My Journey at Canopy Nepal- Urishna Shakya, Programs Director

My Journey at Canopy Nepal- Urishna Shakya, Programs Director

Urishna Shakya facilitating CANSHIP scholars during orientation
Picture Source: CANSHIP Facebook Page
My journey in Canopy Nepal started at the end of 2015 after my internship ended at a local national daily. I was looking for a place where I could work directly at the grassroots level, and a series of conversations with Mohit and Saif led me to be a part of the team. It was a big decision for me, to be a part of an idea in the making, to be a part of a new organization I would be held responsible for. There were a lot of uncertainties, too many questions, few answers, a lot of what-ifs, but one thing that glued me with the team and the idea of ‘Canopy Nepal’ was our persistence and the goal of creating positive change in children’s lives.

Urishna presenting Certificate of Appreciation to CANSHIP SEE Graduate
Picture Source: CANSHIP Facebook Page
From overseeing Learners’ Hub program, one of our very first programs, at its infancy stage, to developing it into a full-fledged month-long after school sessions, from searching for the right schools and building relations with them, to building our core team, I got to be a part of it all. Like in the growth of a tree, the one person who had planted the seeds in the first place can be given the bigger credit for its existence, but its growth and sustenance depend on all those who have to water and look after it afterward throughout its life. In the same way, in every step of Canopy’s life, all the team members who have been involved have nurtured and shaped it the way it is today. I have been quite fortunate to have witnessed most parts of it, if not all. 

Urishna explaining about  programs of Canopy Nepal in Innovation in Education Fair
Picture Source: Canopy Nepal Facebook Page
Joining Canopy has been one of the most important turning points of my life. I got a great opportunity to explore the education sector, learning in-depth as well as at a macro-level about ways of doing development differently in Nepal. I got a much stronger and clearer understanding of self, and what I wanted to do in life. I also got better questions to ask about how we work in the ‘development’ sector and also about life, in general. In the process of nurturing Canopy, I have been doing exactly what I love, which is to lead a dedicated team and learning from and growing with them every day.  

For me, Canopy Nepal is much more than just a youth-led organization. We aim to hone it as a common platform with shared ownership and belongingness of all its team members. Rather than sticking to the four walls of a regular office structure and working culture, we strive to be as creative and innovative as possible. From limiting the office hours to only 5days/ week, to overseeing the emotional well-being of our team, we make sure that everyone enjoys coming to work and is learning and growing to their utmost capability.

Urishna and her lady colleagues celebrating Women's Day at Office
Picture Source: Canopy Nepal Facebook Page
At the end of the day, it is not just about completing the given tasks, it is the extra mile that we want to go, without having anyone else ask for it, the motivation we get from within to do so, like  finished/ unfinished portrait of an artist, it is not in the mechanics of it or in making it look perfect, but in the steady, long, tiring, fun-filled process, the way things fall in place for everyone who is a part of it, the working culture has to be a win-win for all. 

It is also about taking the baton forward, taking the leadership forward by shifting the power and responsibilities from one group of leaders to the other. It is exciting to see the young leaders who are taking Canopy’s baton forward and are creating more of themselves among the new generation in the schools, colleges, organizations and the communities they come across. 

Author: Urishna Shakya

Canopy Nepal, with a team of enthusiastic youths, is providing scholarships, interactive sessions and workshops to improve the education system, little by little. The solutions provided by the experts are always implemented in our programs in the ways that fit them the best.



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