Prajesh Khanal is a youth social worker working in the sector of Environment and Child Rights, based in Jhapa, Nepal.
Prajesh has worked in different child-led and youth-led organizations in different designations. He is a child club graduate who started his journey in 2012 from a school child club. He represented around 30000 children of Damak Municipality in planning and execution processes as the President of Municipal Child Network and worked for Child Friendly Local Governance in Damak. He is currently serving as the Advisor of the network.
He founded the I Consume My Oxygen campaign and is working with the motto of a “Clean, Green, Peace and Safe Nepal”. Prajesh has been recognized as a Global Peace Ambassador by the Global Peace Chain and Glocal’s 20under20 of 2017 by Glocal Pvt. ltd.
He is currently leading an initiative of uniting the youths and youth organizations across South Asia; called SAARC Youth Council. He has been re-uniting youths from different South Asian Countries.
As GTH Alumni; Mr. Prajesh Khanal was invited in Teenspire to share his beautiful initiation and experience; which has definitely brought a big impact nationally and Internationally. Hence, you can read his powerful conversation below;
When did you realise that you should work for the children?
Since my childhood; I used to engage with a child club. Actually, The community leaders inspired me to have a positive thinking in terms of everything; whatever I do in my life. Then; I realised my potential after engaging in the club and realised that my efforts can have a positive outcome. So this is something that pushed me to encourage more children to be potent in everything they do.
Later, as the president of a Municipal Child network. I advocated and represented 30,000 children in Damak Municipality in my tenure. So this initial network is something that has inspired me in my every journey. Now, I am serving as the Advisor of the network.
What were the difficulties that you experienced in your journey?
At the initial phase, It was really difficult for me to start my journey. A lot of people in society tend to be against it, they think something initiated by a child is not appreciated enough and oftentimes not supported at all. But the mayor/deputy mayor of the municipality were very supportive towards my vision.
Going to the grassroot level was very difficult and was hard to make people believe first. I believe it is mainly because of our lack of experience. Thankfully, in the latter stage we were able to overcome this challenge and break the stereotype by considering all the flaws we had to work on.
What motivated you to become an environmental activist?
As I was involved in an environmental club in a school, I started realising that the children should take-up projects, initiate and conduct there. Thus, I planned to take a big step by initiating a project related to the environment. With the support of the child club; child participants increased rapidly for the action. Then, I focused on working for the environment. I continued this by not only being involved in the child club, but a separate environmental activism as well.
As you have started working for the South Asian region as well, what is the motive of the program and what encouraged you to go global?
Since, I saw how activism by children can impact society beautifully. I started seeing my projects in the global arena, not just local. I started picturing what impacts I could make nationally or globally. I made quite a few networks with international youth organisations, I saw how active youths there were in this issue and that is the first thing to encourage me.
We are currently working on forming a proper structure for this project. As our team from all over the SAARC countries have considerable experiences, we have been working and guiding other youths, advocating them and networking with them. We are more focused on making policies especially by engaging with youths.
How can a teenager turn their ideas into an action?
Firstly, having a proper network is the most important thing. If any youth or teenagers plans on doing something big, you need to work on it by breaking it into small parts.
Secondly, assembling those broken parts and connecting them together by communicating with like-minded people, taking ideas from them and making a network on top of that is one of the ways in turning your idea into a project.
The Sixth episode of the “Teenspire” Live Session was conducted by Glocal Pvt. Ltd and was live-streamed by the Glocal Teen Hero Facebook page. Mr. Ajay Pandey (IT Manager of Glocal Pvt. Ltd) was the host of the session.