Stairway to success

March 31, 2013 , by Bibek Bhandari, Leave your thoughts
Stairway to success » My Dreams Mag
Photo: Kanchan Amatya
A Nepalese student's visionary project has been nominated for an international award that could change the life of many families in rural Nepal. 

Kanchan Amatya, a 19-year-old freshman at University of Oklahoma, has been nominated for the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGIU) Commitments Challenge 2013

Amatya has been nominated for her sustainable fish-farming project in Dhading district in Nepal under CGI U’s poverty alleviation category.

Through her project, the young social entrepreneur aims to provide funding to 500 families to start their fish farms. According to her, if her project is a winner, she would provide the families a loan at 5% interest rate, and also offer trainings on fish farming techniques in coordination with local non-government organisations.

Amatya says her project was conceived while working in Baseri village in western Nepal during the summer of 2012.

The unused ponds and rice paddies she noticed during her visit, according to Amatya was “a perfect opportunity to introduce commercial fish farming in the village.”

“It seemed to have significant potential to generate income and eradicate poverty in this village,” says Amatya who is also the president of her university’s Nepal Student Association. “This was the idea I presented to the Clinton Global Initiative.”

Amatya says she has always been interested in working toward humanitarian causes.She started at the early age of 16 when she received a scholarship to study at the United World College of Norway.

In her blog post, which was also published in Teenz magazine’s September issue, she writes that her two years in Norway was “an opportunity to be intellectually trained” and learn from other youth leaders who had converged from more than 100 countries.

For her efforts, Amatya has also been recognised as the British Council’s Global Change Maker from Nepal in 2012; it’s a global community of young activists, volunteers, and social entrepreneurs.

And through her sustainable fish-farming project, Amatya says she wants to make substantial changes in a community that suffers from poverty, malnutrition, and unemployment.

According to her, through her project, she plans to “improve the livelihood of the people through small-scale aquaculture.”

In the long run the revenue generated from the project, she says, will go toward building a library as well as a micro-finance project.

“This will actually determine the project’s success,” says the visionary.

Amatya further states that she wants this project to be an example that other villages can replicate.

“The success story,” she says “should be an example and inspiration for other villages so they can solve the crisis [unemployment, economic distraught] in their communities.”

She further adds, “The constant reminder of how things shouldn’t be and my perseverance to make a change is what drives me to work.”

The quarterfinal round of voting will end April 1 at 7 pm GMT. To vote for Kanchan Amatya’s project, click: http://www.cgiu.org/bracket/

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