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INNOVATOR 03: SHASHANK

Hi! My name is Shasank Pokharel. I am an engineering student pursuing my B.E. in Agricultural Engineering at Institute of Engineering, Purwanchal Campus. I was born 20 years ago in the city of Dharan, some 380 Km south-east of Kathmandu and have been living here ever since.

I had a really good upbringing in the peaceful vicinity of Vijayapur, a small hill-top in the eastern part of Dharan decorated with greenery and forests and blessed with some famous temples. I used to read a lot of quiz books and morning news bulletin of Radio Kantipur used to be my morning alarm. It is those two things of my childhood – quiz and news, which shaped my path by providing me with almost googol of information. Having tons of information also meant being somewhat different from my friends and I also could cash-in those information for prizes in weekly phone-in quiz shows in local stations or different competitions in my school. Information is a key to being an entrepreneur and for me it started at an early age.

The serene nature I grew up in also inspired me to be creative. It started in grade 3 when with the help of a cousin I wrote my first poem. He taught me a simple technique – rhyme the last words. “Knowledge is power; it is taller than Eiffel Tower” is what I wrote in the first stanza. That was a rather humble beginning which would achieve new heights when in grade 8, some of my poems started getting published in the weekly ‘Classroom’ section of The Kathmandu Post, Nepal’s best-selling English daily. Poetry was my way of letting emotions ooze out and showing my creativity. Creativity and being different is a must for any successful entrepreneur and for beginners like me rhyming is a way of playing safe until you start thinking like Bob Dylan.

So why do I want to be an entrepreneur? I do not have any concrete answer. I love innovating, researching and thinking out of box and even a moment’s thought of job bores me. Or maybe that comes down in genes as my dad is a successful businessman in his own rights. Or maybe even a quick thought about some of the successful entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, Elon Musk or Steve Wozniak excites me. But it is definite that I want to solve existing problems in the society in the most innovative way possible and build an enterprise around that solution. Whatever may be the reason, an entrepreneur is what I want to be!

I was more focused on doing engineering projects and entrepreneurship was just a path I wanted to pursue in the future. But that changed when I participated in the UAE-Nepal Connect 2017 bootcamp where I gained some valuable insights on social entrepreneurship. With a great help from wonderful mentors like Rob, Yunsun, Joanne and Amin, I have devised my own entrepreneurial plans around honey production and beekeeping.

Our project is like an unsolved equation of entrepreneurship and innovation where both values are unknown but is required to solve the equation or successfully conclude the project. I am working with my team of college friends to create what we call a ChannelHive – an ultra-modern beehive which seemingly is easy to look after and requires much less time to harvest honey from the hive saving valuable time of farmers. By adjusting the internal frames, a channel is created inside each cell of hive when the honey has to be harvested, and honey in each cell of the frames flows below to a pipe and through the pipe it flows outside the hive.

Apart from an easy way of harvesting, we are also integrating bit-of electronics to constantly regulate internal temperature of the hive to create uniform internal temperature suitable for the bees. Since honey production is optimum when the internal temperature is maintained at 32°C to 35°C, heating and cooling elements will be used and be operated by a micro-controller which will be updated about temperature by a temperature sensor present inside the hive. Since bees only live in natural condition and leave the hive if they detect anything unnatural, it is a great risk to artificially regulate temperature. But innovators take risks, don’t they?

Our target with this project is develop an ultra-modern ChannelHive, manufacture it and provide it to the farmers at low price (around or little more than widely-used Langstroth Hive). As of now, we are in a very early stage of the project. We have designed a 3-D model of our proposed ChannelHive and have pitched it to an INGO, Helvetas Swiss Incorporation for technical and financial support to build a prototype. Moreover, INNOCO and Helvetas is also helping me and my friend from NYC, Pabitra Majhi to get certified as Biz Development Service Provider and post-certification our team API Solutions gets to be implemented as a social enterprise.

This project, although sounding more like an engineering project has its own socio-economic importance too. At present, Nepal is producing six times less honey than its production capacity and we are still importing in significant amount. Since harvesting honey is a very tedious task, commercial beekeeping has not been widely practiced. Also difficulty in maintaining healthy colony during extreme weather and climatic condition is a big problem. We are working to simplify beekeeping and save valuable resource and time of farmers. The ultimate aim is to see every farmer using our ChannelHive, inspire youths to consider beekeeping as an economically beneficial enterprise and make Nepal at least self-reliant on honey.

Moreover, growth in beekeeping is also a positive sign of good and pollution-free environment, not to mention the fact that bees exist only in pollution and chemical free environment and helps in better pollination of crops. The global scope of this project is all about creating simple and easy-to-harvest hives to motivate people to be a ‘backyard beekeeper’, someone who keeps a hive or two to produce honey for one’s own use. This will not only be beneficial to the beekeeper but also will help repopulate bees for a cleaner, greener and sustainable environment.

shasankpokharel@gmail.com

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INNOVATOR 02: SAJANA BHADEL

Champak Namuna Home

I am Sajana Bhadel, was born and brought up in a small village, Changunarayan. I always felt blessed to live here. Changunarayan is a small village, where the majority of people are categorized in a marginalized group. I am a Chairperson of Girls Empowered by Travel (is travel a company? Then Tavel. Inc).

My village is truly beautiful, which Changunarayan is also a home of Lord Bishnu since ancient times. It is listed in the world heritage site because of its pristine beauty and traditional pagoda style. The greenery pine forest, wide range of mountain and a perfect view of the valley from the top of the hill in where diverse cultural, traditional festivals, and traditional lifestyle are well-integrated, and hospitable and lovely people are the major attraction of this village.

 However, one-third of people of the village are still living below the poverty line in spite of the potential to be. Agriculture is the main source of income, which is practiced in the traditional style. So people are living in subsistence farming, which isn't of high-value crops. In addition, our social structure is male-dominated, where women are undoubtedly the backbone of the society but unfortunately, their services and activities aren’t counted in GDP. More than half of the women are engaged in the agriculture. Women and girls have been suffering from different health and psychological issues. (why?) Early marriage, prolapsed uterus, miscarriage, and economic dependency are major causes for a girl to be prone to be easily victimized.

The role of women in the society has slowly revolutionized; women/girls are sent school and they even get the higher education. But when they are ready to land the perfect job, their parents force them to get married. In the case of a daughter in law, they are given the role to take care of household chores, bear the child and take care of the babies. They never get time to leave the house and contribute in the economic sector though they are capable. However, some of them are preventable problems in our society.

I somehow got the opportunity to attend 9 days boot camp, which was organized by INNOCO/UAE-Youth Cluster in ICA training center. I thought myself lucky to be the part of the program. The program was all about the social innovation, win-win ideas. During the workshop, I felt everyday was full of surprises, every moment energized, and brought us near to our own true potential, “ME=WE” was the most interesting and important lesson we learned. The field visit at Patale Gaun Organic Farm in order to know the food system and the importance of organic food were the unforgettable heartfelt moment.

Every participant has to pitch the project in the last day, we were asked to choose the topic three days earlier. I couldn’t sleep whole night for three days. There were so many ideas which were bursting/bubbling out but finally I had this home stay idea. Our program director, Yungsun, program facilitator Joanne and Sarah polished my ideas. These lovely people assisted me to think about critical ingredients of making social enterprise attractive and feasible.

Being a student of Economics, uplifting the economic status of my village is always in high priority of my life. So, I am trying my best to bring my dream project into reality.

Champak Namuna Home’ is a homestay social enterprise.

What is a homestay? ‘Homestay’ is simply to stay where guests stay in a local villagers’ home where they get to partake in the activities of the house and village, instead of being put up in a lodge or hotel. Guests are invited to their house as family members by the host family and get a chance to spend time with them participating any home activates and observing their customs, values, and culture. 

Homestay can be an excellent tool for the reduction of rural poverty and empowerment of the local community, for whom are marginalized and vulnerable especially brilliant women with full potential. It integrates all activities of tourism like trekking, cultural and eco-tourism. In this project, we will provide these activities, as well as focus on all aspects of women’s issues.  

Please note that Champak Namuna Home offer 

  • Cycling  
  • Local girl tour guide for cultural hike
  • Thangka class
  • Wood Carve class
  • Traditional style of making fabric or scarves
  • Research assistance for archaeological study
  • Authentic local experiences of food and cultures. 
  • Cultural experience of ancient lifestyle from 7-8th century
  • Video making of local brewery  
  • Organic garden farming
  • Cultural and local festival observations
  • Cultural exchange program
  • Special class for making felt shoes 

If you are looking for a volunteer if your answer is ‘YES’ then please join us. We offer different volunteering activities. 

  • Teaching English/Health/Environment/Physics at Public/Government school
  •  Plastic Ban campaign 
  • Traveling Edu session (Teach how to travel safely as being girl) 
  • Cultural Exchange program (cooking different dishes) 
  • Women English Class at village 
  • Organizing the program to empower the young girls and women 
  • Vocational training for women 
  • Computer training for women/girl 
  • Education of hygiene and cleanliness

You also can find us in
Booking.com-https://booki.ng/2vIOEYs
Airbnb.com- http://bit.ly/2uVYuDj
Facebook id-https://www.facebook.com/GEThomestayNepal/

I am grateful to all INNOCO team and all the facilitators they were always our guardians and hope to meet them again to learn and share. Stay tuned for the first homestay action in the following posts.

 

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Follow-Up Activity with Prabha at Teacher Training Center

"It was great to meet with three friends, Rohit, Anuza and Pratigya here at our place on Friday. They all were excited to start teaching and their group have come up with the idea to organize the camp for a group of students at one of the school in Kathmandu. And they have already approached to that school. So they wanted to know about how to begin the program with that particular group of 11- 15 years old students. My suggestion for them was to make them friend first and become close to them so they will feel to share everything they have in their mind with the trainers. I also said to them that that is the most important age group as well as most critical to handle. So they will not listen your speech for long time therefore you need to find the way to make them happy. So I taught them a few craft such as making origami paper flower, candy basket and butterfly made out of paper. I hope to see them again." said Prabha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Post-camp Activity 09: Prabha Chaudhary from Teacher Training Center

Prabha Chaudhary introduced her program that provides primary teacher a 45 day residential training at Thecho. This program focuses on material, professional, and spiritual aspects so as to result the spiritual and mental growth of the children as she believes that teacher being the person the children spends more time with and teacher being the first guardian and parents are responsible for the mental and spiritual growth of the children. The program has been providing the

  • Material Education
  • Human Education
  • Spiritual Education 

As Prabha ji works for the child development through the teachers training campaign, she will be providing the proper training for the members of NYC who wants to work in the child development and will be mentoring the group so as to build the group who can directly work in the field on child development.

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Post-camp Activity 08: Santosh Shah from Leadership Academy

It was heartwarming invitation to visit Leadership Academy (LA) by Santosh Shah. He kindly sit with us to discuss how Leadership Academy works aiming to build a strong foundation for youth in Nepal. He offered a space and mentorship opportunities for NYC. It would be a great exposure to learn and work with LA as building capacities of the NYC core team.

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Post-camp Activity 06: Brainstorming with Saurav Dhakal on Social Innovation Collaboratives (SICO)

Saurav shared an awesome home stay project, which is beautifully integrated with a cycling event and celebration (Ride SindhuliGadhi2017), learning about the history and supporting homestay project at Sindhul Gadhi. http://sindhuligadhi.com/ Ride SindhuliGadhi is a 153 KM Cycling journey from kathmandu to sindhuligadhi where will celebrate the 250th anniversary of the Sindhuligadhi battle Victory. The event will be of 2 Night and 3 Days. He kindly expressed his interests and generous support for NYC and UNC projects where youth would be greatly benefit from having such mentor like Saurav! 

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Post-camp Activity 05: Bivishika from HCI

HCI offers a plethora of courses and activities in pre-ideation phase such as 5-day course on the national volunteers and social sustainability, extra-courses on spirituality, politics, and sociology, Then youth can practice at their community as they become members of Social Innovation Hub. It would be an excellent opportunities for NYC to join some programs according to their interests as they build their NYC structure and process as Social Enterprise. http://www.himalayanclimate.org/sibihub Check this PDF out for their activities: http://himalayanclimate.org/images/projectSinglePage/BPLwLHCI%20-%20Brochure%202016.pdf

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Post-camp Activity 03: Planning Next Steps with Sandip Poudel from Helvetas

Sandip Poudel, Elham Team Lead from Helvetas generously offer his support INNOCO and NYC. He kindly suggested that INNOCO and NYC might use a road map that Helvetas has developed and successfully implementing to produce entrepreneurs. Knowing that most of organizations in SICO are willing to support for NYC and UNC projects, INNOCO propose that we integrate Helvetas process within SICO as a pilot project. Helvetas process is a social innovation system that we can continue to explore the effectiveness and impact through a pilot project, supporting NYC and UNC (UAE-Nepal-Connect)2017 social enterprises. The following process is being proposed by INNOCO and Sandip verbally agreed to proceed the followings;

  1. Helvetas (Sandip Paudel) will train Pabitra (NYC) and Shashank (API Solution with Honey) to go through Helvetas 7-steps to bring idea to social biz.

  2. These 2 people will be certified as BIZ DEVELOPMENT SERVICE PROVIDER in 6-8 months.

  3. Simultaneously, trained service provider, Pabitra and Shashank will disseminate their knowledge and experience to other fellow youth innovators. UNC 8 projects will be assisted by NYC and SICO: A few collaboratives are already committed to mentor these groups.

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Post Camp 02: Site Visit to Nepal Innovation Lab

Aru and Suyog kindly invited us to visit Nepal Innovation Lab. It was a lovely space with workshop and maker's space where innovative projects are exploring the full potentials. We discussed how we can collaborate to support our social innovation projects and strengthening Social Innovation Collectives.

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Innovator 01: Pabitra Majhi

 

Namaste! I am Pabitra Majhi. I belongs to Sarlahi District, Terai region of Nepal. Currently , I am doing my masters in Economics at Patan Multiple College, Lalitpur. I am associated with Nepal Youth Cluster as a Programme coordinator. I had a wonderful experience of working as a same post for UNC 2017 Boot camp, which was successfully conducted in Kathmandu Nepal. Nepal Youth Cluster (NYC) to me means empowering other youth while building myself. One of the profound impact on me is introspecting and encouraging myself to work harder for youth development. I am also associated with Impact Talks as a human resource manager and going to organize Impact talks season 3 in Kathmandu soon. 

I am a fun loving person, easy going and can make friends easily. I love to be part of various social work that’s why I m always ready if there is any chance of doing good work which gives positive impact in society. I, with some of my school friends, have formed a team named 'Let’s Do It' team and will organize second phase of Student Empowerment Programme in various government schools in Sarlahi. To do all these things, I always get inspiration and huge support from my family, especially from my father, who is my strongest pillar. He is a driver by profession and always supports girls' education, which he provided me educational supports as much as he can. That’s the reason I proudly can say that I am the first girl of my own village having higher education. So that It has become my indispensable responsibility to promote and work for girls' education. Now, I have been involved with Ujyalo foundation as one of the cohort of EmpowHER 2017 Programme. Through which, I am planning to run my dream project called “Junkiri-Empowering Women through basic literacy and awareness” program in my home town Sarlahi. 

When I was child, in my society giving education to their daughter was not considered as much as important because many of them have a misconception that girl is the property of her in- laws. But I am very lucky that my father never discriminated us from boys and always encouraged and supported me to continue my study. Since mychildhood days ,I am very much influenced by the various social work done by my father. I still remember those days when He has spent his all saving money for the education and development of Majhi community instead of using it for our future but instead established our Majhi Community Youth Club in Sarlahi, where he took me many times so that I can learn many things on site.

In 2016, I was selected to be participated in leadership outdoor programme. At the same time I met INNOCO team and got opportunity to join UNC 2016 bootcamp that was my turning point, which provided me a lifetime experience. It has also given me a new perception to look into society and explore myself.  Before that camp, my views and perceptions towards everything is completely different, now I have grown to be a more confident and responsible woman. Honestly, I don’t have any big dream but being an economic student, I want to be a good economist and serve in economic development of my nation. I do believe that small change can make huge difference if we can work collectively. I am a lifetime learner and always seek opportunity to learn either from senior or junior.

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