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ALTERNATIVES BLOG
Helping Young People to Grow

Gaky’s Fellows: Committed to change their life

January 5, 2013 (Alternatives Office, Pokhara). “Today, I can say, I’m one of the fortunate student, regularly engaged on wonderful activities of Gaky’s Light Fellowship Program, which is providing me different insights of entrepreneurship development.” Kiran Bastola, 17, one of the Gaky’s Light Fellow said after today’s session. He added, “Within a few years, I can develop my own business“.  Kiran, who is from poor and illiterate family (both of his parents are partially disabled) and of remote village of Kaski District, Nepal, is out of 12 students selected as Gaky’s Light Fellow on 2012 batch. His confidence while saying above words are really memorable, which shows how much GL Fellows are committed to change their own life.

Gaky’s Light Fellowship Program (A joint Initiative of Alternatives Nepal and Eva Nepal, Inc.) is developed to support students from poor backgrounds, who are the first educated generation in their families, during their Intermediate level study.  In 2012, over 300 youth applied for just 12 Gaky’s Light Fellowships.

Currently, all Gaky’s Light Fellows, who are from similar financial and contextual need like Kiran, are studying on different prestigious colleges of Pokhara with the support of this fellowship program. All these young fellows have passionate to work hard to make an impact on society. Fellows meet every Saturday to develop their personal, professional, and business creation skills. The weekly workshops are designed under technology, entrepreneurship, career development, and mentorship, and english language theme. After the fellowship, fellows are expected to get job (employment goal) or create jobs (enterprise creation goal). During the fellowship period, each fellow will be paired with a mentor, completes an internship, and works in a team to create a new business or enterprise.

As per our regular Saturday Session, today, not only Kiran, all other fellows arrived on program hall of Alternatives at scheduled time of 10 AM with their same level of enthusiasm. Today, they shared their assignment of Law Hunter; worked on developing their own CV and mentorship process, worked on gathering information of their business venture, and further activities on translating and drafting their interview pieces. Today, they also got opportunity to discuss with Mr. Narayan Adhikari, representative of Accountability Lab for Nepal in their extra session.

At first, student developed their first draft of CV on MS Word using proper format, style and grammatical correction.  They started their session of CV development since last two weeks of Saturday session. On the same session, Mr. Shiva Poudel, GL Counselor provided information on how to approach their possible mentor and propose for mentorship formally. He also explained roles and responsibilities of mentor and provided “Mentor Invitation Letter” to each student and assigned them to handover that formal letter to their possible mentor. As per the plan, each student will finalize their mentor with the help of counselor within next two weeks. (Fellows already completed their johari window, personal SWOT analysis, community inventory and locating and screening their possible mentor under their mentorship activities during saturday session of July-December, 2012).

After the session of mentorship and career development, they entered on our next session of entrepreneurship. Under GLF 2012 batch, we have already divided four teams (their team names are Namuna Naksa, Cracking Youngsters, Young Stars, and Suryodaya) to develop their group business venture. On whole month of December, 2012, they worked on collecting different information related to their business venture. We termed this stage as Information Seeking Stage on our entrepreneurship curriculum. After completing this stage they will be focused on Business Plan Preparation. Today on their session, they worked on Information Seeking Worksheet on their team to brainstorm with team members as well as gathered information in MS Word. (They are also improving their technological skills at same time.)

As per the assignment of previous session, today, on our next session, they shared about different legal issues of business venture (general stores, barber shop, small tea shop, hotel, copy industry, vegetable shop, cooperative etc.). On assignment on December 29, 2012, they were required to find out different legal information about business venture (large or small) established in their community, within next week. Today, we can analyze their wonderful job while their sharing.

Student shared their own experience how they collected this information from different owner of business, how they approached them, what network help them to collect that information. They have taken interview with their owner and hunt information on legal ground i.e. Which of the business structure they follow? Is the business venture legal/illegal?, What is the registration process of that particular business venture (followed) etc. They have done the great job. I think they will remember/memorize this assignment, when they really start their own business. Student may not be able to remember, if we took lecture session on types of business venture, how to register, nature of business, registration process and steps as well as documents needed on registration process. They also felt how hard to register any business due to bureaucratic hassles in Nepal through Law Hunter Activity.

In their independent study session, some of the students did their incomplete translation of interview piece, typing their interview piece on MS Word. Some students worked as per their own independent activity plan.

In their, next session, they got the opportunity to meet with Mr. Narayan Adhikari, Representative of Accountability Lab (http://www.accountabilitylab.org/) for Nepal. He is also the renowned youth activist of Nepal. His sharing on “How to create accountable society?” was really wonderful for our students to think from new perspective. His speech on accountability of power holders, their chain effect on responsible decisions and actions, efficient public and private services to create improved life of citizen was really inspiring for our students. As GL Fellows, who are more focused on entrepreneurship development on GLFP, most of them related his speech with private sectors responsibilities, ethics, and accountability. They shared their own feeling about how they can become responsible and accountable for their own family and society. They also raised issue of their own accountability as Gaky’s Light Fellow in their discussion, which is really great for us, as they are becoming more responsible toward their own future.

Concluding today’s session, Mr. Samundra Paudel, Founder of Alternatives and Program Director of GLFP said, “Today is our 27th episode of regular Saturday session, and 1st session of 2013 for our GLFP 2012 Batch.” Relating to the level of enthusiasm of student, he added, “We expect same level of passion of our students in upcoming days on finding their own pathways to create their own enterprise.”

Find more about Gaky's Light Fellowship Program: http://gakyslight.wordpress.com/


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