Meet Minket Lepcha – GFF Representative Nepal

I am a storyteller and a facilitator from Darjeeling, India who has been conducting interactive experiential sessions through storytelling across India, Nepal and Bangladesh.

I represented the River Teesta to create a dialogue for Rivers at the Indian International Centre in 2019. I participated and facilitated in forums like Women and Water Consultation Program in Assam, story therapy sessions with Riverine Communities affected by flood through in Assam. I also represented the River Teesta at the International Conference on Women with River’s Congress in Nepal. Being one of the mentors from upstream river communities to engage with youths in River Camp held in Bangladesh was prestigious moment for me.

I received the Young Green Filmmaker award in 2016 at the Woodpecker International Film Festival for a film that I had directed called ‘Voices of Teesta’. This film also earned 10th position amongst 110 films in the World Water Forum in Brazil 2018. Attendance at workshops like Narrative Therapy, Virtual Storytelling and Community Radio have enriched my experience towards a holistic approach for human development. The documented stories and folklore from Sikkim (Eastern Himalayas) have been highlighted in papers at Heidelberg University, Germany.

I have also worked with the Children Art Society based in Udaipur, India where I lived in the children’s community for 28 days and sensitized social issues hovering around the society by playing games with the children. I have been able to reach out to women and children through stories. I have recently spoken in International virtual platforms including the World Water Law Forum, Bangladesh Youth Network and Café Twins Storytelling sessions.

Glenn Family Foundation has been a huge support for me to connect with the children and women of Nepal. During COVID-19, I have managed to conduct online sessions for teenagers and small children of Nepal and India, encouraging a safe space. The storytelling sessions with small children run every weekend and I have managed to engage with children from Nepal and India productively. As a volunteer of GFF Helps Nepal, I have got an opportunity to connect with women of remote villages and learnt about women issues deeply. This opportunity has helped me understand poverty at a very deeper level which will help me engage with the marginalized section of the society. I have also got to understand migration constructively as our partner organization Child Development Society works in the brick industry.

Our Nepal partner organisation Child Development Society (CDS) has been working to ensure the rights of children, protection, promotion, development and child labour elimination. For this, CDS has been frequently organizing workshops, training and consultation meetings to create awareness and empower the community. CDS has also been at the forefront of sensitizing the authority and concerned stakeholders to address the issues of their target population. CDS with its very energetic team has become successful to show its relentless efforts in supporting needy groups, primarily under privileged children and their families.

The perspective of social mobility and affecting our society gives a new dimension to my understanding of social causes. In these times of crisis and living alone in Nepal, GFF Helps has helped me understand how to deal with crisis and a space to learn about myself and my capacity to work. In the midst of lockdowns, connecting with GFF volunteers from South Asia has given me hope that we can do anything if the intention is right.

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Joe FisherMeet Minket Lepcha – GFF Representative Nepal