Sheetal Tulahdar

Sheetal Tulahdar

I joined as an intern in BRAC USA in 2015 when a massive earthquake struck Nepal in April. I immediately received a call from my colleagues at BRAC USA, checking up to see if everything was alright back home with my family. A few days later, I received another call from them with a proposal to work in Nepal as a fellow to assist in setting up BRAC’s newest country office. I felt like I was given the opportunity to go back home and make a difference.

Thus began my journey with BRAC in Nepal. BRAC now supports long-term rehabilitation in Kavrepalanchowk district through a community empowerment project with activities in health, empowerment and livelihoods for adolescent (ELA) clubs, and sanitation. The first of its kind in Nepal, 10 of these clubs have been set up with a focus on empowering adolescent girls. Setting up the clubs, however, was by no means an easy feat.

Once we set them up, we faced another challenge- transporting materials to each of these clubs. Most parts of Shyampati lack accessibility, even though it is only a three-hour drive from Kathmandu. Some of the villages are a three-hour walk from the village development committee. Nonetheless, it was all made possible with the dedication of ELA club mentors and the community, who, more than anything, wanted to see positive changes in the lives of its young people.

The eventual goal of the ELA clubs is to put an end to child marriage. Club members are trained on life skills, sexual and reproductive health, and livelihoods and nancial literacy. It was as though I had a newfound purpose when I recently found out that an ELA club mentor had successfully talked a 15-year-old girl out of her decision to elope and get married.

I now work full-time as a business development and communications officer. I look forward to taking on newer challenges and growing with the world’s biggest family.

Sheetal Tulahdar
BRAC in Nepal