The Garden of Hope Foundation under the banner of the Asian Girls Campaign organized the Asian Girls Award 2018 from October 8, 2018 to October 13, 2018 at Taipai, Taiwan. Ms. Ashma Aryal had been selected as an Asian Girls Ambassador 2018 and also been nominated for the Asian Girls Award 2018 based on the recommendation of Jagriti Child and Youth Concern Nepal (JCYCN). Mr. Tilottam Paudel, President of JCYCN, had accompanied Ms. Aryal for the event.

Asian Girls Campaign is an Asian trans-national campaign in order to raise awareness about girls’ rights in Asia. More than 600 organizations from 24 Asian countries have joined the campaign. JCYCN has been its part since 2012. The Garden of Hope Foundation is the leading women NGO for over 30 years in Taiwan and ranks #16 among top 500 NGOs worldwide.

There were various programs which had been organized to allow the nominees of the awards to show their skills and talents. On 8th – 9th October 2018, Asian NGOs International Development Conference 2018 was organized by Taiwan Alliance in International Development (Taiwan AID) and Taiwan-Asian Exchange Foundation in collaboration with Department of Geography, National Taiwan University at GIS NTU Convention Center, Taipei City, Taiwan. The theme for the conference was “Transforming SGDs into Action: Leadership, Engagement and Innovation”. Ms. Ashma Aryal partook in this conference with Mr. Tilottam Paudel and expressed her views on south-south cooperation, youth empowerment and corporate engagement to the delegates present.

A presentation program was also held in Yilan University in the following days, where the nominees for the award were asked to share their experiences with the Taiwanese girls. Ms. Aryal along with the other Asian Girl Ambassadors were assessed through out the duration of the event on various parameters. Ms. Aryal had the opportunity to have an interaction meeting with the mayor of new Taipei city Mr. Chi Zoe where she shared with him about the condition of girls in Nepal. She also explained how Child Friendly Local Governance (CFLG) was declared in her municipality. She also went on to describe about the girls’ empowerment project which is being conducted in Devchuli municipality by JCYCN and //KANALLAN and how it had helped to provide opportunities to young girls in the municipality.

Out of multiple applications forms across Asia, four candidates were shortlisted. These four candidates who were selected as the Asian Girl Ambassadors and also nominated for the Asian Girls Award were Ms. Ashma Aryal from Nepal, Ms. Myanganbayar Enkhtur from Mongolia, Ms. Dinh Thi Dung from Vietnam and Ms. Anais Szu-Yin Fang from Taiwan.

Ashma Aryal; currently 17 years old is from Nawalparasi and started her participation in child clubs from Vrikuti Child Club when she was 11 years old. She is currently the vice-president of Devchuli Municipality Child Club Network. She is also the Secretary of Nawalparasi Child Club, Child coordinator for Girls self-defense training, member of Jagriti Child Club and also a general member of JCYCN.

On 13th October 2018, the formal award ceremony was conducted in the presence of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of, Republic of China (Taiwan), government and non-government organization representatives, media persons. Ms. Ashma Aryal was awarded the Asian Girls Human Rights Award 2018. While Ms. Anais Szu-Yin Fang was awarded the Community Development award. Ms. Aryal said “I’m very fortunate to have won the award and it will allow me to use my own story and experiences as an example to show that, when proper encouragement and opportunities are provided, even a young girl from an ordinary village can raise up to the challenge and can become what she aspires to be.”

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