Akasha Traineeship - Empowering women in Nepal
October 5, 2023
The Akasha Traineeship is a 10-month orientation program to empower and educate young women in Nepal. The program enable the students with practical knowledge about health, societal and environmental topics.
The aim of Akasha Traineeship is to give job orientation, to provide a safe space to learn and to encourage the young women to become change-makers in their communities. What is unique about the program is that the students learn to understand the interdependence between health environment and how their actions have an effect on others and vice versa, as the program is based on Universal Ethics.
The program started in 2021 and now its second year has just ended: Time to look back and celebrate the development that the students have made and to reflect why empowering women in Nepal is important also in the future.
Why empowering women in Nepal?
“Women are the manifestation of wisdom. Everyone and everything is born from females – physically and spiritually. Their power is indispensable for the survival of this Planet.“
With the multiple pressing global challenges, our planet needs strong role models with big hearts who can enable necessary changes. Creating a space, where women can unfold their potentials and thus facilitate empowerment, they naturally have the capacity to do so. There are many examples from all over the world that when women are not oppressed, the whole community thrives*.
In Nepal, women are still in many ways disadvantaged and discriminated. The decisions are often already made for them, and many suffer from physical, economic, and mental abuse.
Therefore, providing Nepalese young women a safe space where they can receive education, develop their skills and confidence, and create possibilities for their future is particularly important. Supporting the education and confidence for just one woman can put an end to generations of abuse and spark a new positive change.
Impact in women’s lives
The second year of Traineeship started in October 2022 with 15 students. Since then, the students have learned about topics such as basic health, hygiene, healthy nutrition, first-aid, sustainable agriculture, climate change, self-defense, community engagement, communication, English language and more.
The students have put their skills into action through community engagement and a practical job internship. They received several sessions of career counselling and through the orientation program many have found new possibilities and opportunities for their future. When talking about the impact the program has had in the lives of the women — who better to tell than the students themselves:
“I am now confident to speak in front of people, I feel empowered and positive. I think young girls and women should join Akasha Traineeship because in Akasha, they can learn about Menstrual hygiene to be free from infectious disease and to decrease cultural taboos.”
“I could not even talk in front of people before joining Akasha traineeship, now I am confident to do so. I am very happy to do my internship in a bakery as it was my dream. I hope to teach about nutritional diet to other people after learning about it myself.”
Impact in the communities
Just within the 10-month period, the women already had many chances to practically apply what they have learned and bring it to their communities.
For example, they provided information and counseling about healthy nutrition and menstrual health on a Health Camp in Okhreni May 2023. Some students also specialized in these topics further with a job internship in local NGOs that advocate for menstrual equity and women empowerment and others in a bakery and social business.
The students also raised awareness in the community through theater. They performed a play about the impact of bullying in three schools for more than 800 students.
By applying directly what they have learned from various experts, the students themselves now have become role models in their community. The community has also acknowledged the benefit of the program and wish for it to continue.
Universal Ethics as the foundation
The Akasha Traineeship is a part of a larger vision of The White Lama Tulku Khyungdor Rinpoche to create pathways for the future of our planet through integrated education. Traineeship is one of the Akasha Education programs where young people from different backgrounds learn to face the current challenges globally and locally through Universal Ethics.
Universal Ethics, the undeniable basic facts of our existence, are taught so that people can understand the impact we have on each other and on the planet, and to find a common sense to protect it beyond nationality, religion, or color of skin. We all breathe the same air, drink the same water and walk the same earth and protecting these precious resources of life is necessary for the survival of our planet.
What happens next?
The graduation ceremony for the 2nd cohort was held 21st of September 2023 at Akasha Academy Suntakhan where we also welcomed the new students for 2023-2024.
The next steps for the graduates will be either starting to work in community engagement, to find a career in health, environment or another field of their interest, or to continue their education. The new cohort of students have now had their first week of studies and have started developing their skills and learning how we are interconnected with each other and with nature. We are looking forward to seeing how the graduates and the new students will contribute to positive change in the communities in aspects of education, health, environment, and community engagement.
We are grateful to BMZ for funding a large part of the Akasha Traineeship program. But to be able to provide this program also in the future and to support those graduates who would like to continue their education – we need your support.
By becoming a supporter of our Freedom of Choice Education Fund, you will help to cover tuition fees and accommodation costs during studies for those students coming from underprivileged families. As an “education supporter,” you also help to fund the next year of Akasha Traineeship and high-quality education programs in Nepal.
Join us in creating pathways for the future of our planet! Every donation makes a difference.