Welcoming our 2016 Hurford Youth Fellow – Goma Devi Bastola
Ms. Goma Devi Bastola is the President of the Rural Women’s Network Nepal (RUWON Nepal) where she works to promote human rights, education and social justice for rural women and youth. During her fellowship, she is focusing on how civil society can work with community leaders and political actors to make girl’s education a priority in rural communities. In addition, she plans to focus on the role of technology in addressing sexual violence against girls and promoting girl’s access to education in rural communities. Following her fellowship, Ms. Bastola plans to develop online tools and training; highlighting how empowering marginalized women and youth through education can lead to better governance and democratic practices. She will also develop an outreach strategy to encourage Nepalese youth networks and organizations to become engaged participants in the World Youth Movement for Democracy.
In the words of Ms. Bastola-
I am Goma Devi Bastola from Nepal. I am the Hurford Youth Fellow 2016 in National Endowment for Democracy and I am the President of Rural Women’s Network Nepal (RUWON Nepal)www.ruwonnepal.org.np . RUWON Nepal is a national network. It is an autonomous non-governmental feminist social organization working for the education, rights and social justice of rural, poor and marginalized women, youth and children in Nepal since 2007.
I am also a rural woman and I grew up and attended school and university in rural Nepal (Sindhuli District), and have firsthand experience living as a girl, youth, and woman in rural Nepal. This has given me insight into the situation of children, youth and women living in rural Nepal, as well as the specific challenges and inequalities they face. Based on this experience, I decided to work in the field of women’s and girl’s rights, education, and empowerment. I believe in equality. More specifically, men and women should have equal opportunities to live healthy, safe, and free lives. These goals align very closely with the vision of RUWON Nepal, which states in its constitution: “In Nepal especially in rural areas, the condition of the women and girls is very vulnerable. They are suffering from domestic violence. They do not get a chance to be educated. They lack good opportunities for development. Most of them are totally dependent with their husbands, fathers or male members in their family. They do not even know their own rights”.
Being a rural woman and working on the issues of rural women and girls gives me a lot of energy, excitement and satisfaction. I am a young woman of 25, working in a big network in Nepal. Women and girls have so many expectations from my side. I have to help and support girls during their school and university education, make aware to rural youth and women the issues affecting democracy and peace. Single, rural women need economic empowerment or support from our organization. Our government does not provide such support for NGOs so through this network I am hopeful to get some support for my work in Nepal. So if you are interested to support our work please feel free to contact me firstname.lastname@example.org , or email@example.com
I believe in equality. More specifically, men and women should have equal opportunities to live healthy, safe, and free lives. These goals align very closely with the vision of RUWON Nepal, which states in its constitution: “Here (in Nepal) especially in rural areas, the condition of the women and girls is very vulnerable. They are suffering from domestic violence. They do not get a chance to be educated. They lack good opportunities for development. Most of them are totally dependent on their husbands, fathers and other male members of the family. Most of them do not even know their rights”. So I, through RUWON Nepal aim to make rural women and girls economically, occupationally, educationally and politically active, aware, independent, and skillful, and empower them so that they can participate effectively at national and international levels.