Pushpam Ghimire is a student from Makawanpur district in Nepal. Pushpam had already learned some basic computer skills, but was a little hesitant. When she got the opportunity to become a Peer Group Leader (PGL) for an EDGE club, Pushpam realised that she could not only help club members improve their digital skills and English proficiency, but also develop her own skills.
Soon, Pushpam was encouraging her school friends to become PGLs. Pushpam explained, ‘as adolescent girls, we have to deal with many physical changes, and in addition we face many social challenges. One of them is that we are not expected to go out and participate in training courses, unlike boys. So EDGE came as an ice-breaker.’
According to Pushpam, the EDGE project has assisted many adolescent girls in her district by boosting their self-confidence and enhancing their digital skills and English language.
She adds, ‘today, I can confidently express my opinion in front of others - I am not so shy. This was all possible due to the EDGE project. As one of the PGLs, I now confidently teach my peers on the basic use of computers, from simple operating, creating folders and deleting files to writing in phablets and speaking basic English.’
Pushpam highlights how in today’s world, English and digital skills are crucial for the development of girls in Nepal. She says that a lack of these skills can hold girls back and prevent them from challenging a society still filled with taboos. She concludes, ‘the EDGE project needs to continue so that many like me from across Nepal can continue to access opportunities to develop these skills.