Pace Center for Girls joins the United Nations and global communities in commemorating the 10th Anniversary of International Day of the Girl, celebrated annually on October 11.
Pace has focused attention on the need to address the global challenges girls face and led the charge on women’s empowerment since 1985, with more than 40,000 girls and 23 communities served to date. Yet, the need for communities to unite in support of girls and young women with a common vision of a just and equitable society remains prevalent.
As part of the Community Solutions program, Pace is hosting Thinley Wangmo Lama, a fellow from Nepal. Read a message from Thinley in honor of International Day of the Girl:
Dreaming Big Through Humble Beginnings
Guest author: Thinley Wangmo Lama, CSP Fellow 2022
My family belongs to Limi Valley, a remote village in the northwestern part of Nepal bordering the Tibetan Autonomous Region. My grandparents lived a nomadic life and were sheep and yak herders. My father, being the eldest son, took the responsibility to offer us a better life. And he struggled hard to educate us and finally moved the entire family to Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal. I was born in Limi Valley and moved to the city when I was 4 years old.
I feel blessed to have received an education and a better life because many women of my age group in Limi Valley are still unable to read and write as well as struggling with the village lifestyle. Now, I have reached a stage in life where I can financially support my family and help with my community development. I treasure my humble beginnings and always live my life filled with gratitude.
My experiences have shaped me into who I am today. I am a visionary person and have a sense of responsibility to give back to the community.
I would describe myself in three words: ambitious, hardworking, and compassionate.
➔ Ambition: My ambition has led me to apply for the Community Solutions Program (CSP), sponsored by the US Department of State and implemented by IREX, through which I got the opportunity to come to the U.S and work with Pace Center for Girls for 4 months. Thus, I am getting the opportunity to learn about the administrative and functional areas of a non-profit organization as I plan to start my own for underprivileged women in Nepal.
➔ Hard work: I believe working hard is the key to success. We are all given a certain amount of opportunity in our lives, whether it is big or small — your willpower and hard work will determine the end goal. I have faith in myself that my hard work will help me achieve my dreams.
➔ Compassion: If you ask my friends, family, and colleagues to describe me as a person, most of them would draw me as a compassionate and kind person. I also believe the same because helping others gives me the most sense of satisfaction compared to everything else, I do in my life. This is the reason behind my initiative to offer education to the women in my village and take part in social welfare activities. Currently, less than 10% of the female population is literate in Limi Valley. My goal is to reach an 80% female literacy rate in the next 5 years.
I am a strong believer in lifelong learning and have faith that everyone is capable of growth and change if given the opportunity. But my life has not always been like this. All of us face different challenges and we struggle to overcome them.
In my case,
- Until high school, I used to lack confidence and did not believe in myself.
- In college, I struggled with relationships and faced many conflicts which led to losing close friends.
- Until now, I am learning how to become an effective communicator and a good public speaker.
Have I overcome all my shortcomings? No, but it is a work in progress. Over time, I have realized that life is about learning at every stage and embracing the changes. Hence, I admire and try to live by the quote “this too shall pass.” I hope welcoming this quote into your lives makes a difference.
I am grateful to be part of this program where I can sharpen my skills, embrace growth and change and focus on my strengths. I am fortunate to be part of Pace Center for Girls vision where all girls and young women have Power, in a Just and Equitable society. This vision will reach more women in Nepal through my learnings at Pace.
Thus, I would like to conclude, by wishing you all “Happy International Day of the Girl.”