Bihani Social Venture has been working with AIESEC in the “Rising Nepal Project” of AIESEC Kathmandu: This project was created by AIESEC, after the earthquake in April 2015, to ensure that we are able to be a part in the reconstruction of Nepal. All the Exchange Participants (EPs) were or have been involved in the various activities of Bihani along with leading the Social Impact Project -‘Wrinkles & Smiles’ supporting our Social Partners – Matatirtha Old Age Home, Hope Hermitage Nepal, and Himalaya Old Age Home. The EPs have contributed greatly to us and to Nepal through their work.
SHAMMA RAHMAN, BANGLADESH
It is easy to say “I want to work for the people” or “I want to make a change” but then, the real challenge lies in the ability to implement. I am Shamma Rahman currently a student of American International University, Bangladesh. We all have plans, we all envisage certain scenarios, but unforeseen obstacles can come in our way at times. It was easy for me to think I have always been helpful and respectful towards elders, I thought I give my grandparents enough time. I was so wrong. I learned about my shortcomings after observing Bihani’s work for elders. It opened my eyes and made me see the entire situation in a different light. My grandma’s complain about missing me and wanting to spend more time with me isn’t a “grandma” thing, it’s rather a cry for companionship. We often forget how lonely elders become. It is our duty as the youth to see to it that they don’t suffer because of loneliness or depression. At the end of the day, we all age and we should change the scenario or create an environment for positive ageing, if not for anyone else, at least for ourselves. Make elders’ lives matter and work for a better future.
KANG YUJIE (IRIS), CHINA
“Three meals for children, new clothes for children, did children feel happy today…” -these and everything about their children seem to take over the whole life of most parents/elders. We like to spend time with a new born baby because their smile gives us energy or makes us feel happy and refreshed. But then, do we feel the same about spending time with elders? Why cannot every elder become an epitome of positiveness and hope? At the end of the day, our parents and elders are the ones who have made us what we are today, given us a life comfortable in every way and experienced life to an extent that each of them are power houses of knowledge. I really appreciate and feel proud to have joined this project in Bihani because this experience, has made me realise the issues of ageing and given me hope that we can really do something to change the life of our elders/ parents and give back to them.I am Iris from China, a student at Suzhou University.I hope I can do some real things to bring change not only limited to the 28 days i spent in Nepal , but throughout my life in whatever way I can!
HUANG HAITAO (VORTEX), CHINA
“It is sad to go to pieces like this but we all have to do it.” Mark Twain on Ageing
Ageing, is an inevitable progress in every human’s life, and it haunts and intimidates many people. From my perspective, one’s spirit determines one’s life as we age. Becoming stagnant and confining oneself to their comfort zone or re – exploring and enjoying, depends on one’s choice. Nonetheless, a colorful dusk should be encouraged. Bihani provided me the chance to interact with the elderly and help in improving their lives for the better. I am thankful that I was able to experience something new – learning about ageing along with consolidating my skills and knowledge that I am learning as a student of Mathematics at Beihang University, China.
WU YIXUAN (IVAN), CHINA
I am Ivan from China, a student of Finance at Xiamen University. In my opinion, the ultimate goal of dealing with the issues of ageing is by helping people live a happy life without the restrictions of age. I believe that, although the body will get old, everyone remains young in spirit. We can choose to be young inside with optimistic attitude regardless of the problems, both physically and mentally. I think it is most important to make elders realize that they are the decider of how they want their life to be or how they want to age. It is up to us as individuals to either age gracefully or get unhappier as we get older. Sometimes as you grow older it is difficult to adapt or change according to times however, positive ageing will happen if we are open to evolve.
KUANG ZHIXIN (CINDY), CHINA
There is a Chinese poetry about the elderly people which goes:
The Legend of the Immortal (Although the Turtle is Long-Lived) – Poem by Cao Cao
Although the turtle lives long, it will die in the end
The flying serpent could circle the mist, but it turns into dust ultimately
Old steed lying by the stable still aspires to gallop
Heroes in their old age, they are still desiring for honors
Whether you could live longer than the others or not,it’s not only depends on God’s blessing
As long as you keep good health, you may prolong your life
I am so lucky, so I write this poem
According to me, Ageing is not an excuse to give up chasing your dreams, where there is a will there is a way. I was surprised to learn that ageing is a serious challenge facing mankind, which in society we mostly do not focus on. I learned that the significance of Bihani is not only to help the elderly people to re-engage, re-explore and re-live, but also help local entrepreneurs. I am very proud of having had the experience I did while in Bihani. And I will keep on helping the elderly people to live meaningfully even when I go back to Guangzhou University in China as a Chinese Literature Student.
DIMAS BRAMASTYO PUTRO, INDONESIA
Life can be commonly pictured as a timeline, it has a beginning and an end. Along that line, are different parts or stages of our life – such as the part, where we are born as an infant, able to walk and play as a kid, go to school, get a job, be productive, start a new family, grow old, and then eventually we arrive at a destination when our life ends. We tend to live the last few years of our life just doing what we are comfortable with and slowly stop living it. When we grow old, it does not mean that we cannot live our lives or do things we want to as part of our lifelong adventure. I believe that being adventurous goes all the way to our entire lifeline. As an EP and being able to work in a social venture that is trying to tackle the issues of ageing, I feel obliged to be able to make a contribution to the society especially, our elders. I now feel, that i can channel my ideas and creativity to solve the issues related to ageing which is becoming a global problem.
CHUANG TZU-HSIEN (JASON), TAIWAN
Aging is a problem which, if we do not try to understand and face it,it will become a great issue. The growing number of ageing population in Nepal and around the world, can also mean that there are more and more people who cannot fulfill their dreams or accomplish their goals since time passes away so fast. People go to school,graduate,have a career,get married,and then nurture their children, leading their life as per the social norms leaving us with many experiences that – we have not seen or done. Working in Bihani, I learned that we can try to make a social impact by working on aging related issues,and trying to address it. We all can make difference by trying to create an environment we would like to live in as an elder as well.
CHAO JO – YAO (ROY), TAIWAN
“It is normal and usual to respect elders but it is important to, not only show our respect by verbally but also through our behavior.” I am Roy, currently studying in International College of Travel and Tourism at Ming Ching University, Taiwan. I like to experience new things that I never seen before. I have learned that we need to approach elders and listen to their stories and experiences to know what they really need. I feel that everyone young should do more things to help and respect our elders in whatever way. After all, we are who we are because of our parents and elders.
As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Poverty is the worst form of violence”. As we all know, society cannot evade poverty but is it okay to just accept it? There are currently lots of social enterprises aiming to solve social problems such as poverty. I am Jordy, an Exchange Participant from Indonesia majoring in Finance Major at Prasetiya Mulya School of Business and Economics and I am part of the Enterprise Development team supporting small scale local entrepreneurs to grow which will in turn contribute to the economy besides being a part of the social impact project – ‘ Wrinkles & Smiles’.
FELIC CAPRIN, INDONESIA
When I think of aging, I think of time passing in the blink of an eye. People that has aged would have experienced making lots of decisions and compromising with the dreams they once had to cope with the situation they faced. A girl who became a mother, would give up her dream to become a singer as she decides to take care of her precious child and watch the child grow. A boy who becomes a husband, would have to give up his dream to become a martial artist so that he has time to earn money for his family to live a good and fulfilling life. My name is Felic Caprin, a student majoring in Business from LC PMBS in Indonesia and I am making sure to do my best in reaching out to more elders. I want our elders to start believing again that they can achieve their dreams they once had while at the same time fight for the privileges that they should receive. I am here making sure that during my six weeks stay in Nepal, me and the team at Bihani will have achieved something to further improve the situation of elders in Nepal as I have come to believe that, change is possible only if we try to make a difference ourselves.
I WAYAN BUDI DHARMA YASA (BUDI), INDONESIA
BJ Miller said, “At the end of our lives, what do we most wish for? For many, it’s simply comfort, respect, love.” When I live far away from my parents, all they want is for me to be near them however, due to the responsibilities in life we have to make certain choices. Ageing is a process that cannot be avoided, but how we manage it, is the important thing. Volunteering in Bihani, made me realise how we can age positively or ensure that those around us also experience a rewarding second half of their lives. I feel fortunate to have had such an experience. I am Budi, a student of Business in Prasetiya Mulya School of Business and Economics in Indonesia and I now believe that, I can be a Change Maker in whatever way I can.
JIANG SHANG (KATHY), CHINA
GAO LI (SKELLY), CHINA
Ageing is an issue which is growing not just in Nepal but also globally, and if we can provide our elders with a platform to share their experiences with us, the world will become a better place. Through the work at Bihani, we can involve elders in guiding us as well as advising us of their needs. I am Gao Li, a student of Human Resource Management at Nanjing Normal University in China and I am glad that I could visit Nepal as an EP and contribute in whatever ways I could. It was a great experience to work with small scale entrepreneurs and learn about their contributions to the Nepali economy along with being involved in the social impact project.
CHEW HAN HOONG, MALAYSIA
“Some people die at 25 and aren’t buried until they are 75.” To me, ageing is a natural process that everyone will experience, but feeling old is a mental state that might affect anyone regardless of age. There are youngsters that stop learning and growing, and even stop being passionate in life. But looking around, there are seniors that still live their life with enthusiasm. There is no such thing as being too old or too young to do anything – the most important thing in life for me, is to live the life that we love, and this applies to any stage of life. I am Chew Han Hoong, studying Bachelor of Human Development and Management in Malaysia, and I love to explore more about life and the meaning of life.
TING RU TAN, MALAYSIA
I am Ting Ru from Malaysia. As a youth, ageing once seemed far away from me. Until working in Bihani, the experience raised my awareness towards ageing issues which society mostly does not focus on. The unique thing of Bihani is to let two generations come together to work on this issue. Wisdom, inspiration from elderly and self-reflection are found throughout the journey. I believe age should not stop us from living the dream we desire, and everyone must be confident about their capability in living so. I wish everyone pursuits the happiness of life regardless what age he or she is.