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Inspiring words, Urjana Shrestha's Story Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Heather Girling, Canada Feb 1, 2008
Education , Technology , Globalization   Interviews


Inspiring words, Urjana Shrestha's Story When we asked Urjana Shrestha from Nepal Fair Trade Crafters; what would she consider to be a defining moment in her life; her response was clearly put: “When I realized that the social problems can be resolved with a bit of effort from every individual living in the society and when I took a step as a responsible member in making a difference.”

With current projects such as, “Fair Trade Crafts from Nepal” Urjana’s main mission is to promote traditional and ethnic Nepalese crafts in international markets and ensure the crafts people receive fair compensation or wages for their work and skill. Urjana also believes strongly in fair treatment, dignity and human rights. She hopes that the Nepalese craftsmen receive global recognition for their products. Fair Trade Crafters was established with an aim to reduce poverty within local areas by providing individuals with opportunities to create their own financial stability. Through fostering an environment for individuals to produce unique crafts and distribute these crafts within the global market, Urjana can help create a new, safe and healthy environmental for sustainable business initiatives. Other goals within her project include global networking by finding partners, investors, funding opportunities and advisers or mentors who can support her project and its mission.

Urjana describes her current experiences running her own social enterprise as: “It needs lot of devotion, hard work, commitment and responsibility to be a social entrepreneur. I do not consider myself in that position yet. I still have long way to go! However, I have started to take steps in that direction hoping to reach the goal. Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world; the main few reasons being lack of education, bad governance and unemployment in the country. The idea of creating employment opportunities for the socially deprived and uneducated people in poverty reduction, and to maintain the standard of their living has motivated me to get started in the path of social entrepreneurship.”

Urjana hopes to promote education and other opportunities to youth in her country. Originally, studying and completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture and currently doing a Business Management course in the UK. Urjana thinks the best education can be found in your own home. Understanding family values, is very important, and having a good bond between every member within ones family, respecting one another, all of this has influenced her to appreciate the benefits that one can get by sharing and being part of a big communal family.

Urjana has a refreshing outlook on life, “I see life as an adventure with many challenges to face at every step. I think dealing with them with positivity, integrity and determination is the best way to tackle them.” And has no regrets in her life. Her advice to any potential young social entrepreneur is: “Don’t Ever Give Up! Always be passionate about what you are doing and keep up the determination and dedication and you’ll reach your goal. When you are doing something for the betterment of the society, feel good about it and inspire others. Always remember every little effort can make a big difference. What inspiring words...

[For more information on Urgana Shrestha’s project you can email her at: urjana_shrestha@yahoo.com]



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Heather Girling

I have been fortunate to have experienced a variety of excellent opportunities such as, working at EMI Music Canada, a recording studio, djing in night clubs in Toronto and Tokyo and participating in photography festivals in Tokyo; but, nothing has been as rewarding as working with youth.
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