहरुलाई नायक र भगवान को मात्रै अपेक्षा गर्ने बनाउदै छौँ कि । र हामी जस्ता कति नायक भगवानहरुले साँच्चै नै उहाँहरुको को लागि काम गर्दैछौं कि आफनै स्वार्थ आफ्नै राजनीति, प्रभुत्व जमाउने र मागी खाने भाडो बनाउन मात्र काम गर्दैछौं भन्ने कुराहरु, विचारहरु मनमा आउन थाल्यो । यस्तै यस्तै कुराहरुलाइ मनन गरी कुनै नायक वा भगवानको मात्र अपेक्षा गर्ने भन्दा हामी सबैले आफैले आफ्नो गाउँ समुदायको विकास प्रगतिमा कसैको भर नपरी आफैले केहि गरेर आफै नायक बन्न अभिप्रेरित गर्दै सबैलाई जिम्मेवार बनाउने उदेश्यले नेपाली मात्र को साथ सहयोग मा स्कूल शुरु गर्यौं र समुहका साथीहरु स्थानीय उपत्यका लगाएत सुगम सहर का र बिश्व भरिका नेपालीहरुबाट साथ पाएर डोल्पा भरि यो अभियान अन्तर्गत धेरै गाउँहरुमा विस्तार गर्यौं । डोल्पा जस्तो दुर्गम यो एक नौलो कठिन किसिमको कार्यक्रम थियो । संसार एकातिर र म अर्को तिर थिए । संसार जसरि चल्दैथियो त्यो भन्दा अर्को बाटो म लागिरहेको थिए । संसार जसरी चल्दैछ त्यो भन्दा मैले जुन बाटो रोजे त्यो चाहिं वास्तविक आबस्यकता हो भन्ने मलाई पूर्ण विश्वास थियो । कतिले यसरी पनि हुन्छ यो त हुने सक्दैन नेपाली ले सियो त बनाएको छैन कहाँ आफैले स्कूल गाउँ विकास गर्न सक्छ भन्ने कुरा हरु आए । तर पनि मेरो आफ्नो कर्म, लक्ष्यमा मलाई पुरा विश्वास थियो । यहि नै अहिले को परम आबस्यकता हो भनि आफ्नो पथमा अथक र निरन्तर लागि परें र अन्त्य मा धेरै संघर्ष पछी मैले संसारको साथ पाएँ । १ विद्यालय, ३२ जना विद्यार्थी र हामी २,३ जना शिक्षकहरुबाट शुरु भएको यो कार्यक्रममा अहिले सम्म ६१ जना स्वयंसेवक याक शिक्षकहरुबाट १६ विद्यालयहरु , १६००+ विद्यार्थीहरुलाई लाभाम्बित भएका छन् । डोल्पा को १३% जनसंख्यालाई हामीले सचेत बनाएका छौं । स्थानीय समुदाय देखि लिएर देश विदेशबाट हजारौ लाखौ साथी सहयोगीहरु, युवा, बालबालिका, गृहिणी आमा दिदिहरुले साथ दिनु भएको छ । यो एक चरणको काम त पुरा भयो हामीले हाम्रोसमाज, दुर्गम क्षेत्र र देशका लागि जिम्मेवार हुन अभिप्रेरित त गर्यौं जिम्मेवारी संगै सक्षमता सिप पनि प्रदान गर्दै जानु अति आबस्यक छ । शिक्षामा आमुल परिवर्तन ल्याउन, संगै शिक्षा संग स्थानीय जीवन, संस्कृति, कुसल नेतृत्व, ब्यबस्थापन क्षमता विकास, सामाजिक- आर्थिक विकास जोडिनु पर्छ । यो सब गर्न म क्रियसन नेपालमा आबद्ध भएर कर्णाली शिक्षा अभियान प्रारम्भ गरेका छौं । कर्णाली शिक्षा अभियानको यो अभियानबाट हामीले सक्षम विद्यार्थी, युवा, महिला समुदायको नेतृत्व मा एक नमुना गाउँ बनाइ देश र विश्वलाई सकारात्मक संदेश र उत्प्रेरणा दिने हाम्रो उदेश्य छ । क्रियसन नेपालका साथी सहकर्मीहरुको साथ सहकार्य मा यो सपना पनि पुरा हुदै गरेको देख्दैछु ।

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Why Volunteer?

By Abish Man Shakya
Aug 23, 2021

UN Youth classifies youth as young people between the age of 15 to 24. At this age, young people are still growing physically and mentally, getting new ideas and shaping thoughts that eventually shape their life. Without responsibilities on their shoulder, it is an opportunity to explore, experiment, and experience the essence of life. The youths have great energy and vigor. They are restless and look for ways to harness the energy and put them in good use. Given the right platform, they can do wonders but have every change of a misdirection. At this time, it is crucial that we engage youths in activities that are useful and meaningful. The right platform will develop compassion in the youth that will learn that the world is not only their but one that they share. To ability to empathize is crucial for young people to become sensible citizens of the future. At this age, learning should be the priority of youths. Despite education being the primary driving force for their development, it comes with limitations that are dependent on infrastructures and resources available at schools. The additional experience to develop themselves as youth come from the experiences outside the classroom. The youths require exposure to develop communication and leadership skills, and the confidence to immerse in the real world. One such great opportunity is volunteerism. Based on the values of altruism, volunteering is an opportunity to provide invaluable service to the community and serve selflessly. A volunteer dedicates their energy and time to a cause genuinely with the sheer purpose of helping people. There is nothing in volunteering except for the joy they bring to the faces of people by putting someone else’s needs above yours. By volunteering, we are not waiting for someone else to bring the change but acting with compassion to bring the change we envision. Society has many problems and could use a helping hand. It could be helping someone cross the road or planting trees, but whatever you are doing, you are working as an individual dedicated to serve the collective and the community. One may ask: Why should we volunteer? We should volunteer because we are human and it is our moral obligation to make our world a better place tomorrow than it is today. Adults maybe busy with their commitments but youths have expendable time to solve many problems that simply need a helping hand. And after all, youth is period of transition from a dependent young person to an independent adult and altruism is one such important value that youths should learn so that they can become responsible adults in the future. There is always be a need for volunteers in our communities and it is an opportunity that every youth should take. After all, volunteerism instills the values of compassion in the youth to work on a better tomorrow. Without volunteers, there would be chaos in times of disaster and any public event. Without volunteers, it would be difficult to carry out communal activities. To bring a sense of belongingness and order in society, we wouldn’t be able to make do without it. For those who have finished high school and haven’t graduated, volunteering is a great opportunity to make the most out of their leisure time to really connect with the community. If you aren’t involved in anything at the moment, keep an eye out for volunteering opportunities. The world needs a hero and you can be one!

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Waste, landfill and the lives of waste pickers

By Pratik Bajracharya
Aug 15, 2021

Society’s ways of producing and devouring products create huge amounts of waste. Unfortunately, the rate of production and consumption cannot be stopped under any circumstances, especially for a developing nation such as Nepal. Most of us carry a cynical ‘don’t know, don’t care’ attitude when it comes to waste as we throw away leftover, packaging, and discarded materials. These materials end up at what most people call a dumpsite or ‘fohor fyalne thau’. The actual term for disposal of waste is landfill: an engineered site built far from human civilization to isolate our waste. Nepal has only six sanitary landfill sites. The rest of the waste is dumped on open grounds. During my research on waste pickers and waste management, I visited different cities in the Terai belt to understand the context. The foul smell, scavenger birds hovering, and waste loitering on the pathway easily identified the dumping sites from a great distance. Normally, people would like to stay away from these dumping sites and can’t imagine working here but waste pickers work here every day recovering recyclable materials. They are the true environmental heroes that reduce waste from landfills and contribute to the circular economy. Most discarded materials can actually be sold to itinerant buyers and scrap dealers instead of disposing them which end up in landfills. A waste picker in the landfill usually recovers more than 10 kilograms of useful items in a day working for 8 to 10 hours. Shiva (name changed) is one of the many long servings waste pickers at Bharatpur dumping site on the bank of Narayani river. He starts his day early in the morning and starts sorting plastics, shoes, metals, brass, wires, copper and anything valuable. Though waste picking was initially an urgent job Shiva had to take due to a family problem, he earns more than a 1000 rupees per day from sorting valuable waste. Waste picking is a tedious job with poor sanitation, but surprisingly there was a small canteen set up by a waste picker inside the landfill. One cannot imagine beginning their entrepreneurial journey from such a place but there are more than 40 waste pickers in Bharatpur dumping site and half of them have tea, snacks in the canteen; a smart way to earn besides recovering waste. In Bhairahawa, the landfill is located in Paklihawa on the Nepal-India border besides the Tinau river. Both Nepali and Indian citizens recover waste materials there. Most of these waste workers work these jobs due to the freedom it comes with it and a high paying income. Most dumping sites that do exist lay on the banks of the river polluting the ambient environment. The plastics that we discard mix with the river as they break down to microplastics. These microplastic formations are as a result enter the food chain and the water ecosystem that accumulates onto living beings that consume other living beings causing what is called biomagnification. I would recommend everyone to visit dumping site or sanitary landfill sites at least once to view the mess that we have created, learn how difficult it is manage these dumping sites, and the work of people who are trying to reduce the waste from these sites. Once we know about all the work that waste pickers put in to keep our cities clean, the society will not look down on this sector. Waste picking is a profession with dignity. Without them, our communities would be a huge pile of dump.

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Opening up possibilities amidst lockdown

By Anmol Parajuli
Aug 01, 2021

In the past few years, natural disasters have been a big challenge for Nepal. It invited crucial problems that I wish we never had but as they say, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. We, as humans, have left no stones unturned as we fight for our lives, a second invisible war of its kind in a short span against an invisible threat. What was most important during these times were the feeling of togetherness and willingness to help each other. While I write this, I recall the dark days after the earthquake and the flood. We were recovering from the catastrophes, seeing some positive rays of hope, when yet another calamity came knocking. As the pandemic made its way into our homes, many of us suffocated with pneumonia that came with the coronavirus and couldn’t see their loved ones. While some battled COVID-19 themselves, others had to look after their family members while being infected themselves. Some had to isolate themselves with just a layer of plastic in a single room they shared with the rest of the family in home isolation. The lockdown hasn’t been the same for everyone and it hasn’t been easy on anyone either. Despite our best efforts, many had to face the consequences of incomprehensible losses in lives or businesses. But in these times, the most important thing was having hope, staying positive and stand strong despite the obstacles. The pandemic might have begun with bouts of despair but many served consistently during these tough times to bring the hope of survival. The roads weren’t empty during the lockdown. The ordinary Nepalis paved the way to get out of their comfort zone to provide emergency and urgent relief all while risking their lives. Some drove hundreds of miles to transport resources while others received hundreds of calls per day for oxygen and relief requests. Some worked remotely despite contracting COVID-19 while others prepared meals for the people working. Some donated all they could while others visited remote areas to facilitate people. But whatever we did, we did all we could in our prowess. The words ‘collective effort’ best defines what we did as Oxygen For Nepal (OFN). All the team members braced themselves to come up together to serve. With our supporters and well-wishers from all over the world, we were able to impact many lives. Friends and families from all over Nepal and abroad approached us to serve the severely hit villages and cities. Nights and days of hard work only make sense when we see the lives that have been impacted today. We were able to provide oxygen cylinders, concentrators, food rations, PPEs, and other medical and safety gear to support the COVID-19 patients and frontline workers. With the largest collaboration of the civil society and private sector, we are on our way to install 10 oxygen generating units in different provinces of Nepal. This will help us deal with the third wave to some extent. I cannot ensure if I have saved anyone but I can assure you that my tiny effort has gathered strength in someone to stay alive with our assistance. In difficult times, I believe that it is our moral duty as human beings to help each other. It is the oneness that gives us the courage to overcome the worst plague of modern times. I believe that we still have one thing in common: hope and that hope will encourage us to open up possibilities amidst the lockdown, the possibility of oneness, to save lives, remain strong and come out stronger.

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The pandemic isn't over yet

By Abish Man Shakya
Jul 19, 2021

Before all the chaos that COVID-19 had brought upon us, I put the pandemic and nuclear war in the same bracket; not impossible but probably limited to an action-thriller movie. Since SARS or MERS, the not-so-novel coronaviruses, had not entered Nepal in the past, I had reasons to believe that the mighty mountains had us protected. But the world now is even more interconnected and it didn't take long before the virus infiltrated our country and brought upon the unthought-of nightmare of a pandemic. 2020 was not memorable by any means. I finally had some time to spend with my family but all I did besides that was eat, sleep and repeat it. I called friends and relatives once in a while, played online games with them and I spent plenty of time on classes and workshops. But with time, the COVID-19 situation escalated. Health officials and experts and politicians were all sending out the same message: Stay home! The international news channels kept saying that it was necessary to ‘flatten the curve’, in other words keeping the infection rates to a bare minimum so that the healthcare systems wouldn’t be overwhelmed and collapse. I didn’t know the extent of the damage done by COVID-19 or even feared catching the disease until I learned that two of my parents’ far-cousins had died of the disease. A friend told me how his father had caught COVID-19 and that besides pneumonia that engulfed him, the virus had severely affected his liver. It didn’t make sense to me how the COVID-19 virus was affecting different people differently. Some had it less severe with barely a fever and loss of smell and taste while others were agonizing in pain and fighting for their lives. Soon enough, close relatives of mine caught the disease. Since the lockdown was imposed, we couldn’t reach out and help. To be honest, we didn’t even know how we could help. Even as the lockdowns came to a momentary halt and we were getting used to the new normal, people kept getting infected by the virus. We were now adjusting to a novel lifestyle created by the novel coronavirus but not everyone felt the same way with taking precautions. People hardly maintained social distance or necessary safety protocols in public. One time, I found myself in New Road, and it was crowded just the way it used to be, and half the people weren’t even wearing a mask. There was a misconception that COVID-19 is a threat only to the elders and that it’s merely flu for the youngsters. Some other things that came up in gossip were that there is no point in holding ourselves back since everyone would be affected by the virus sooner or later or the fact that some countries didn’t even impose a lockdown and went straight into herd immunity. Honestly, I didn’t fear for my life because I believed my immune response could deal with COVID-19, but I feared for my near and dear loved ones who have aged such as my mom, dad, uncle, aunts and grandparents. Just as we grew ever so lenient towards COVID-19, the virus made a blistering comeback. The first wave had me worried but we could sit back and treat ourselves with ‘besar-pani’ but the second wave petrified us. Everyone I know was either infected by the virus or knew someone who was infected. The infections were much more contagious and fatal and many people I personally knew died. There was no flattening the curve this time, the healthcare system collapsed. I have many stories, sad stories in fact, in regards to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. These stories are not of hopeful instances but of incidents of numerous lives lost. I shed significantly more tears in the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though I was working in COVID-19 response with Oxygen for Nepal, I felt helpless throughout May and June 2021. I dreaded messages and calls on my phone because I wasn’t prepared at all to hear about another lost life. When someone I knew died, I reminiscence on the fact how our last encounters were so ordinary and orthodox without the slightest indication of our final confrontation. It only taught me the fact that surprise is the nature of death and I should rejoice every moment I spend with anyone. Even when I learned about the death of someone I didn’t know, it still disheartened me. All these people look so happy in the pictures and they were close and important people to someone. It was difficult to see my friends and family bear the brunt of the loss of someone they knew and loved. In July, the situation is better. Through relentless efforts from the government, civil societies and private sector, our health infrastructures have been reinforced. There are more recoveries per day than infections. These are good signs but we still have to be careful because the pandemic is definitely not over. Just as the second wave came back to haunt us, a third wave and many more waves are likely until everyone is vaccinated. The second wave COVID-19 might have doused to some extent but it has not been banished. We will still need to prepare ourselves for yet another wave of COVID-19 that could spread like wildfire and devastate us again. Though things may seem like it’s finally getting back to normal, the war still rages on. That is why we still need to put infrastructures in place such as oxygen generating units. The pandemic isn’t over until everyone is safe. The best we can do now is learn from the past and these experiences. The new normal has no room for leniency. We have to prepare ourselves through prevention, not response so that a COVID-19 catastrophe doesn’t repeat itself. As for now, let us embrace that COVID-19 is here and here to stay for some time, but to suffer less than before, we better be ready this time.

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Occupational Safety Training and Health Camp

By Riya Shrestha, Anmol Parajuli
Apr 26, 2021

The collection of post-consumer waste is handled by the informal waste management sector involving the poorest communities in Nepal. The human resources working in this sector are exposed to occupational vulnerabilities and compromised hygiene practices. Prolonged exposure to hazardous and infectious waste materials, sunlight, electrical and heavy-duty machinery operation, long and uneven working hours, poorly timed and unwholesome eating habits, accompanied by socio-economic and psychological stress are some of the factors contributing to their appalling quality of life. Consequently, they are subjected to higher occupational safety risks and health risks compared to other working sectors. On the occasion of World Health Day 2021 (April 7), CREASION, in support of The Coca-Cola Foundation and Bottlers Nepal (Terai) Limited, organized a three-day Occupational Safety Training and Mobile Health Camp from April 6 to April 8, 2021, with an aim to formalize the informal waste management ecosystem, provide occupational safety training and a free health screening to the waste workers. The training was designed as a part of the Recycler Saathi 2.0 activity component - Strengthening of Baling Center and Informal Waste Workers. The team included a licensed doctor to reach out to a total of 74 waste workers at five different waste scrap centres in Satungal, Teku, Imadol, and Jorpati. The waste workers included young and middle-aged men and women.  The occupational safety training included a session to provide instructions to the waste workers on how to properly use safety amenities such as safety gear - shoes, gloves, mask, reflector jacket and cap, first aid, dignity kits and fire extinguishers, workplace etiquette, and basic hygiene awareness. The scraps centres were also equipped with safety amenities as a means to avoid workplace risks. In addition to that, as an awareness tool, infographics with the name of the scrap centre and basic safety protocols were also provided at each location. The training was followed by a one-to-one basic health screening of each of the participants by Dr. Anuj Raj Kadel through the mobile health camp. The doctor also provided medical and psychological consultations as required. The most common issue among all the participants was high blood pressure caused by daily alcohol consumption, smoking and chewing tobacco. Similarly, few of them complained about back pains and body aches induced by heavy weight lifting, which could lead to problems associated with bad posture. Although none of the trainees were malnourished, most of them had problems caused by dehydration prompted by long working hours under direct sunlight. As a preventive measure, the doctor recommended all the participants get vaccinated for the COVID-19 virus, tetanus, hepatitis A and hepatitis B. The female waste workers were provided with reusable sanitary pads with its instruction to use and advantages. This session also shed light on the lack of knowledge about health care, sanitation, and food habits among the waste workers. Besides training and health examination, the trainers connected with the waste workers to understand their working mechanism, the reason for joining the sector, and their opinion about the informal waste sector. One of the waste workers, Mr. Naresh Rokka said, “The salary that I get here as a waste collector is considerably higher than what I used to earn as a driver. My wife suggests that I stop working as a waste worker because of society’s perception towards waste workers but I don’t see a point in settling for less income because I don’t want my salary to be the reason why my children are denied a proper education.” The training couldn’t be more apt considering the second wave of the COVID-19 virus. Now is the best time for the waste workers to make a move towards full implementation of the learnings to stay safe and secure while working in possible risky situations.  

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Where Do The Children Play?

By Abish Man Shakya
Apr 22, 2021

As ignorant as I was as a kid, I quite enjoyed the holidays on ‘Nepal Bandhas’ while treacherous things happened outside the Kathmandu Valley at the peak of the Maoist insurgency. My parents would happily let me go outside and ride my tiny cycle on the main roads of Sorakhutte. The roads weren't as wide as it is now but riding on the road where cars and motorbikes fizzed past me was a big deal for me. On a usual day, there was always the fear of being hit and run by passing by bikes and cars, but not on this day, not on Nepal Bandhas. It was a different kind of joyous moment for my playful neighbours. The elder brothers would bring out the cricket bat and tennis ball, and put a chair on two ends of the road. They would play cricket on the narrow streets of the capital city and their loud voices could be heard in the silence of noon. They would play from sunrise to sunset but occasionally had their game cut short after smashing a neighbors’ window. Then they would have to find another street to play. As I grew older, I travelled to my friend’s house in Kalanki where an alley led to his house. At noon and in the afternoons, we played football and knocked down bricks and counted them as a goal. Every other month, I observed that new houses were being built. When I first went to my friend's house, I could see the main roads from the roof of his house. But now, his once naturally well-lit room is but a cold dark cave. The other houses assured that no ray of sunlight reaches his room. The narrow alley where we once played football is now a menace to play since there's a parked motorbike in front of every home. Now, there is almost no open ground where I can go and play. I sometimes go to Narayan Chaur to meet up with my friends in the evening but they don’t let you play football there. To get there, I often have to travel on the tar-pitched roads sharing the roads with fuming vehicles. Maybe an open public area somewhere closer to home would have motivated me to get out in the mornings and get some exercise. I can always exercise at home but for me, exercise has to be fun, else I relapse and choose an extra hour of sleep over an hour of physical activity. I remember fondly growing up in a hostel where we had ample ground to play. There is a different kind of joy in coming together to get dirty playing in puddles of mud in the pouring rain. Now, I can only reminiscence on the good old days. I think and wonder that perhaps more people would pay attention to nature if they knew that their right to play has been taken away. The adult generation often claim that kids these days are stuck on their mobile phones but where do the children play? My father sometimes tells me stories of how he used to swim in the Trishuli river and catch snakes in Swoyambhu. I don’t think kids do these kinds of things anymore or are even vaguely interested to do so. Back then when we didn’t have gadgets to play with, we played hop-scotch by drawing lines on soil with twigs. To play the same game now, we have to draw it with chalk over concrete in the parking lots. When we stop going out to play, we do not learn the realities of the natural world. Reality hides in the plain sight of comfort. If we want the kids to care about what happens tomorrow, we should let them go out and discover that joy is real when you share it--that we share this planet with not just with humans but all living beings. It would be wise to give them an opportunity to walk barefoot over fresh green grass. Maybe they’ll encounter a beetle or an earthworm and make them curious about life the way a falling apple intrigued Newton. The lack of space where I stay is saddening. Days often go by when I don’t see a patch of green. We sit back and believe that this is the new normal but civilization is taking away so much space and leaving no room to play. We can only hope that the children today will get more chance to enjoy their youth and simply play.

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World NGO Day 2021

By Sushmita Karki
Feb 27, 2021

Non-governmental and civil society organizations have been strengthening social and civic goals through involvement in extensive array of sectors like education, health, environment, social equality, agriculture, poverty alleviation, and much more. The foundation of such entities have been significant to address social and legal issues globally. In the context of Nepal, the establishment of NGOs date back to as early as 1950. NGOs in Nepal have driven social and political changes on wide and local levels, to develop and support communities. One the major dynamic functions and contribution to community development is the emergency response initiatives of NGOs. The unpredicted impacts of COVID-19 halted several communities, sectors, and blazed existing issues in Nepal, and we witnessed NGOs’ commendable COVID-19 response through strong adaption and resilience. On the occasion of World NGO Day 2021, we acknowledge the relentless efforts and contributions of social organizations and groups for emergency response initiatives during and post pandemic. Volunteer Corps Nepal (VCN), a humanitarian and development NGO, conducted COVID-19 School Safety, First Aid, and Livelihood Program that focused on educating school children about precautions and safety measures for COVID-19 in Saptari. Sano Paila, a community-based organization, commenced a robust COVID-19 response project that provided meals, hygiene kits, and ration supplies to marginalized communities and families. Moreover, Sano Paila also established border rest centers for returnee migrants and isolation centers for COVID-19 patients in Birgunj and Janakpurdham. 100’s group, a social club established by humanitarian volunteers, conducted food, medical supplies, and safety gears relief distribution to communities hit by COVID-19. Established in 2005, CREASION Nepal thrives to strengthen social welfare and community development by prioritizing three pillars of sustainability; economic, social, and environmental. Under CREASION’s COVID-19 response, we initiated Waste Workers Emergency Relief Project (WWERP) with support from The Coca-Cola Foundation, which aimed to ensure the safety and well-being of waste workers by providing safety awareness trainings and relief distribution of food, safety gears, and medications during the pandemic. WWERP successfully reached out to 3212 waste workers and positively impacted more than 16060 beneficiaries in 18 districts of Nepal. Aanand Mishra, Founder and President, CREASION Nepal, “By undertaking the role of implementers, partners, and catalysts, Non-governmental Organizations bridge the temporary gap between state and society with a dynamic modality to deliver aid in accordance with pre-existent and contemporary issues”. CREASION stands at the fore-front to provide relief and support during any crisis in Nepal. Our Emergency Disaster Response Program is a standby initiative for response, recovery, and reconstruction for any type of disaster. Likewise, from natural to man-made disasters, contributions of numerous NGOs in catastrophic situations has abetted to rebuild our communities. On World NGO Day, we encourage everyone to become more actively involved in the NGO sector and foster a greater symbiosis between stakeholders; public, volunteers, private sector, educational institutions, and government through impactful collaboration and partnerships.

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Standing Against COVID-19: Waste Workers

By Sushmita Karki
Feb 15, 2021

Washing, sanitizing, and keeping our hands contamination-free is the primary precaution to protection from COVID-19, but what if it is your job to handle waste directly? During the time of COVID-19 pandemic, waste management has proven to be a crucial public health and sanitation service where public have the privilege to avoid health risks from waste piling and disposal. However, waste management sector in Nepal faces several barriers with low priority from national and local authorities that has resulted into lack of awareness, human resource capacity, technology, advanced infrastructure, and financial resources. In Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC), it is estimated that 15,539 waste workers are involved in waste collection, segregation, cleaning, and disposal. Despite of the pandemic, waste workers are in relentless action as front-liners for the community. Already marginalized occupation with low income and benefits, waste workers bear high risks of virus transmission and other diseases with continuous exposure to large quantities of waste. Additionally, lack of proper safety gears, poor hygiene practices and living condition increases health risks significantly. Prakash Shivabhakti, a waste worker since 14 years expressed how he struggled to continue his job with being tested positive for COVID-19 and fear of safety during the pandemic. It also changed his perception towards the importance of hygiene, safety gears, and protection in waste management. Badra Kumari Pariyar, a waste picker from Chitwan struggled to sustain her family of seven members with low income, especially during the COVID-19 lockdown in Nepal. Stagnant economy, unemployment, sealed borders, social distancing, and lockdown caused by COVID-19 in Nepal affected most industries, occupations, and communities. In such situation, Waste Workers are one of the most vulnerable groups that require support from every level of our community. WHO guidelines also suggest that the household generated waste during the pandemic should be tightly packed in strong bags to prevent contamination to waste workers. We can assist waste workers at individual level by following such public health protocols. CREASION Nepal, in support from The Coca- Cola Foundation, initiated Waste Workers Emergency Relief Project (WWERP) that provided safety, medical, food, and awareness relief to 3212 waste workers with a total reach up to 16060 beneficiaries in 7 districts. Furthermore, with the support from The World Bank Group- Nepal, CREASION successfully conducted 5 COVID-19 safety gears distributions to 75 waste workers in 3 districts. Although the relief operations from several private and not-profit institutions are working for the welfare of waste workers, collective action from other contributors at national and local level are necessary to formulate strong policies and provide social dignity for our waste workers. Learn how to support waste workers at communal level by proper waste management through CREASION’s “Safe Waste Management Awareness” video; Safe Waste Management

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Towards Sustainability: Small Actions that Make Big Differences

By Avipsha Rayamajhi
Feb 07, 2021

Sustainability to me is grounding myself to reality. The reality that exists around us. The reality of our growing communities and declining environments. The reality which is a ticking time bomb for the generations to come. More often than not we have been hearing that the earth is nearing its carrying capacity which is to say that the global population is rising but resources are limited to accommodate them. This brings us to the whole idea of sustainability- to use the resources at hand efficiently and effectively so that the present and coming generations can survive well without putting too much pressure on the earth. The implementation of sustainability has broadly been taken as a responsibility of the government and profit- making business houses. This general characterization makes sense given the fact that the operation of industries and factories are a big threat to the environment. Governments always have had to do a trade-off between environment and economic development and the choice mostly has been economic prosperity at the expense of a degrading environment status. However, it’s easy to put blame on higher authorities while individuals and communities succumb to consumerism and unhealthy practices. A sustainable lifestyle if prompted and initiated on an individual level can create remarkable impacts for the environment. Most of us misconstrue the practice to be expensive and unachievable especially in the context of a developing country like Nepal. But facts cannot be more far from the truth than this. If we look around Nepal itself, our rural communities have been a pioneer of sustainable lifestyle even before the concept was popularised by the mainstream media. In an urban setting as well, it is more than possible to practice sustainability through small actions. Here are a list of few everyday changes that one can make in order to lead a sustainable life: a. Segregate your waste: Waste segregation is the basic and the most important step in waste management. The process is fairly simple but helps ensure that recyclable, non-biodegradable waste doesn't end up at the landfill. b. Make your own compost: More than 66% of waste generated in Kathmandu Valley is household organic waste. Such organic waste has great potential in agriculture and farming if composted the right way. Households can invest in a good composting bin and compost the segregated organic waste. The byproduct i.e. fertilizers can be essential for your rooftop vegetable farming or gardens. While you get to enjoy fresh homegrown produce, this also ensures your contribution towards sustainability. c. Reduce plastics: Plastic is pervasive today and there’s no way we can get rid of using it. However, small actions such as utilising a reusable shopping bag for grocery items and buying fresh local groceries not packaged in heavy plastics or reusing water bottles can go a long way in contributing towards a less polluted environment. d. Make it a habit to walk: Walking can seem tedious, especially in a dusty and crowded city like ours. But despite the complications, it is also one of the most sustainable actions that an individual can commit to. If not longer distance, one can at least make an effort to walk to places that are at a shorter distance. Although it can be a little time-consuming, think of all the ways it can truly help you lead a sustainable life. e. Be frugal about your resources: It’s high time we become mindful of our resources at hand. It can start by simple actions such as closing your tap while brushing, reusing waste water for plants, switching off your electronic devices when not in use or buying less clothes. Small actions like these might seem trivial but in the long run it helps towards achieving sustainability. While these are some basic lifestyle changes that one can make for the environment, it definitely cannot be limited to only these. There are a myriad of other small actions that an individual can do from a micro level to achieve sustainability. So, what actions will you follow for a sustainable lifestyle?   (Header image credits: Yummba.in)

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RECYCLER SAATHI: INCULCATING BETTER RECYCLING SOLUTIONS

By Creasion
Jan 14, 2020

The United Nations claims that there are 51 trillion microplastics in the sea, which is 500 times more than stars in the galaxy. This data is an apt representation of the rising problem of plastics that is evidently only getting worse. With growing consumerism and commercialization, it would not be wrong to say that plastics have become an inseparable part of human life. From the food that we consume to the products that we use, all of it comes to us packaged in some or the other forms of plastic. This overt dependence of humans to plastics has increased to the point that it has become an indispensable part of our lifestyle today. With time and with increasing materialism, the use of plastic has gone so much out of hand that what was considered a blessing has become a massive curse today. Plastic waste has been feared as much as climate change and the repercussions of global warming. Out of the various forms of plastic pollution, managing Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Plastic Waste is a challenge. Although PET bottles are highly recyclable, most of them ends up as waste eventually resulting in massive pollution. It is estimated that by 2021, over 500 billion PET bottles will be produced. Similarly, out of the almost 500 billion productions of PET bottles in 2016, less than half of it was recycled. If the production and consumption of these bottles continue at the expected number with the recycling rate stagnant, their impact only seems to aggravate more. Plastic pollution is a global problem and Nepal is no exception to it. With the increasing purchasing power of people, their demands have also grown. This, in turn, has fostered the culture of consumerism and added to the problem of growing plastic and plastic related productions. It is reported that on average, 100 million plastic bags are consumed in a month in Kathmandu alone. Out of the total urban waste generated in Kathmandu, 16 percent is occupied by plastic waste which implies that 2.7 tonnes of plastic waste are generated daily. The statistics point to the magnitude of plastic pollution in Nepal. Even within plastic pollution, the generation of waste PET bottles is a serious but often neglected issue.   According to a report by GIZ, there are 52 PET bottle manufacturing industries in Nepal that produce 24000 tons of PET bottles annually. To cater to the waste PET bottles produced by these manufacturing industries, there are only 2 small scale recycling centers. Further, it has been reported that 15000 tons of waste PET bottles are generated in Nepal and out of this number, 10-12000 tons of it are illegally exported to Nepal. While the level of awareness among people about the proper disposal of plastic bottles and the culture of reusing it is almost bleak, the waste management mechanism is not impressive either. To cater to the failed waste management and recycling mechanism of Nepal, Recycler Saathi, an initiative of CREASION has been introduced as a first of its kind project that legally exports waste bottles to India through Essel Industries Pvt Ltd., the Nepal unit of the Ganesha Ecosphere Ltd., India. Based on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model, the project is supported by The Coca-Cola Foundation and Bottlers Nepal (Terai) Ltd.  While the effort will definitely organize the waste sector of Nepal and help in the formation of a legal means to monetize waste PET bottles, it will also substantially help reduce carbon emissions. Recycling 1 ton of PET reduces 1.5 tonnes of carbon emissions which implies that with the target recycling of 3125 tonnes of PET, 4688 tonnes of carbon emissions can be reduced. Carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas traps excessive heat and contributes to the increasing problem of global warming which has damaging impacts on the environment and human life. Hence, the impact of the project is not just received on a macro level but also on a micro-level through the minimization of carbon emissions. The major beneficiaries of the Recycler Saathi project are the informal waste collectors. These door- to- door waste collectors are not guaranteed adequate incentives or respect for the work that they carry out due to the negligence to the waste sector of the country. Recycler Saathi aims to integrate these waste workers into its project by providing them better employment opportunities and social security. The long term vision of the project is to make them capable enough to start their own recycling company that would assist the entire recycling mechanism of the country. Further, the families of the waste workers will also be provided with trainings and skills development classes so that the overall quality of life of the families can be improved for the better. Waste collectors are one of the major players in the war against the mounting environmental pressure created by the increasing activities of humans. The major idea behind the project is to create an organized network of waste workers who are well respected and feel a sense of ownership of the work they do and the purpose that it serves. To provide better services to the waste workers and to improve and organize their working conditions, Recycler Saathi also has plans to tie up with Alliance for Indian Waste Pickers who have already been working in the same sector with the assistance of the Indian government. In addition, Recycler Saathi has already started a supporting project- Waste Smart Club to complement its objective of creating a better recycling culture. Waste Smart Club, created in five different schools of Chitwan engages students in various eco- friendly activities with the purpose of creating a generation of young people who care for the environment.   Hence, Recycler Saathi is a project with a sustainable vision of gradually improving and strengthening the waste sector of Nepal. It not only focuses on the bigger picture but prioritizes all the key players in the waste management sector. The successful implementation of the project guarantees a breakthrough in the recycling business of Nepal along with the benefits shared by not just the environment but the economic and social factors of Nepal as well. With constant and unwavering support from the concerned stakeholders, the outcome envisioned by Recycler Saathi will definitely be achieved for the greater good of the country and the environment.

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GENDER INCLUSION IN CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTABILITY

By Creasion
Dec 13, 2019

The divide between men and women can be seen and experienced in almost everything. Socialization has a crucial role in creating and deepening these discrepancies across genders. Women have mostly been disadvantaged due to systemic oppression and societal barriers that they face in everyday life. Their role in different fields is scrutinized and dictated by various factors- physical, psychological, cultural, social and economic. As a result of various vulnerabilities that they experience, women have become primary victims of climate change and climate change-induced risks and disasters. The underrepresentation of women in various arenas, multiple work burden imposed upon them along with lack of accessibility of resources, education and job opportunities are major reasons why women have become the prime targets of climate change. Climate change impacts on women can emanate in various forms- from agricultural unproductivity, increased work burden, diseases and health to disaster-induced risks and death. With the emergence of the global climate crisis as an issue that is well and fine in front of our sight, climate-induced disasters are no strangers to the world. The United Nations estimates that 80% of people displaced by climate are women. Records show African American women were among the worst affected by flooding after Hurricane Katrina in 2005; 2004 Tsunami in Srilanka, India, and Indonesia saw a vast distinction in the survival of men as compared to woman by 3:1 ratio; 1991 cyclone and flood resulted in five times higher death rate of women than men; more women died during the 2003 heatwave in Europe. The trend of higher death rates of women than men as a result of climate-induced disasters indicates the vulnerability of women. Research suggests that women and children are 14 times more likely to die in a disaster than men. Their supposed obligation to their families and the need to protect them first from disasters puts women in a disadvantaged position ultimately resulting in their death. Further, the sexualization of women’s bodies from an early age and a feeling of shame imposed upon them also refrains women from being rescued from disasters. Similar reasons resulted in the death of many women during the 2018 Kerala flooding. Since the massive inflow of water had deranged the clothing of women, they were adamant to be rescued due to the shame of being exposed in that way in front of people. Such rigid socialization and cultural barriers imposed upon women eventually led them to choose death. Not just death, but post-disaster repercussions for women are also severe. As women mostly act as caretakers of the household and families who do most of the household chores, their exposure to disaster-induced risks is greater. Especially during instances of drought and flood women are forced to travel long distances to fetch water which makes them physically, mentally and emotionally vulnerable. Moreover, the risks increase in emergency shelters where they become victims of sexual assaults, rape, and violence. Further, a report also states that divorced women face more scrutiny during disaster events and are not allowed relief materials post-disaster due to their failure to establish a legal identity for themselves. While various reasons exist behind women being highly jeopardized by climate change, the failure to include them in climate change adaptation measures is a grave mistake that we must overcome. Policies, plans, and programs cannot be implemented for combating climate change without including women- who include half of the world- in decision making. A report on Women and the Environment from the European Institute for Gender Equality states that women and men think differently about climate change solutions. While women agree on changing their daily habits to reduce effects of climate change, men seek for higher alternatives such as the use of electric cars, nuclear energy as an alternative source of energy ­­­­ and a higher energy tax. Women tend to bring empathy and inclusiveness in their decisions which results in a more sustainable outcome. The measures that women agree on controlling the effects of climate change are more realistic, doable and convenient. To mitigate the impact of climate change on women, it is important to include them in core decision making through different channels. The average representation of women in national and global climate negotiating bodies is below 30% which is a disappointing figure. Without the involvement of women, a gendered perspective on climate change and climate change policies cannot be achieved and implemented. The EU states that the failure in including gender dimension in climate justice is due to the fact that women are underrepresented in climate change policymaking and negotiations as representatives of government and civil society organizations. The knowledge and experience of local women from developing countries are equally instrumental in proposing and implementing sustainable solutions to combat climate change. Although women have been portrayed as the victims of climate change if provided the right avenue, opportunity, and platform they can become agents of change. In rural communities, women act as the managers of natural resources and they understand the sensitivity of the environmental issues leading up to climate change. For example, a local community under the leadership of a woman named Constance in Uganda reduced their community’s impact on the environment through replanting trees they once cut down for firewood. The new roots of mango, orange, avocado trees were useful in preventing soil from washing away in flood. As a result, the community experienced less damage from floods and could prevent food scarcity. The local knowledge and experience that women possess must be imperatively considered while framing national and international policies and guidelines against climate change. Therefore, climate change has become a gendered issue today. Gender mainstreaming of climate change policies is required to have a more balanced approach to the issue and combat its repercussions. For this purpose, bringing women to the table, having their voices heard and materializing their experience and knowledge is crucial.

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Youth for Climate

By Avipsha Rayamajhi
Nov 21, 2019

Most baby boomers refuse to believe that climate change exists. Millennials are scared climate change is going to be the death of them. Amidst this tussle of ideologies over the legitimacy of the issue, the one who is suffering the most is our earth. Climate change is real. Denial is no solution to the fact that the world around us, the earth that we live in is in a dire state. The hard-hitting impacts of climate change might not be felt from our high- rise buildings and air-conditioned rooms, but that does not imply the problem is negligible. Time and again, the world has been reminded of the magnitude of climate change. The recent tornado in Bara of Nepal, Cyclone Fani in India, series of frequent hurricanes in the United States of America are evidence that this is a global phenomenon and one that does not discriminate- the repercussions having spread over third- world to first- world countries. Yet, world leaders and the ones with the power to influence have shown bleak sense of urgency towards the issue. Despite a range of massively fancy conferences and treaties over the years, the problem has not been adequately addressed. The youth of today, however, have emerged as the real champions of climate change. They realize the gravity of the problem and are not willing to stay as silent spectators to the chaos that climate change has evoked. They rebel, they protest, they call out world leaders, adopt a more sustainable approach to daily activities and most importantly do not fear to occupy space. They lead by example and constantly remind big corporations and leaders that our future is in danger and quick action is imperative. The activism shown by youth all around the world for climate change has been exemplary. Global Climate Strike is one such initiative led by Greta Thunberg, a 16-year old Swedish school student. What emanated as Thunberg’s symbolic absence from school to protest against climate change in front of the Swedish Parliament gained a huge momentum and has led to a global alliance of youth pressurizing big corporations and leaders to take immediate action for climate crisis. The wave of solidarity among youth has also reached Nepal. A silent rally in support of Thunberg’s global movement was conducted in May in Nepal by CREASION. Further, Nepal Youth Environment Coalition (NYEC) formed by the active volunteers of CREASION along with students of environment science of various colleges brings together environmentally conscious youth with the zeal to work towards the environment and various environment-related issues. The youth group has been actively organizing discussions and interaction programs to integrate a larger network of young people from various walks of life in climate-related dialogues. Hamro Pariyavaran is a talk show by NYEC that brings into light different national and international climate issues through interactions with climate activists and workers. Similarly, a recent session on Climate Interactive Tools with Dr. Bindu Bhandari was a first of its kind climate-related event held in Nepal which worked on Model United Nations approach and emphasized on solving climate-related issues. The workshop divided the participants into different groups known as ‘committees’ who were then assigned the responsibility to provide strategies to cope up with certain climate issues. All the different committees had to reconcile at a strategy that would help meet the agenda. Such workshops are an innovative way to engage youth in problem-solving and generate ideas through mutual understanding and consideration of each other’s positions. Considering the usefulness of this workshop to youth, NYEC also plans to take it throughout Nepal. Highway Clean-Up Campaign is another project in CREASION’s pipeline. With a waste collection of the area between Thankot and Chitwan by engaging local volunteers, the campaign aims to instigate in locals the need for proper disposal of waste- mainly plastics and plastic bottles. Besides, the engagement of youth in the campaign is a good way to integrate them in the movement towards a healthier environment. The long term vision of the campaign is the creation of a golden triangle and expansion of the highway clean- up campaign. NYEC also plans the expansion of their chapters in the ten different locations- Thankot, Naubise, Mahadev Besi, Benighat, Galchi, Gajuri, Malekhu, Mugling, Ramnagar, Narayanghat- that are set for the campaign to form an alliance of like-minded and environmentally conscious youth. Recycler Saathi project that is underway to manage and formalize the waste management sector of Nepal is also beneficial for the environment.   Despite the magnitude and the seriousness of climate change, one encouraging thing that has come out of it is the enthusiasm shown by youth around the world to right the wrongs done to the environment. The level of commitment, amount of care and intensity of passion shown by youth for the environment and to fight climate change is commendable. Such multiple efforts by CREASION to give youth an organized direction and platforms to interact about the sensitive issues of climate change are important and necessary. Youth have the power, understanding, and enthusiasm but they require the right guidance, institutional support and conducive environment to foster and materialize their concern towards climate change. Hence, youth hold the power to bring change and with the enthusiasm that they have, it is likely that they will take the lead in the fight against climate change.

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CIRCULAR ECONOMY: THE SOLUTION TO SUSTAINABILITY

By Avipsha Rayamajhi
Nov 10, 2019

Have you ever wondered about the possibility of your ready- to- throw soda bottles transform into a completely new product? A brand new t-shirt, fleece jackets, sleeping bags, carpets or more bottles perhaps? While the concept of plastic transforming into a completely new product almost seems like a miracle, it is possible and already thriving. You can easily obtain a brand new t-shirt from 10 plastic bottles, a sweater from 63 plastic bottles and a sleeping bag from 114 plastic bottles! Amazing, right? Not just the bottle, but the cap can also be transformed into batteries, storage containers, ropes, brooms, shopping bags, and whatnot. All of this is derived from the outcome of a simple yet important concept of Circular Economy (CE). The concept of the Circular Economy focuses on the regenerative designing of products that would enable continued use of it. Basically, it aims to retain the quality and usability of products for a longer period of time. It entails closing the loop so that the functionality of resources is restored and waste is kept minimal. The current trend of the linear economy works on the culture of use and dispose. The idea behind the circular economy primarily emanated as an antithesis to the linear economy and is derived from the relationship between natural resources and the economy. Economy is fueled by natural resources but the same economic activity eventually creates negative repercussions for the environment by unnecessary waste production. Circular economy intends to form an ecosystem that thrives on long- term use and sustainable quality- one that retains the use of natural resources and reduces waste. Although the concept traces its history from different sources, one of the pioneers of CE can be taken as Boulding who opposed the practice of the existing linear economy and termed it as unsustainable owing to the limitations of the natural system. He introduced the concept of ‘Spaceman Economy’ is contrary to the ‘Cowboy Economy’ and popularised the idea of a closed system with looped resources. Another complementing concept to CE is the Cradle- to- Cradle theory developed by American Architect William McDonough which draws its inspiration from nature. A plant takes up nutrients from the soil, grows and provides nutrients to the surrounding soil from its scattered leaves. It basically works on the principle of the natural system where nothing goes to waste and is circled around for use. The theory has taken reference from biological metabolism and developed the concept of technical metabolism. It considers the inputs or raw materials used in production as ‘nutrients’ which must be returned back to its source for greater efficiency. Here, nothing is taken as waste but rather ‘nutrients’ with the possibility of further use. The theory in line with the concept of circular economy aims to put an end to waste and make resources part of a closed system.   The human civilization and the environment are presently at the helm of mounting plastic pollution. The growing trend of consumerism has fostered throwaway culture. People consume all they can and if they do not require them anymore, there is no hesitation to dump it- ignorant of the massive repercussions of their actions to the environment. To tackle this problem, circular economy can emerge as a relevant solution. Businesses and manufacturers need to revise their business model and make it more sustainable by planning the entire life cycle of their products so that it does not end up in landfills as waste. Recycler Saathi, an initiation of CREASION is a good addition to the increasing culture of circularity in Nepal. The ongoing project aims to refrain PET plastic bottles from ending up in landfill as waste by forming a legal channel for their export. The PET bottles are collected, baled, reduced to flakes and then legally exported to India for repurposing. While the environmental benefit is the primary highlight of the initiative, the economic and social impact is equally noteworthy. Since the PET bottles are legally exported, revenue generation is higher which eventually increases the living standard of waste workers, our Recycler Saathis. In this way, resources after use are not labelled as waste but rather attain a second life and shuffle along the same system. This cuts the production cost of new PET bottles provides better and enhanced employment opportunities for more people and also cuts off unnecessary costs and hassle of managing waste that does not belong to the landfill. The recycling of PET bottles in this way is a win-win for circular economy since it contributes to improving the overall efficiency of the entire socio-economic and environmental system. While initiatives like Recycler Saathi contribute a great deal in the institutionalising circular economy- which is the need of the hour- the baton must also be carried by manufacturers and ensure the supply chain of products inclines to the principle of the circular economy. Similarly, consumers also play an important part in taking responsibility of their actions and being mindful of their patterns of consumption. In this way, ensuring the system adheres to circular economy requires the effort of not just one party but a joint collaboration of various parties involved- be it consumers, producers or third party organizations. Hence, in the wake of increasing environmental problems, growing population, and skyrocketing industrialization it is crucial to consider and modify how we approach our everyday activities. Transitioning to a circular economy can prevent our failing economic and environmental state from collapsing and contribute to the world’s vision of sustainable development.    

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LEARNING BY DOING- MY EXPERIENCE AT CREASION

By Creasion
Oct 16, 2019

Experiencing and learning about new things is important in life. At CREASION, I got opportunities to do so every day through various activities. I had the chance to be part of various kinds of programs such as Trash Tag Challenge, Empower Plus, Tree of the Year, Mental Health Sessions and so on. I worked under CREASION as a volunteer and developed a special interest in the area that the organization works most on which is ENVIRONMENT. One of the best experiences for me was while volunteering in the program, “Tree of the Year 2019”. This was my first volunteering experience through which I learned many things such as making connections, managing time and budget effectively and so on. CREASION has made me realize that helping can be done through various ways and in addition to this it has changed me in a positive way. I am at all times ready to discover myself as well as help people around. I have overcome my ignorance about important issues such as climate change which I am now more aware of and conscious about. With an informal environment, it is easier for volunteers to strike conversations and build a healthy relationship with our supervisors as well. I would like to point out that VFC is an intriguing idea as it is all about engaging young people by fostering a sense of volunteerism. In addition, we also have the opportunity to create our own programs which brings out the best of us. Through my involvement in CREASION and VFC, I gained experiences cleaning our surroundings to striking conversations with government officials. Because of this very organization, I have gained confidence and the ability to speak for the things that need to be addressed. As stated by Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “As we lose ourselves in the service of others, we discover our own lives and our own happiness.” Working in this organization, I got to meet new people and found happiness in helping others. I realized that the sense of achievement after completing a program successfully is incomparable. I am very grateful for CREASION for helping me transform into the person that I am today. Lastly, I am indebted to CREASION for welcoming me and making me a part of this organization.

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REMINISCING MY DAYS AT CREASION!

By Creasion
Jul 30, 2019

If there’s a thing I’ve learned in my life, it’s not to be afraid of taking responsibilities and challenges that come with caring for other people. And it’s a sacred place when you actually get to embrace your learnings and principals. I found CREASION where my strength was explored in an innovative way and I had the opportunity to get out of my comfort zone. I remember the day where we were unknown about what will happen because meeting with Ma’am was inspiring as well as frightening. We initially brainstormed to get factual answers asked by her. From that day, I knew days were going to be challenging and not easy. I believe work can only be completed when one shows courage and hard work, and we volunteer proved it by doing one of the challenging and trending Trash Tag Challenge. I am inspired by the way CREASION pushed me into new work. Volunteering is all about reflecting one’s compassion, unselfish and caring nature, patience and love to one another. Throughout all the sessions and workshop such as Mental Health, Empower+, SDG workshop, Self-Defense, I gained awareness about various issues which motivated me to develop different skills for spinning my own wheels in the near future. I am very thankful to the whole team of CREASION for providing me a golden opportunity and making me capable enthusiastic, conscious and diligent person from an introvert human. Thank you to whole CREASION team for all your effort, support and immense love that you have been showering till now. Thank you for everything.

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MY THOUGHTS ON THE CREASION FAMILY

By Radhika Halder
Nov 18, 2018

My time at CREASION has indeed been remarkable. It is impossible for me to do justice to it through this write-up but I’ll give it a try. When I moved to Nepal, I was fascinated by the country’s rich landscapes and diverse culture. I was also slightly embarrassed to have been living so close (in India) for many years and never having explored this country before. Personally, I love to understand the history, culture and the geopolitical situation of any new country that I visit and it was no different when I arrived in Nepal. Eventually, I decided to work in the development sector that would equip me with such knowledge and understanding in a way that text books never could. This is how I joined CREASION and I could not be more grateful to have done so. As this was my first time working in Nepal, and that too in the development sector, there was a lot that was new and different for me. On joining CREASION, I instantly felt like I found a second home, perhaps like an extended family that helped me integrate culturally and professionally in no time. The warmth that everyone greets you with in this office is truly unique and what I value most about my time here. Moreover, one is always given space here to work on their own and take pride in the projects that they lead. This is once again, not a very common trait in work spaces today. While at CREASION, I worked on several projects ranging from women empowerment to youth entrepreneurship, as well as developing a new website and help coordinate events to raise awareness on crucial social causes such as mental health, women safety, and many others. I also participated in workshops and outdoor activities that helped give me the right balance of practical knowledge and learning, necessary for the work that I was assigned as Lead – Project Development Unit. I believe that the range of work that I was involved with in CREASION has helped me develop and nurture a set of skills that will forever stay with me. As my time here is coming to an end, I know that this is not where our association ends as I will be involved with activities and work from time to time with CREASION and pay visits to this little family I have gained in Nepal.

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ONE MONTH AT CREASION

By Raidha Rafeeq
Oct 31, 2018

I first came to Nepal in September of last year to visit my mother who had been working in Kathmandu. I had originally intended on only staying for a month but ended up spending four months travelling and exploring the diverse landscapes of this captivating country. When I returned home to the Maldives I had decided that I would have to come back again and so I returned a year later but this time with the desire not just to travel but also to learn about and make a positive contribution to Nepali society. After a few weeks of searching, I chanced upon CREASION and immediately took notice of the wide range of projects that they run across Nepal in areas such as women’s empowerment, post-earthquake rehabilitation, youth empowerment, and environment. After weeks of unanswered emails to different organisations, I decided that the best course of action this time would be to go and talk to them in person. Upon coming into the office unannounced, I was immediately greeted by friendly and engaging staff who were keen to talk to me about the organisation and their projects. I expressed my interest in helping out and unbeknownst to me, they had sent out a call for volunteers just the day before! I was set the main task of compiling a grant proposal for the Women for Change – Women for Sustainable Development project. Through my background reading, I learned so much about rural life in Nepal, particularly for women. The project aimed to provide women living in rural areas with income-generating work as despite the fact that they took on a greater workload than their male counterparts with their domestic work, their efforts remain largely unrewarded and the majority of these women were financially dependent on their husbands. I was particularly shocked at some of the statistics I read with 64% of women in Nepal have experienced gender-based violence and 77% of them have never reported it. Another aim of the project was to provide women with access to legal knowledge and resources in order for them to have the capacity to fight for their rights. This is a pressing issue in today’s social and political climate as true progress cannot occur as long as women and girls, essentially half of the population, continue to be marginalised. I was also given the opportunity to attend workshops and discussion sessions on topics such as mental health awareness and sexual assault. These sessions involved a panel of experts and professionals and an audience that comprised mainly of young people. I was pleasantly surprised by the youth turnout at these events and at how engaged they were throughout the discussions. There is a considerable amount of untapped potential within the youth and they possess the ability to make waves in society in terms of social and economic development. Therefore it is imperative to continue having similar conversations in order to nurture an atmosphere of awareness and open-mindedness. Though my time at CREASION as a fulltime intern is coming to an end, I will continue to help out by assisting at different events and by promoting the international volunteer program. I thoroughly enjoyed my time here not only because of the work that I was doing but also because of the warm and welcoming environment that I was allowed to work in. I learned so much throughout my time at CREASION and hope to continue my travels in Nepal with a new understanding and broader perspective of life here.

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Winning Poem of POETRY COMPETITION (IYD 2018) - धनबहादुर उपाध्यय

By Saurav Luitel
Aug 12, 2018

सरकार,म धनबहादुर उपाध्यय,वर्ष २६, M.Sc. Ag गरि आएको छु,स्वाभिमानको पसिना खान नसकेर,तिसौं हजार खर्च गरिGRE, TOEFL गरि आएको छु,हजुर सरकार, मलाई अमेरिका पठाइदेउ !मलाई अमेरिका पठाइदेउ !! म बाँच्दै गर्दा म भित्रको ‘म’ मर्यो भनेम बाँचे के/नबाँचे के सरकार ?म गल्दैछु, यहाँ मलाई मर्न नदेउ,बरु मलाई बेचिदेउ !हजुर सरकार मलाई अमेरिका पठाइदेउ ! संगै पढेका एक हुल साथिहरुउहिल्यै अमेरिका पुगिसके,साथिहरु डलरमा ‘रकम’ कमाउँछन,र रकममा ‘इज्जत’ कमाउँछन ! गाउँभरी हल्ला चलिरहन्छ,साथिभाइले PR पाएको कुरातीनका बा-आमाले खबर पाउँदासबेरै झिसमिसे हुन्छ,डाँडाको बिचमा उदेकलाग्दो भएर उभिएकोसुर्य पनि एक्कासि यस्तो खबरलेअनुहारमा अद्भूत मुस्कान निर्धक्क बोकेरउनका आगनमा उभिन्छर छेक्नेगर्छ मेरो घरको उज्यालो !घामै नउदाउने घरमा बसेर गर्नु के/नगर्नु के सरकार ?त्यसैले, बिन्ती मलाई अमेरिकि भिसा लगाइदेउ ! दिनभरि खेतमा काम गरि आएकोकिसानको हिलोले खाएको औंलाको काप हेर्दा लाग्छ,खुट्टा भनेको देश हो,अनि कापका घाउ तिमि हौ सरकारहामी किसान त हिलो खाने गर्छौं ,अनि घाउ खुट्टा खाने गर्छ ! लाग्थ्यो,मेरि आमा खुसीको चामल पकाउँथिन,म पसिना सग भात निल्थेबा-आमा मलाई हेरेर खुशी निल्थे ! तर, होइन रहेछ, खुशी हुन त,अमेरिकी विश्वविद्यालयको एसेप्टेन्स लेटर चाहिने रहेछ,खुशी हुन त, हातमा अमेरिकी भिसा र टिकट हुनुपर्दो रहेछ ! खैर, सरकार तक्दिर न होम फर्किउँला/नफर्किउँलायो कुरा यहीँ थाती छाडौंअहिलेलाई, अमेरिका जान नसकेको भन्दैममाथी कमजोर, नालायक व्यक्ति हुँ भनेरसमाजले लान्छना लगाउन अघिमलाई अमेरिका पठाइदेउ !स्कुल देखि विश्वविद्यालयसम्म विदेश जानेयोग्य युवायुवती निस्कने कारखानाबाट तयार भएको मयदि विदेश नै गइदिन भने तिमीलाई समेत अयोग्य भनीयो समाज ठहर्‍याउँन सक्छ !त्यसैले सरकार मलाई अमेरिका पठाइदेउ !बिन्ती सरकार अहिलेलाइ अमेरिकी भिजा लगाइदेउ !!!!! धनबहादुर उपाध्यय

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LETTER TO NEPALIS

By CREASION
Jul 29, 2018

Dear Nepalis, Not to come off as hostile, but what happened to the passion and drive that you showed in posting “Nepal will rise again” pictures just a year back in reference to the April-May earthquakes that brought Nepal crashing down onto its knees. What happened to the sympathy you showered your social media news feeds with? The number of clothes you donated out of empathy? The statuses, the tweets, the news bulletins shared? Have they turned into lame complaints about the government’s inability to take action? For the past two weeks now, my newsfeed has seen large traffic of its posts by international news agencies shed light on the pitiful state of our country’s reconstruction programs. But I think we’d all expected the result of a government-based program that was so heavily funded. So that’s not where the disappointment stems from. Not the local disappointment at least. The ‘problem’ right now seems to be the lack of local – and by that, I mean Nepali, not just based on your geographical proximity – support in the ongoing reconstruction programs being conducted by private NGO’s like Creasion itself. While a few volunteers may pop up from time to time, people arrive on-site only if their friends are coming or if they are promised community service hours. That is the compassionate approach that Nepalis have with regards to helping their own brothers and sisters. That is the attitude that has left us lacking in stark comparison with many drastically developing countries. But the easiest way out is to casually push our responsibilities aside and blame the government. Which as reliable as it is in making use of its enormous amount of funds, is not the only body you should be pointing your fingers at (although four fingers would always be pointing in the right direction) when the blame for a recovery period not up to expectations is brought into the light by media. So I’m not going to bring up what needs to be done now. That should be a common understanding. It should reflect the passion shown in the posts on your timeline from April through June. And if you don’t know where to start, google it, ask your friends, but act on your words. Try to help fulfil your pledge to rise again and we will. If you want to make a difference in the lives of these earthquake-affected villagers, come join us, or any other NGO supporting the cause in making sure Nepal stands tall for once.

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FINAL MESSAGE: 2018 SUMMER INTERNSHIP

By Anika Panth
Jul 27, 2018

Each summer, I come from my home in Washington D.C. to Nepal to visit my paternal family members. This time, I have been volunteering at Centre for Research and Sustainable Development Nepal)CREASION with their Volunteer for Change program in Kathmandu as I mentioned in my earlier blog post. As my time here comes to a close, I have been thinking about the projects I’ve had the privilege to influence and the people that I have met. Due to the fact that I only get to visit Nepal once each year, it’s important to me that I make the most of my time here. CREASION has allowed me to do that by having me participate in a variety of different projects that let me both research in the office and go into and around the city to connect with the people that these projects impact. One favorite project that I have gotten to work on is the PET plastics initiative. For the majority of the first half of my visit, I read and edited documents about the dangers of plastic waste and its significance in the lives of the waste workers who sort through piles of litter for very low pay. I even had the opportunity to visit a private waste site and listen to waste workers talk about their jobs as part of CREASION’s project to honor the workers. Although PET is a highly recyclable plastic, most of it ends up in landfills because people are either unaware or too careless to sort their recyclables from the rest of their waste. CREASION has come up with a plan that simultaneously puts the recyclable plastic to good use and increases the wages of the waste workers. This model allows all aspects of the community to flourish. The quality of life of people that live near waste sites increases, waste workers, and their families have more money, women are given more job opportunities and therefore an income to grant them independence, and the environment is free of excess plastic. This holistic concept is a prime example of CREASION’s values. It is also a reflection of how I spent my time here and a major reason it was so meaningful to me. Although I reached out to CREASION because of my specific interest in the environment, they let me participate in a variety of other projects as I worked on the PET initiative. Along with the plastics project I had the pleasure of working in youth empowerment, female empowerment, and care for the elderly and disabled. I, along with some national volunteers, visited a home for the elderly and disabled nearby the office. As it turns out, a woman there has a son who lives in the U.S. just an hour or two away from me. We spent some time chatting about Nepalis that come to the U.S. for an opportunity, as my father did many years ago. I also spent some time trying the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals into CREASION’s youth empowerment program. Specifically, I looked for ways to implement goals four and five into their program that helps youths learn about relevant technology, write resumes, and prepare for job interviews. This geared the program toward meeting some of the specifics listed by the UN to improve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls (goal five) and inclusive and equitable education (goal four). One of the last things I got to do was organize and hold a spelling bee for a local school. This was perhaps my favourite outing because seeing the competitive spirit of the kids was really fun to watch, and frankly a little surprising, as I did not expect so many students to have such good sportsmanship. All 36 students took the competition very seriously and earnestly congratulated the winner at the end. This was my final project at CREASION. The fact that I had the opportunity to learn and work in so many different areas made this trip truly unique. I spent a lot of time in the environment sector as I expected, but I also got to learn and experience completely different things. After the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal in 2015, volunteer programs have been instrumental in effecting change. Therefore, CREASION is eager to recruit more international volunteers, and I hope to use my unique position to spread the word about their work back in D.C. Interning in Nepal has helped me find much more meaning in my annual trips to Kathmandu and let me explore my fascination with environmental work. I am sure this will not be the last time I work with CREASION.

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WHAT IS A STRENGTH TO YOU?

By Lunswan Tuladhar
Nov 23, 2017

Is strength holding on when there’s nothing to hold on to? Or is it letting it out for what it is? Or is it expression in the form that makes you feel relieved? Or is it a physical release or exercise of some sort? For me, it is many things. It is me trying to deal with it on my own first. If I fail, then strength means accepting that I am a human and that I can’t keep it altogether all the time. Then I ask for help from my people and my surroundings. That is something I call real courage because for me, asking for help is very difficult. But sometimes, my people aren’t around. And not letting myself be down at the moment is a strength for me. And not letting a guard build up because of it is a strength for me. Think about it, how do you forget all the good things because of this one unfortunate thing? Is it even fair? But on second thoughts, don’t you stop asking for help because this let down one person at a time, builds a wall in you? This train of thoughts is exactly what I conquer, though this process is always a work of improvisation, and is always going on. This is a strength for me. Training my brain to give a chance to people because they are humans is a strength for me. They are humans and so are you. They can make mistakes and so can you. You try and you fail. You fail and you try again, that is how you get up and learn. Being able to practice this is a strength for me. Being able to decide that I will be the better one, no matter how superficial it appears to be is a strength for me. Because at the end of the day, being able to take care of what I require, how I require it, as I balance what is appropriate and what is okay to let go of; isn’t that what builds you? Isn’t that what strength is? So, what makes YOU strong?

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THIS IS WHY YOU SHOULD BE EXPRESSIVE

By Lunswan Tuladhar
Oct 31, 2017

Have you ever been called inexpressive? Has anyone ever told you to be more open about your feelings? Has anyone confessed to you how you don’t show as much as love you say you have? Why you ask? Because feeling it isn’t enough. Feeling that they are loved sometimes isn’t enough, infact, is better when expressed. Because time is not as much as you think is there. That is why, before it gets too late, tell your loved ones how much you value them. Before time and death does you apart, tell them. Remember, these two can’t be reversed. And also remember, all the things you never said will break your heart first, then haunt you forever. They know, so why stress it out so much? Because hearing love in words does magic. The magic that brings faith back and strengthens it. Because hearing love makes you believe you a bit more. The world is lacking energy and love, and expression of it can bring so much of it. Don’t you think so? Get yourself over it and express it as much as you can. Because faith has an expiration date. Even if it didn’t, you shouldn’t take those who you love for granted. You shouldn’t push this person to the point that their faith gives up on them. Yes, FAITH gives up on people. Faith comes above actions. Inactions breed fear. Do you want someone you love fear and question everything that you say you give to them? Do you even love them? If you did, you wouldn’t let them go through this. They are going through this and they are going through it silently. They need to hear this so that they can tell themselves that faith had been restored. Ask yourself, haven’t you ever felt like giving someone a chance who says no to action? Do you deserve that? Now that you have the answer, ask yourself again. Would you like to feel that? So should you be doing this to someone else? Don’t avoid things because they are too hard to handle. Because, maybe, you won’t get a second chance. Don’t let your faith upon a second chance get away. ‘Cause when you lose something that had a place in your heart, you get lost. Don’t lose yourself. Expression matters. It helps. It becomes an energy

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FIRST VISIT TO BURUNCHULI – VILLAGE, SCHOOL, PEOPLE

By Ayashma Tuladhar and Paribu Drew Thapa
Sep 08, 2017

Burunchuli is a small and beautiful village located in Lalitpur, just bit farther then Sunakoti. We had the privilege to visit this village quite recently on the 2nd of September, Friday. We visited the school first in order to figure out our program for the upcoming literacy day on the 8th of September. All the children were more than happy and enthusiastic to participate in all activities they were asked about. They were all very frank and did not hesitate to raise questions and ideas. Soon after finishing the work at school, we headed off towards the houses which were being rebuilt for the villagers after their houses were affected by the earthquake. This program is being conducted by the RFC (Rebuild for Change) program – a joint initiative of Creasion and Rotary Club of Jawalakhel Manjushree. The houses all looked well-built and sturdy; the design was properly thought out as well. The environment was so much cleaner and calmer than we had expected it to be. We saw how the bricks were made for the construction of the houses and we had a go at making a few as well. The process was so easy and quick, and the results were remarkable. All the bricks were made by the women of the village. Being a woman we personally felt soo good to see women out there were self-dependent. Just as strong as the houses were, so were the people of Burunchuli. They were enthusiastic and gave all their hard work for the making of their new houses. Even the elderly were filled with zest and energy. For example, as we were taking pictures of the surroundings and people we asked an old lady, round about the age of 70, to look into the camera for a picture and without any hesitation, she posed like any young girl would have posed for the camera. Our first trip to Burunchuli was amazing, and we surely wouldn’t mind going there again.

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INTERNATIONAL FIRST AID DAY – HAND WASH AND FIRST AID PROGRAM

By Ayashma Tuladhar
Sep 10, 2016

To celebrate the International First Aid Day, we, the VFC Team, accompanied by Mr. Krishna Sharma , in charge of the nearby health post went to Burunchuli to spread awareness on the importance of giving proper first aid which was conducted for the upper grades and a hand washing program targeted for the lower grades of Shree Bhimsen Madhyamik School, Burunchuli, lalitpur . Around 100 eager to learn and enthusiastic students showed up for the programs. We started moving early in the morning at around 8 from the office. It was a very rainy day and we were all drowsy and wanted to snuggle inside our beds with a cup of coffee but once we had a quick breakfast break we were all energized. We reached Burunchuli at around 11 and started the program at around 11:30. We started with the hand wash program for kids by teaching them step by step ways to not only wash their hands for the sake of washing hands but to kill germs.The second part of our program started at around 1:30. We conducted the first aid program for children above grade 5. The children were taught temporary ways to take care of injuries when the hospital maybe too far away. At the end of the program the principal of the school Mr. Aatma Ram Ghimire spoke a little bit about what he felt about the program and some words from his point of view. CREASION also gave them a box of materials that could be used for sanitation which included objects such a disinfectants, toilet cleaning brushes etc.Both programs were led by Mr. Krishna and VFC program Officer. It was an enriching sessions and we received positive feedback from the kids which was our main aim.

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STATE OF YOUTH IN NEPAL

By Ayasma Tuladhar
Aug 08, 2016

I thought I’d write about youths since its International Youth Day on August 12, Friday. We youths have tremendous capacity and the willingness to empower. Primarily, in this day and age of the internet, social media plays a significant role in the participation of youths for social work. People have more information about the different programs going on around them through Facebook events and Instagram posts. This leads to more participation in such events. I mean everybody must have heard of/gone to at least one cycle rally, flash mob, fundraising program or even blood donations done by various organizations for different issues prevalent in the society. However, in spite of the advances in youth participation, there is a setback in the development of the country as a whole because of high migration rates. Relatively larger proportions of the overall migration population are young migrants. All our efforts are being wasted abroad as we are losing young and able human resources as well as highly skilled workers. The lack of education, as well as job opportunities in Nepal, will indefinitely lead to youths lacking the motivation to study here or come back from studying abroad to work here. Nonetheless, that’s for the lucky ones who do get the opportunity to go abroad. There are so many youths who don’t get to go to school due to extreme poverty. As a result of the lack of investment in education and health sectors and the political instability of our country, there are still so many capable youths who don’t even get an opportunity to realize their potential. The condition of our country has relatively improved but we have a long way to go as so many people are still living below the poverty level in dire conditions. Specifically, after the devastating earthquake and the recent floods and landslides, so many people have been displaced, their houses destroyed and lives lost. This might sound very cliché but we are the leaders of tomorrow and it is us who make Nepal greater. We were nourished in this very country for so many years and it’s our duty to give back what little we can. Youths who do go abroad should come back and try to create opportunities lacking in this country because our country needs our help now more than ever.

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YOUTH AND EMPLOYMENT

By Creasion
Jul 21, 2016

Have you ever tried to find a place where you can take your first step into knowing how working actually feels like? Some place where you can gather handfuls of experiences which will help you later in life; but the only offers you see are the ones where you already need a certain amount of experience. If the only opportunities available are the ones that require a minimum “some time” worth of experience, where and how do you ever start? The term “youth” may differ from country to country, as for Nepal the ages ranging from 15-29 are considered as youths. If we follow this definition we come up with the fact that about 30% of the entire population consists of youths. That is nearly half of the economically independent population. One of the main reasons that pushes youths towards unemployment is poverty and lack of proper education which forces them to start working from an early age. These problems mostly are seen in the rural areas. Whatever the condition maybe, if anyone starts working from a young age they will not have enough time to gain the right amount of skills to get good jobs and will have to work mostly at places which give the opportunity for labor work. As for the more developed areas of the country the main problem seems to be that there are too many people who are skilled, resulting in unemployment as well as underemployment. Not everyone will be able to find a job or an opportunity which would be suitable for their abilities. Making it one of the greatest reasons why majority of the youths decide to go abroad and stay there, without a second thought to ever return. It’s a shame to see the future of our country either settling for 3D jobs or staying unemployed because they cannot find any place which would help them flourish. There are so many ways in which our country can choose to develop and so many areas they can find to work on. Wouldn’t it be amazing if those parts of our country weren’t overlooked and were actually dealt with? So why not take the initiative to make our country better. Even when we decide to study abroad, why not come back and start something on your own. Even though it is scary, the shot maybe definitely worth it.

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Debunking Myths: Episode II

By Creasion
Feb 24, 2016

It could’ve been a disaster, it could’ve been the first yet final nail on the coffin of Debunking Myths. “Great program. Can’t wait for the next episode.”“The program was powerful and thought-invoking, everything we’d hoped for it to be and more.”“A great kick-start to the series. Can’t wait for more to come.” Only it wasn’t. This was the reaction we received from the audience, who were much more involved during the debate session than we could’ve hoped for. But of course, we didn’t know where we’d end up when we started. A few hours prior to the event, one of our keynote speakers had cancelled because of an injury she picked up during an unfortunate accident. Well. I panicked. I raced back and forth, up and down, around circles trying to untangle the million knots the news had tied around my brain. A little while and a couple hundred steps later, I drew a couple different scenarios in my head to play the program out as one of the best cases. First thing to do: Confirm the presence of the other keynote speakers a final time. Second thing: Divide the rest of my fellow volunteers into groups to take care of each detail in the program. Third thing to do: Breathe. We’d finally finished setting up. Only that we hadn’t. 12 on the clock and one more hour to go until our audience started arriving. Panic time again? Not really. Between trying to set up the camera in the perfect place and asking the other volunteers to not make a mess of the room they themselves had just cleaned, and trying to arrange seats, and then taking calls from the attendees, panic? Maybe later. I’d already felt myself getting a little under the weather at this point, and by the time we were ready to welcome our keynote speakers and begin the program, I knew I was running a fever. No matter though, because Bhushita Didi helped do much of the work from here. As we tried to balance and coordinate the mediator role, the program begun with our address to the audience regarding what Debunking Myths stands for, and what we look to achieve. The idea is simple, really. Gather, have a few well experienced personalities speak on the topic, and debunk some popular myths in our society, and then move on to a debate session where the audience reveals some of the myths they’ve brought and we discuss a way on how to tackle it. Simple. Mr. Pradip Giri started us off as he explored the ancient myths of our culture and how they still dominate our image of women. For the 15 minutes that he was given, he went about exercising the audience’s minds regarding the topic before he handed over his spotlight to Miss Samjhana Phuyal. Samjhana ji had an intensively thorough presentation, and her own experience revolving around the myths of sexual harassment to share with us. As Pradip ji had done before, she tried to involve the crowd and make it feel as though it was a great place to share, and it was. At the end of our keynote session, during, and even after the debate session were a flurry of raised hands one after another wishing to challenge the myths of today and share their own share of stories regarding right violations. All in all, it was and a success. It really was, given the short space of time the team had gotten to work around the obstacles. We hope the next episode of Debunking Myths is an improvement on this. No. We know it will be.

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BURUNCHULI JOURNAL

By CREASION
Feb 11, 2016

The plan looked perfect on the email, the night before: the creasion team was to assemble at HQ by 6:30 a.m., but of course, things played out quite differently the next day. Although we did manage to gather everyone together in time to reach the village according to our best case scenario following our worst case situation, everything felt rushed and disorganized. We let the situation sink in and worked through that patch as the harmony returned and the team began to tick to its beat. An hour gone, we’d set up the tables, set up the food, cleaned up our stations, and cleaned up our shoes. Now came the hardest part: engaging with the members from Rotaray Club of Manjushree. But me and the rest of the team that’d come from the office today could relax and sit back for a while, for here, Aanand Dai would shield us from questions and inquiries- he knew best. Another hour gone, our wait was finally over. The President of Rotary International was finally there. But there was tension in everyone’s face. Our chief guests had arrived, but from a completely different entrance than the one we expected. After a fair bit of running and shifting, and some time spent regaining our composure, the program was finally underway. As Aanand Dai and Bhushita Didi mingled with our guests, I rushed to the make-shift kitchen with a few volunteers from Rotract to make last-minute checks on our preparations. We were prepared. We began setting up the table around the meeting hall (also makeshift) as the Rotarians flowed in to get a bite of what our program. We watched from aside as the minutes ticked by and the program reached the end of what had been a mentally draining 4 hours. The fact that the sun was right above our heads in a day that promised of being gloomy didn’t work well with the thick layers of clothes we had tied ourselves to. Sweat dripping off our foreheads, we gave a sigh of relief as we took part in the final photograph taken before Aanand Dai and co. left with the guests from Rotary for a presentation. We wrapped things up back in the village, helping clean things up as our stomachs cried “no more.” But we were rewarded for sush-ing our bellies as we were served one of the best plates of Daal-Bhaat-Achaar I’d tasted in a very long-long time. As we stood in the sun to ease up our muscles after a tense 15 minute period of gorging down on the food, we met two of the most cheerful little people in Burunchuli- Sani and Dolma. With them, Lopsang Dai, Sushmita Didi and I played Inti-Mintu London ma and sang the most popular song in Burunchuli- “Simple Simple Kanchi ko” we got a glimpse of how friendly the people there were and got exactly why Burunchuli was always called the perfect pilot project. We didn’t want to, but we had to leave in a while though. The kids asked to be taken back to the office with us but of course we couldn’t risk being jailed for it. So we said our goodbyes and our “until next time”s to Burunchuli and its lovely people and head off home.

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DHADING JOURNAL

By LOPSANG D LAMA
Feb 07, 2016

This is a short extract from our Finance and Admin Officer Lopsang Dorje Lama’s Weekly Progress Report. This week nothing much was done as planned. Sonam had returned from Dhading during the second half of Sunday and went on settling the 2nd and 3rd advance taken for the dhading school project. Next advance was approved on Wednesday and preparation was done to leave for the field visit. At 9 am on Thursday, we head out for Dhading. Shankar’s driving made me feel nauseous for the most part of the afternoon. Part Payment was made to the Cement and TMT supplier; Next payment will be final. Then we had lunch at Malekhu, Prem dropped us at Adamghat and he left. One of the few reasons I decided to go for field visit was that I was enthusiastic to get a glimpse of program officer’s work there. After an hour and half’s hike from Adamtar Sonam and I reached Aamdaada. He probably would have done it quicker without me. Work in progress looked great. All the plastering is supposed to finish on Sunday at Aamdaad and all old labours and masons agreed to volunteer the Sunday’s work. As for Mulabari the work is planned to finish on Monday/Tuesday. I had planned to go to Mulabari the same day, but was exhausted and the nausea hadn’t left from earlier. I hadn’t worn out completely so I decided to leave early next morning. The villager who served food to our program officers daily at Aamdaada apparently went to Adamtar early in the morning so we had to wait for breakfast. The day began late and thus Sonam and I reached Mulabari late. Mulabari’s work looked little slower but it is understandable given the difference in area of the two schools. After returning from mulabari we sat down with Pushpa khatiwada (Tractor/carriage service provider) to discuss about all the transactional anomalies. We had direct approach, had heated exchange of arguments but he didn’t confess anything and was stiff on his ground proclaiming repeatedly to be honest. We couldn’t get any cuts on his pre-agreed rate. I drafted an agreement with him about his involvement in the project. It had to be done because he wasn’t registered service provider and amount of transaction with him was huge. I had planned to return afterwards but it was already late afternoon and I was also tired after walking 45 minutes back and forth Mulabari and Aamdaada so decided to stay the night. Next Day we had scheduled meeting with Block vendor. Issue of 721 block was settled as follows. Total number of Blocks procured for entire project was 4079, out of which 721 was sub-standard. 121 had immediately been returned that same day. Although I pushed on not paying any money for rest of the 600 blocks, weakness on our part was that some of it was already used, so payment had to be made anyway. However, since the blocks were sub-standard and carriage cost involved was our loss, we held it against the block supplier. So cutting to the chase we decided on paying for 290 blocks out of 600. Block vendor have been fully paid. Afterwards I returned Kathmandu. There are so many things to discuss on the “lesson learnt from the project” after Sonam and Kaushal returns however my quick observation on my 2 days’ stay are as follows. – Program officer’s life is rather difficult. Dealing with supplier, mason & labor, sleeping in a not-so comfortable tent for months, having limited option with food, tiring landscape etc. – Our estimations regarding everything was based on “best case scenario”, they didn’t involve considering the other possible factors that could have brought about undesirable outcomes which could directly/indirectly hamper the project’s completion on time. – Life insurance and robbery & theft insurance are immediately needed for those who travel frequently during the project.

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The Power of Volunteerism

By Anubhav
Dec 18, 2015

We all want to be happy in our lives, we feel that happiness can be found through buying expensive materials for ourselves. However, the ancient enlightened souls such as Gautama Buddha has preached that true happiness does not come from materialism. The only way to keep ourselves happy is to make others happy. Volunteerism is an ability  that we acquire at a very early age. We are compassionate beings from nature and we develop altruistic traits as we grow up.Volunteerism is not only the backbone of civil society organizations and social and political movements, but also of many health, education, housing and environmental programmes and a range of other civil society, public and private sector programmes world- wide. It is an integral part of every society. There are somethings in our lives that we do from our heart. Volunteerism comes from within and is not influenced by external factors. Compassion can be defined as the ability of a person to empathize with someone else’s pain and suffering. Its the ability to walk in someone else’s shoes. One of the most powerful ways for youths who are trying to pursue a career in their lives is to understand and experience the type of leadership needed for the future jobs is to do volunteer work early in their careers. This is because the type of leadership at the top is akin to being a leader of volunteers, it is not about carrots and sticks but about persuasion and getting people to grasp and follow one’s vision. Volunteering is the perfect vehicle to discover something  a person is really good at and develop a new skill. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow.  Learn as if you were to live forever.” It is never too late to learn new skills and no reason why we should stop adding to our knowledge just because we are in employment or have finished education. Planning and implementing a major fundraising event can develop goal setting, planning and budgeting skills. Supervising and training other volunteers helps to develop supervisory and training skills. These are examples of skills that can enhance a career but we don’t have to develop skills with the intention of facilitating our career. Painting a mural or making banners for International Volunteer Day – to celebrate the wonderful and priceless work that volunteers do – could gently push you to discover graphics and art talents. In essence, Volunteerism lies at the hearts of people who are passionate about something and it is certain that the power of volunteerism will be strengthened and shine through in the years ahead.

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Volunteer Stories

By Creasion
Dec 18, 2015

Marie Jones, Canada; Thank you Creasion  for the amazing experience in Nepal! I felt right at home! I am sad that I have to leave so soon. But I promise that I will be back soon. I am also quite happy that I am returning home with a lot more experience and energy; feels like it is totally different me. Jennifer Losie , CanadaI; I just wanted to say thank you for everything that each and every one here has done to make my experience in Nepal absolutely amazing. I truly appreciate all of the hard work that went into making my stay unforgettable. You will be sincerely missed. Audrey Sydora, Canada; Thank you Creasion  for an amazing experience here in Nepal. I will miss you all dearly. I hope that this is not where our ways have parted, but this is where our ways connected; Creasion has been a junction.   Danielle Smith; Words cannot describe how thankful I am for the amazing enriching experience that you have gifted me. With Creasion , this strange city was not strange at all; I felt like I had a deep connection with you and this mystical land. Thank you all very much for making my time so awesome!   Laura Hähnel, Germany; “The time in Nepal was an experience that I think I will never forget. To get to know another, very different culture than the one you live in is fascinating! To smell different scents, to get to know about other culture and their habits than the one you are used toEverything was new for me and with colorful impressions. And the work with the children was great as well. To see how they slowly get to trust you, how they laugh and play. And last but not least all the kind people from the Creasion who are there for you while you are in this different country… This work experience was something very special and I am grateful that I had the chance to do it.”   Eline Zumholte, Germany; I have been in Nepal for one month- a far too short time to learn enough about this wonderful and interesting country and people. During my stay i was busy in a school with HIV- infected children with whom I worked almost every day. Learning with and from the kids was a very positive experience. Leonard Gunther; My name is Leonhard from Germany, I am 18 years old and I did my work experience in a school for HIV infected children in Nepal. In this following text I will describe my work and experiences in Nepal. To begin, I want to outline how I got the idea to do my work experience inin Nepal.First of all I read an article in a magazine about four german girls who have done this work experience before. I was very fascinated about their work in a school for HIV infected children. Furthermore, I was and I am very interested to help other people. So I decided to do the same.   From the beginning of my work experience the people were very friendly. I arrived in the holiday time, so there was no school for one week. In this time the people in the accommodation took me to different places in Kathmandu so I saw many holy places. Furthermore the people taught me about their religion and culture. Besides, we sometimes ate in typical local Nepali restaurants, so you can delve into the Nepali culture and on this way you will get to know the real Nepali food. I am of the opinion that it is very nice to know the food of an unknown country. A further and a very important point is that the people from the Creasion in Nepal helped me with every formal things like changing money or getting a SIM Card for the cell phone. I think that is very important in an unknown country. You will enjoy the time in school, the kids are very cute and thankful that you come from another country. In the lessons you can play many games, but it is important that you create your own games because thereby the kids will receive personal ideas of you. The school is located outside of Kathmandu and the environment is very peaceful. Every morning you will go to the school by motorbike or with the bus. If you like you can also go to other places for work where you can teach other children. That can be a very interesting alternative. If you want, the people from the organisation will take you to a Jungle Safari in a National Park. For me it was the first time in a jungle and I saw many different animals while I rode an elephant. When you come to Nepal as a volunteer, I would say that you have to do this very nice trip to the National Park. The accommodation is a very good place, you have an home stay feeling there. In the accommodation you always have somebody who will take care of you. The rooms are very comfortable and cosy. You will get the food in the accommodation, and it is very tasty and if you want you can use the kitchen to cook your own meal. Also it is an important point that the accommodation is not far from the city so that you can go out alone to buy something In brief, I can say that this work experience is full of new, interesting impressions, so if you are interested in helping other people, you have to go to Nepal. I am convinced that you will gain many new experiences.

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CLIMATE CHANGE: HOW IT AFFECTS NEPAL

By CREASION
Jan 08, 2015

One might be forgiven for thinking that the International Summit being held in Paris concerns the terrorist situation that is ISIS, the discussions being held are for a problem that has been extant long before the terrorist organisation had taken its first steps. Climate Change has been an inexorable wave that has been tailing us since the 19th Century, and even though it has been the topic for much debate and even more research, a one-size-fits-all solution hasn’t yet been promulgated. While in fact, one-size-should-fit-all is what should be put in play at the moment, it hasn’t been a very popular idea- despite the gravity of the situation. With the COP 21: Climate Summit in Paris finally edging towards a deal to reduce (notice how it’s reduced and not reverse) the effects of industrialisation, some of the key arguments being made for and against a worldwide overhaul, highlight the different perspectives and understandings of the situation as people see it. Some think that there are more taxing matters waiting to be dealt first, some think that it’s unfair on developing countries that they need to cut down on their use of fossil fuels, others mainly support the idea of change, but are unsure of its extent. But let’s get to the main questions the article is trying to ask in the context of our own environment: Where does Nepal stand in this, and if the answer isn’t so straightforward- Where should Nepal stand in the face of Climate Change? Nepal, being one of the most climate-vulnerable mountain LDC, has been actively engaging itself in implementing actions to adapt to the changing climate, as well as leading from the front as a Chair of the LDC Coordination Group, for 2013, and 2014. According to Eco Experts, a group focused on following, and trying to limit -if not reverse- Global Warming, Nepal’s Green House Gas emission is less than 0.027 percent of the total global emission, it doesn’t have much to contribute in the way of limiting the effects of changing climate, but rather should brace itself, and has been doing all it can to try to adapt. For this, Nepal steady itself, because as stated earlier, we are vulnerable, and studies have shown that though Nepal might not turn into another Venice just yet as the situation in Venice is grave and Nepal is far cry from facing such situation, if the temperature continues to rise by 2°C, by 2050 water availability will be too low to produce our own food. Life might seem grinding without fuel, but try living without food. So then, another question arises: are we doing enough or is it all just show? Well, that is for you to decide, because the contribution of each individual living in a country matters if they are to truly adapt to the harsh changes in lifestyle we might need to brace ourselves for.    Remember, only we can be our own saviors.   Picture source: Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tbrittaine/11907391365

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