Nepal ko Yuwa (NKY), a global Nepali youth movement, in collaboration with Grassroot Movement in Nepal (GMIN) organized “Walk for Nepal” (WfN) on December 8 in Flushing, New York. Despite the cold day, some 150 people marched in high spirits with a Nepali flag and the WfN Banner at the Flushing Meadow Corona Park. Nepalis and friends of Nepal from all ages and walks of life embraced the movement whole-heartedly singing and dancing to the songs that evoked memories and love for their homeland.
WfN aims to mobilize Nepali diaspora to raise awareness about issues in Nepal, generate goodwill, and channel meaningful contributions to Nepali charities. The WfN movement started in Boston in 2011. This is the first time WfN was organized in New York. Shailesh Gongal, a Co-Founder of the WfN movement addressed the crowd, “I have hope because the new generation of Nepali youth all over the world show a tremendous potential in their awareness of issues, their critical thinking and their genuine desire to give back to Nepal.”
Seven Nepali charities participated in the walk and raised more than $10,000 for their causes. Ama Foundation, Community Members Interested (COMMITED), Empower Dalit Women of Nepal (EDWON), Empower 1, Grassroot Movement in Nepal (GMIN), Help Nepal Network (HeNN), and Nepalese Children Education Fund (NCEF) raised funds for their social causes. Twenty percent of the funds raised by the partner charities will be allocated to WfN Youth Innovation Fund to award competitive grants to Nepal-based social projects.
After the walk, NYC based Nepali folk singer Rajesh Thapa and Nepali community organizer Narbada Chhetri entertained the crowd with Nepali folk songs. Sonam Ukyab, in his closing remarks, summed up the sentiments of the walkers, ‘We organized this walk to inspire Nepalis worldwide to come together in solidarity to work for the common good of giving back to Nepal. Even on a frigid December day, we got 150 people to come out and walk for this noble cause.” NKY has organized WfN in Boston and Dallas earlier this year and after NYC, has raised a total of about $35,000 from three cities. NKY and Association of Youth Organizations Nepal (AYON) are currently screening projects for the WfN Youth Innovation Fund from 30 applications received. The top ten finalists will be listed for global online voting and evaluated by a jury. The WfN Youth Innovation Fund will be distributed among three winners.
NKY and GMIN teams would like to thank all the participating charities, walkers, individual champions and corporate sponsors for their support during WfN in NY. The WfN 2013 campaign will be launched from Washington DC in April 2013 around Nepali New Years Day.
For more information, please visit: walkfornepal.org