My Journey at Canopy Nepal - Sabanam Thapa, Former Program Assistant, Canopy Nepal

My Journey at Canopy Nepal - Sabanam Thapa, Former Program Assistant, Canopy Nepal

Sabanam Thapa
This is Sabanam Thapa, a former Program Assistant and a forever member of Canopy Nepal, who is passionate about working with children. As a student pursuing undergraduate studies in Social Work and interested in work with children, I was introduced to Canopy Nepal for my undergraduate’s mandatory fieldwork by one of my faculties, Mr. Sanjeev Dahal.

After consulting for my internship with my faculty, I had several thoughts in my mind about my engagement in Canopy Nepal. One of the major questions for me was if I could be able to work to the level of their expectations, which kept me doubtful about my engagement in this education-focused organization. But after seeing their work and also knowing that the organization was initiated by Mr. Mohit Rauniyar, one of the alumni of Thames International College, where I am also pursuing my undergraduate studies, I decided to do my internship there without thinking about it any further. I was fortunate enough to be recruited as a Program Assistant in one of the signature programs of Canopy Nepal - Learners’ Hub, a program primarily focused on the development of interactive learning opportunities for school children in form of EIC Classes, Katha Bunaun, Lekhaun, and Young Learner’s Camp Sessions.

Sabanam Thapa with other facilitators after Katha Bunaun 
I am fortunate enough to have Canopy Nepal as one of the organizations where I worked during my Bachelors’ degree which familiarized me with the work-life balance. It was my first time when I had ever worked in an office setting, thus I believe I had made many mistakes initially, but I had rarely been criticized by my colleagues instead got motivated to work harder. In this tenure, I learned different tools that can be used in my workspace which includes the use of Google Productivity Applications, Trello and Adobe Designing products which I was unaware of, which enabled me to be more effective and efficient at work.

My tenure, not only involved me working as a staff member but also involved me working as a facilitator in the 4th edition of Katha Bunaun which took place in Creative Academy School, Kirtipur for Bal Sahitya Mahotsav. I got to learn a lot of interactive techniques for facilitating students through activities. In this process, I was fortunate enough to see the increment in their confidence level and improvement of their presentation skills, as the students were encouraged to participate throughout the program. I was overwhelmed when the moments spent in those five days of Katha Bunaun had turned into the most memorable moments of my life. I feel amazing when I still visit the school where I have students greeting me, talking about how they miss the program and how they learned so much. Some of the students still talk to me through Facebook. 

Canopy Team with Ms. Bonnie Sharplin, a friend of Canopy
When I was working at Canopy Nepal, I remember I was once provided an opportunity to make a magazine that consisted of stories written by students in Katha Bunaun. It was one of my biggest projects for which I had to learn Adobe InDesign, that was a great challenge as I was not aware of it earlier. It definitely took more time than I had expected and required a lot of research on finding the perfect theme, color even the title. It went through many tests and trials yet, through rigorous work and support we compiled an amazing magazine. 

The most amazing thing about Canopy Nepal is the line that we draw in our personal and professional lives while equally balancing it. While we work, we always maintained a professional relationship with the bare mentionings of our personal lives. But, during lunchtimes or other casual coffee conversations, we were unstoppable! The conversations and laughs had no limits! Out of the many things, I like Canopy was that all of us, regardless of the number of staff members,  had lunch together. Plus, the value of learning something new every Friday, where a member was supposed to show and discuss a short video or a topic of discussion, where I got to learn many things even through such discussions. Sometimes, we had our own share of humorous debates during the lunch hour. 

Sabanam helping her students during Katha Bunau workshop 
The members were like family more than colleagues, allowing me to share my issues with the concerned person without any hesitation. For example, if I felt as if I had to do something I was unfamiliar with and unaware of, I was always welcomed to talk about. It feels amazing as Canopy Nepal provides opportunities for the staff members to grow while they work. I think it is one of the most important aspects of any organization which could be lacking in other organizations. 

Canopy team with Canopy Friend from ISL
Each and every member of the Canopy Nepal family puts in efforts towards bringing about change in the traditional education system in an innovative way and making education more accessible. This has undoubtedly brought many fruitful results and smile among the students we worked with. Every day at  Canopy Nepal, we would come up with new ideas to work and provide effective results with due appreciation to one’s ideas and initiatives. Looking at the growth I have seen in myself and the working nature of people here, I would certainly recommend young leaders and students who wish to bring changes to the current education system in Nepal to be a part of Canopy Nepal in every way possible. 

Even though I am taking a hiatus from work, I still consider myself, a member of Canopy Nepal. I still make my visits whenever I miss the workplace and the people.  I wish to re-join the organization sometime in the later future. I must say, working at Canopy Nepal has taught me many important life lessons, professionally and personally with a lot of room for errors and learnings but always with fun! 

Written By: Sabanam Thapa

Edited By: Mohit Rauniyar



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