Illustrations by Erica Merlo

 

In celebration of International Women’s Day we would like to take a moment to honor two special women, two women who are improving the lives of the people in their communities, women who aren’t of afraid of economic or social pressures, women who have big ideas and the courage to follow through with them.

 

 

Amrita Sharma and Laxmi Shrestha are two ladies that are very special to us at cc-tapis. They are the directors of two private-schools in Nepal, partners of our non-profit organisation cc-foreducation. Both of them realized that in their respective communities in Kathmandu there was no affordable high-quality education and they decided to do something about it.  Schooling in Nepal is very limited due to geographical, economic and social factors and thanks to the perseverance and strength of these two women, they are giving the gift of education to hundreds of children and changing the future of Nepal.

Scroll down to discover more.

 

Laxmi Shrestha, director of Wits Academy in Bhuwaldanda, Kathmandu.

 

Where were you born?

I was born in the heart of Nepal, Kathmandu city.

 

What was it like growing up in Nepal as a woman?

Being a woman and growing up in Nepalese society has been quite a challenge. Not every woman wants to put their hands into politics but some don’t have the choice other than to become a housewife. Some women are very religious, especially in the Hindu community. They are doing their part. I am very much happy to have been born in Nepal, work and serve my country. I work for them.

 

How did you start Wits Academy?

I started the academy for a good purpose. 15-20 years ago English Medium schools were quite costly. Not everyone could afford the fees of an expensive academy. The government schools were affordable but the quality of education wasn’t good enough. So, we came up with the idea of starting an academy which people could afford, an academy which could also provide a high-quality education. That’s how Wits Academy was born, with the motto “Education For Civilization”.

 

 

 

What is your biggest wish for Wits Academy?

I want to see the school progressing by providing more quality education in the next 50 years too. So that the pupils will be ready to face the challenges of the future, and provide many good opportunities for the nation. We have provided scholarships for the deserving students too. If we can get financial support we would enroll many more needy children into our academy.

 

If you could give one message to all the young women in the world, what it would be?

I just want to say that don’t consider yourself as weak. Just remember that anything is possible and we are no less than anyone else. You are a daughter, a mother, a wife, a sister and you could also be a minister if you are determined. You can not only work for yourself but also for the country. A woman can make or break a house. Do good things and shine brighter.

 

 

Amrita Sharma, director of Vidya Byayam English High School, in Gokarnaswor, Kathmandu.

 

Where were you born?

I was born as the youngest daughter in the family of five. I was born in a place called Sano Gaucharan in Kathmandu, Nepal.

 

What was it like growing up in Nepal as a woman?

I was from a middle-class family so growing up was not so difficult for me, but my father died at a very early age and my mother was a housewife so I had to learn a lot of responsibility very early on in my life.

 

 

How did you start Vidya Byayam English High School?

I started teaching at a very early age to support my family, and when I was 19 the place where I was living then which is Gokarna had no English medium school at that time. So I decided with the help of a few of my friends to open up a small English medium school and provide affordable high-quality education.

 

 

What is your biggest wish for Vidya Byayam High School?

My biggest wish for my school is to turn it into a college and provide an even higher degree of education to all children in that community.

 

 

If you could give one message to all the young women in the world, what it would be?

Don’t identify yourself to any gender, we all are much more than that. Help people in need regardless of anything. You are not that which society deems you to be, you are what you want to be and you can become anything you so desire.