“Empowerment comes when we break free from gender stereotypes and support others as equals. Together, we can make a difference.”

Prishtina is a 23-year-old Young Leader from Pulchowk, Lalitpur in Nepal. She has worked with Restless Development for over a year on our Youth Take the Lead project. a three-hub country exchange program funded by the Norwegian Agency for Exchange Corporation (NOREC) that aims to meaningfully engage young people in enhancing organizational programs on social entrepreneurship and gender inclusiveness. The hub nations are Zambia, Tanzania, and Nepal.

Growing Up, Prishtina had seen gender stereotypes that were still embedded in the community towards girls due to the disbelief and misconception which shaped the expectations, attitudes, and behaviours toward girls. A sad reality making life vulnerable and challenging for girls.

From a young age, Prishtina decided to focus her efforts on supporting young women in the community. She co-founded a mindset transformation campaign called ‘’Let’s Talk About Our Bodies’’. She has been able to reach several schools in Kathmandu. Equipping young women and girls with knowledge that enables them to make more informed decisions regarding their own sexual health and rights.

Young women have the right to make their own free and informed choices and must have control over their sexual and reproductive health and lives, free from coercion, violence, discrimination and abuse.’’

Prishtina joined Restless Development in 2021 as a volunteer and was trained in social entrepreneurship and gender inclusiveness. had the chance to network professionally with international volunteers from Zambia and Tanzania. The journey presented her with several chances and provided an opportunity to push herself beyond her comfort zone. 

I stepped outside of my comfort zone to host my first big event called National Dialogue on Gender Inclusiveness.

Despite taking many classes on public speaking, Prishtina a fear of speaking in front of a crowd where she was the focus of attention, doubts about your skills and was scared of being judged but, she overcame this fear

“After presiding over the National Dialogue, I felt delighted with myself and my confidence boosted up. If my teammate hadn’t given me their utmost support, this would not have been possible.’’

As the YTL Volunteer, Prishtina had to regularly interact with international volunteers. This experience grew her confidence with each new encounter and she has enjoyed working and building networks with international volunteers.

“I have come to understand that fear of judgment must not stand in the way of realizing our full potential. Therefore, in my opinion, we should always surround ourselves with individuals who bring out the best in us.”

To me, the most important part of the project is working with other young people from Tanzania and Zambia. This allowed me to experience new cultures, meet new people and grow as a person. As a young leader myself, I was able to strategize with fellow young people for a bold and coordinated response to the challenges young people are facing.

Now that the project is complete, Prishtina plans to continue to be an agent of change by advocating for development and equality in her community.

Supporting girls and young women is a collective effort, the future that I want is a future of equal opportunities and healthy, independent choices.