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Taking Change Step by Step

Updated: Jan 3, 2023

Kick Off Meetings Completed in Kalayampur, Saptari, and Biratnagar, Morang

The first two kick-off meetings for the Cricket Changemakers were completed this week, in the Sabal Nepal field office in Kalayampur on the 27th December (१२ पुष २०७९, मंगलवार) for the Saptari group and in Hotel Swagatam in Biratnagar on the 30th December (१५ पुष २०७९, शुक्रवार) for the Morang group.

The kick-off meeting in Saptari was well attended, with staff from Sabal Nepal, girls from schools engaged in the Cricket for Equality project in Rajbiraj, girls and young women engaged in other work with Sabal Nepal around Kalayampur, cricket coaches from the Cricket for Equality programme and the Saptari Cricket Association, and Mayor Jay Chaudhary and Deputy Mayors Rita Chaudhary and Rudra Raam.

The meeting summarised the aims of the project, outlined the planned activities, timeline and budget, and served as an opportunity to "break the ice" between the different stakeholders in the project. We concluded with a mini workshop discussing our initial ideas for change and mapping the resources we already have that could help pus achieve that change. Coach Dhamendra Chaudhary from the Nepal Cricket Foundation provided us with the cricket metaphor for the day: while there are many changes we might want to make, and we may find this overwhelming, like with coaching we can take this process step by step to achieve change.

In Biratnagar we were joined by teachers and students from the five schools engaged in the Nepal Cricket Foundation's Cricket for Equality project, coaches and senior players involved in the Cricket for Equality programme including Nepal U19 player Sanu Rajbanshi, and representatives from across the Nepal Cricket Foundation including founder and director Abhishek Shrestha and gender lead Bina Jha.

As with the meeting in Kalayampur, we covered key information about the project, as well as describing what success would look like in Morang and what would be needed to achieve that success. A lively discussion facilitated by Bina ensured, where three key themes emerged:

  1. Engagement of the whole community and in particular parents would be vital

  2. Consideration should be made for intentional inclusion of those from often excluded groups, in particular those from low income families

  3. There were opportunities to use cricket in a range of ways including to promote awareness of key issues

Our cricket metaphor for the day came again from NCF coaches Rajkumar Pradhan and Sanu. They noted that the best batters like to face the best bowlers, and the best bowlers like to bowl at the best batters, and so we too should seek out challenge to allow us to grow and develop.

Following these meetings we will be formalising the recruitment of the Cricket Changemakers, with our first workshops on challenge selection, research ethics, and research methods starting in mid January 2023 (२०७९ माघ ).

Thank you to everyone who attended and contributed to the kick-off meetings - your support is truly appreciated - a particular thank you from me to my fellow research team members Nisha Shah and Mukesh Poudel for your hard work organising facilities and invitations!

Sara Begg

PhD student and Cricket Changemakers coordinator.

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