This is the first blogpost in our new series “Red Crossers of Nepal”, where we will have regular posts about the dedicated people we meet here in Nepal who are active in Red Cross. They will share a bit about themselves and why they are a part of the worlds largest humanitarian organisation, either as a volunteer, staff or through a training - as is the case with the first one out: lovely Shobha Devi Sharma.

Shobha Devi Sharma Photo: Svanhild Gjeraker

Shobha Devi Sharma
Photo: Svanhild Gjeraker

Shobha is a teacher at Shree Nava Jyoti Secondary School in Biruwa municipality. The first time we met her was when she was waiting for her first WASH (Water, Sanitation and Health programme) training at the District Chapter office where we work and stopped by our office as she was curious about us and our work. We chatted for some time and she told us about her work as a primary school teacher, and when she learned that Svanhild also is a teacher they both hit it off really well :) They discussed how in Nepal, many teachers and students are involved in Red Cross activities, because Red Cross is implemented in most of the schools. We, as Youth Delegates, think it is wonderful that youths can use some of their time to help and be in assistance to others while they are in schools. As all over the world, teachers give youths knowledge and motivation to learn, grow and become the best version of themselves – and Nepal shows a good example of this with Red Cross being integrated in the school system.

We met her again when she came by our office one day when she was in town for an errand, as she was very eager to share what she had learned in the training and how motivated she was after it; beforehand she was unsure of what the training would be about so she thought it was important to update us now when she knew it very well as she shared that “It was the first time, after attending there I know many things. I became changed after attending there. I start to join to attend there and I want to serve.” We find her eagerness to be so inspiring, and want to share more of her thoughts and life with you; so continue to read her story below!

Shobha Devi Sharma together with her youngest son Sagar Jung Paudel  Photo: Svanhild Gjeraker

Shobha Devi Sharma together with her youngest son Sagar Jung Paudel
Photo: Svanhild Gjeraker

Shobha was born in Biruwa, and married in Harinas rural municipality. Shobha had a difficult time to get ahead in her early life as: “there was no high school to get knowledge for me. There was many problem in my childhood, my babyhood. There was many problem. There was many struggles in my life. But I don’t know any chance to get knowledge, highly get knowledge. There was block.” Despite this she moved on and today she lives in Biruwa again, where she kindly invited us to visit and which she describes as a beautiful place. Shobha now works with early child development, and she has two sons. She shared that her elder son, like her “is also a teacher and he teach in the daytime and study in morning time. Accounting student and boarding school teacher [where he teaches] in all English.”

She had her first experience with Red Cross the day she met us, full of questions such as “What is Red Cross? What to do? What is there? What will be there?”. When she returned to our office after the training she was brimming with inspiration and knowledge about how to apply the WASH programme; “In the school I want water sanitation to purify our water sanitation. It is good for our health. And environmental sanitation there should be clean environment in the school. And I know after attending there washing hands properly. Six item wash. That also I know after attending there.”

When asked about the challenges in her local community, she focused on how “in Biruwa there is no good water, there is no sanitation. There is no clean drinking water. There is many problem in Biruwa. So I want to change there also. I want to bring good water, clean water, drinking water. And using toilet purposely, that also I want there.” Now, after the training she will contribute to not only this, but also in her classroom where she will “teach them to wash hands and to be clean, them themselves. Your habit should be good. I teach them. Small children have no knowledge of how to become healthy, wealthy and clean. So I should inspire them to be healthy, wealthy, clean, hygienic.”

Lastly we asked Shobha about what she thinks of the Red Cross, and she gave us the most beautiful and inspiring answer which we are very happy to share with you “Red Cross is very important to all the human beings. I know. In my mind it is very good, it is very sensitive, very critical. It is important. I know after attending there. It join the relationship all over the world”

We hope you enjoyed reading about one of the fantastic Red Crossers we have been lucky to get to know and we are looking forward to sharing more stories about people from Nepal later on.

Teacher – Sikchhyak- Lærar

Svanhild & Guri