SHERRY SHERPA, PAST TEAM MEMBER
“I joined Bihani because I just love every vibe about it! Before I joined the team here, I used to attend its various inter- generational events such as musical events and potluck along with my father who is a signed member of this social enterprise. Bihani has many senior members who are still very active and desire to do a lot in their lives, all very inspiring to see and learn from. Working with senior citizens here has made me realise that while developing a positive outlook to ageing is important, ageing positively is even harder for parents who are widow/widower. I wish to see a future where everyone sees elders as contributing members of family and society, and assures that elders are valued.”
SUSMITA RAJOPADHYAYA, PAST TEAM MEMBER
“There is a saying that “No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.” Seeing parents being abandoned in Nepal or leaving them at old age homes is a prominent social issue in Nepal which I do not support. I believe that each of us can fulfill our dreams or follow our interests at any age. Similarly, our elders deserve an environment where pursuing any dream or interest is possible. Working with Bihani enables me to work towards that meaningful purpose of enabling elders enjoy their optimum wellbeing and living life with dignity.”
AAKANSHYA REGMI, VOLUNTEER
I believe life is a journey, full of adventures like a game and the different phases of being born – young and old are its different levels. Remember how games get tougher and tougher after you win every level? Ageing to me is something like that. The more you age, the tougher your life becomes but at the same time you get to know life enough, to live it peacefully. I am Aakanshya Regmi, a student of +2 who believes in living my life to its fullest and in doing things that my heart longs for. This is why I love working in any way I can help others!
PRABIGYA MANANDHAR, VOLUNTEER
I am Prabigya Manandhar, a Bachelor of Social Work Student with interests in painting, singing, reading books and travelling to different places. The elders in my life are individuals who have helped me get on the right path as they know more about life than I do. The phase we are going through right now has already been crossed by them and they can guide in the best possible manner. They are the ones who have taught me to overcome any problem with courage, confidence and also to live my life with joy.
PRATIKSHA GAUTAM, VOLUNTEER
“At twenty people worry about what others think about them, at forty they don’t care about what others think about them, at sixty they discover that they have not been thinking about them at all.” I am Pratiksha Gautam, a Bachelor’s in Social Work Student who believes in creativity and I love to support elders with young minds – I believe that after all, you are only as old as you think you are. I am interested in reading, handicrafts and mass communication. Elders are a storehouse of knowledge based on their experiences about family and life in all aspects including philosophical which they can impart to the younger generation. Our grandparents or elders are quite different than us because of the lives they have led and they have beautiful stories that they can share with us. With time they also become a source of reliable and well-tested information. Our elders are the ones who love us unconditionally and guide us on the right path. We as the younger generation can learn from their mistakes and what they did right.
SHREESHA SHAKYA, VOLUNTEER
“You don’t stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing.” I am Shreesha Shakya, a Bachelor in Social Work student who loves to help people, create new ideas, enjoys painting and travelling. It is paradoxical that the idea of living a long life appeals to everyone, while the idea of getting old does is not appealing to many of us. Sometimes the younger generations tend to think of elders as a burden or a problem and fail to realise that they are actually a support system who can provide solutions for our problems based on their experiences. Personally, I would love to get to know as many elders as I can, taking in their experiences, knowledge and learning so that I can age in the most positive manner.
ASHISH BANIYA, VOLUNTEER
“Some people no matter how old they get, never lose their beauty they merely move it from their faces into their hearts”. I am Ashish Baniya, currently studying Bachelor in Social Work at Kathmandu Model College. I am interested in playing basketball, listening to music and travelling. We should not think that people become weak as they grow older. In fact, everyone is beautiful for their age.”
HALEY SANNER, FULBRIGHT SCHOLAR
Ms. Haley K. Sanner is originally from Washington, D.C. and graduated with a BS in Mathematics from Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina. Haley is 2018/2019 Fulbright Student Researcher affiliated with Bihani. For her research, she is determining the potential market for intergenerational home sharing outside the joint family as a means of addressing social isolation among older adults. Prior to her Fulbright, she held a position with the AARP Foundation, the largest non-profit working on aging in the United States, where she and her colleagues were working on innovative solutions to mitigating social isolation among low income older adults. Haley brings this expertise as she partners with and advises Bihani in program development and innovative business concepts.
Haley first came to Nepal in the Fall of 2013 when she spent a college semester studying Nepali Language, Development and Social Change with School for International Training (SIT) where she completed a capstone research project on aging. This led her to pursue a two-year post-graduate experience in Nepal, first as a 2015/16 Davidson College Impact Fellow working on aging issues in the non-profit sector with Nepal Participatory Action Network (NEPAN) and a 2016/17 position as Academic Coordinator with SIT. She began partnering with Bihani Social Venture in 2016, leading various talks and workshops for Members and Ibasho elders. Haley facilitated the partnership between NEPAN’s Jorpati Older People Association and Bihani, envisioned the direction of the three-month long Tai-Chi program and secured the funding for the program from HelpAge International — https://nepan.weebly.com/blog/teach-me-tai-chi-program-9-months-in-review.
AAYUSHA THAPA, VOLUNTEER
“Along with working with Bihani, I am studying at the Ace Institute of Management to fulfill my aspiration of becoming an entrepreneur. Being from an academic background of BBA-BI, Bihani as a private company working to address a social problem is a perfect platform for me to be. Ageing is inevitable, but the problems that come along with ageing can be reduced or well managed with suitable support systems in place. Working with Bihani has provided me with a fantastic opportunity to better understand the social perception of ageing and the positive role support systems can play for senior citizens.”
NARAYAN AGASTI, VOLUNTEER
“I am currently undertaking my Bachelor of Social Work studying at the Kathmandu Model College. I have been actively involved as a volunteer through Volunteers Initiative Nepal (VIN). I am interested in traveling, meeting new people, photography and learning new things. I love working with senior citizens and I am most happy when I can bring a smile on people’s faces.”
SAGOL GHALE GURUNG, VOLUNTEER
“I decided to volunteer with Bihani because I wanted to create any level of impact in the lives of senior citizens. I enjoy listening to their life’s experiences and learn about their outlook to daily life. As a Chartered Accountant, I would have gotten the experience of working in a professional environment anywhere else but the experience I am gaining here is unique and new to Nepal.”
AARYA ADHIKARI, PAST TEAM MEMBER
“Ageing to me means living more fascinatingly than before. The way I am living today is completely different than the way I will live after a few years. I believe that if my years now are interesting then my future can be as interesting. I am Aarya, an individual exploring the dimensions of life and ageing according to me, is the most colourful one among them. Observing elders around me, I feel that responsibilities make life complex but it also provides everyone with a chance to create the life they want based on their experiences. I want to age gracefully and create a life of enjoyment. I am a media student who loves interacting and learning. My interactions with elders both at work and otherwise inspire me to learn more and create a life I want.”
Shashwat is a creative artist whose overall work experience has been in Human Resource, Street Promotions, Retail, Accountancy, Public Relations, Video Production, and Journalism. In 2011 he completed his M.A. in Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship from Goldsmiths, University of London. An entrepreneurial track brought along various ideas to represent different art forms on film with an objective to create a synergy between local art, culture, and global online social media. Beyond his entrepreneurial participation, Shashwat started a new journey in 2012 to strengthen his artistic skill and presence. Today, he is also a published poet, a professional photographer and an actor. He received a diploma in theatre and film acting from Barry John Acting Studio and was recently accepted at the prestigious Actors Studio Drama School in New York to pursue further training.
SONGYUE XU, VOLUNTEER
Originally from China, Songyue Xu graduated from New York University Abu Dhabi with a B.A degree of Social Research & Public Policy in the May of 2019. After Bihani, Songyue will move to Malawi to work on economic development consulting projects as a Princeton in Africa Fellow. Prior to Bihani, Songyue has had a diverse range of experiences in banking, consulting, consumer product, and entrepreneurship. Songyue is passionate about the social sector. She has helped with grant writing for Media Response, a Ghanaian NGO, and has designed national school engagement projects with Special Olympics Summer World Games 2019 to expose secondary school students in the UAE to the spirit of Special Olympics. She has also interned as an event coordinator with Operation Smile. This time at Bihani, Songyue was mainly responsible for developing an impact calculator model, which allows her to not only leverage her past experiences in the public sector but also utilize her academic knowledge in social research.
SUMAN RAI, PAST TEAM MEMBER
And here I am. Going through the patches and matches of life, through my experience at Bihani, I am trying to find myself rather than, just creating an idea of who I am. From a Literature and Journalism graduate to Social Entrepreneurship, Social Innovations and Ageing, life has expanded my horizon greatly towards every subtleties of the social and business world. In order to bring change, to the dogmas and certainties of ageing as a global issue in the world, a humanly concern has been aroused in me. Instead of enforcing changes of the uncertain future, living life to its fullest from moment to moment is what tickles me the most now. Connecting every dot and making a path towards infinity is an interesting phenomenon that drives the very process of ageing with dignity. Learning never ceases whatsoever happens. So never give up on life- there are definitely many interesting things waiting to happen, just breathe and experience- the time and surprises are awaiting. To every ‘New Day or Morning (Bihani)’!
SANDHYA MAHARJAN, PAST TEAM MEMBER
“Every day is a new beginning so try live it up as your last moment”
I am Sandhya Maharjan, National Wushu Player specialized in (Jianshu/Qianshu) and a graduate in Bachelor of Arts in Social Work. Apart from my specialized event, I used to practice Qi Gong and Tai Chi which later helped me to realize and see my life in a better way. My way of thinking and perspective for the elders has changed after working in Bihani. I believe freedom is a beautiful and wonderful aspect which allows you to be you. Hence, no matter what age or how aged we are this sense of feeling is necessary. I realized that in our different phases of life, to explore oneself and finding to be whom we are and being able to live up to our dreams are most essential aspects. Qi Gong and Tai Chi practice gave me the best way to feel and see oneself thoroughly and furthermore it gave me sense of aliveness and good bonding with the nature which I was seeking. Therefore, to first feel it and then deal with it is very important that I find in my life. My nature in life is let’s live and let other live for to see own aspects of life.
LUMANTI MANANDHAR, PAST TEAM MEMBER
Trying out new things in life is what gets me going. For that, I attempt to grab every opportunity that comes along my way. Academically, I pursued my Bachelors in Public Health whilst my passion lies in working with the community. Likewise, I am interested in outdoor activities and travelling. Much effort isn’t needed to show kindness and compassion to any living being around us. Also, I believe that no act of kindness no matter how small ever goes wasted. Bihani has given me the opportunity to explore myself beyond my comfort zone and groomed me in ways that has enabled me to strengthen my strengths, work on my shortcomings, look for opportunities and be prepared to tackle hurdles. Contributing towards bringing even small changes in people’s life while working in the field of ageing has changed my vision of life.