Saurav Dhakal
Founder and Curator of the Story Cycle. British Council International Climate Champion 2011

In 2010, I was working for Kantipur news when the British Council called for applications for International Climate Champion. At the time I was covering wildlife and animal issues on my individual blog site called Story Cycle. This was the opportunity I got to pitch my story to the selection committee.

My idea was to travel to different parts of the country, like the Himalayan region and collect stories of how climate change is affecting the people there. I wanted to be their voice and get that voice heard globally through a respected media platform. After I was as selected International Climate Champion, I received a seed funding to make my blog an institutive platform and to design a better website. Not only that I also got an opportunity to become a part of a 20-member team of climate champions. This provided me with many opportunities to both learn and teach.
As the International Climate Champion, I also got the opportunity to be a part of the Great Himalayan Trail Smart Celebrity Trek in 2012. It was a 99-day walk where I got to travel from the east of my country to the west. That participation had big rewards for me because I was able to see my own country for myself. The stories collected from there, which I published on my website, also helped to improve my personality. Story Cycle, my innovative media platform, got even bigger. 

I am currently involved in a new project with the British Council using storytelling and story mapping techniques. We are piloting the first project in Teku; then moving on to Sindhuli, Barpak, and Damauli. The main idea of this project is to use mapping techniques to identify resources and to collect stories. We call it the 3Ps: people, product and place. The plan was to collect stories of people, product and place in order to help create a branding of those cities. We hope this will empower the youth of those areas to create employment opportunity for themselves and contribute to the development of their cities.

Nine years ago, becoming the British Council Climate Champion gave me confidence that my idea was marketable. The networking opportunity locally, nationally and internationally all helped me polish my ideas. The Great Himalayan trail, which followed, shaped the way I think and how I work. It also helped me to build my personality and my team. This is why I feel that my relationship with the British Council is a very strong one.

I heartily thank the British Council for the 60 years of work in Nepal and offer my best wishes for the coming years.