Atlas Corps celebrates its 15th anniversary! It is time to celebrate the achievements of our amazing network of over 1,100 leaders from 110 countries and share stories on the global impact of our Alumni, Fellows, and Scholars.

Today we speak with our Alumna Swarnima (Class 32, Nepal). After completing the Fellowship, Swarnima returned to Nepal and joined Swisscontact Nepal, an international nonprofit organization promoting inclusive economic, social, and ecological development to support developing and emerging economies.

Thank you, Swarnima, for promoting gender equality and supporting women and youths from marginalized groups in Nepal. We appreciate learning about your work and your personal and professional growth. We wish you the best with this impactful work!

Name: Swarnima Shrestha

Home Country: Nepal

Current Organization: Swisscontact Nepal

Role at current organization: Communications and Knowledge Management Specialist

Social Issues that you have worked with: Gender equality, Decent work and economic growth, Quality education.


Tell us about projects you have worked on?

As a Communications and Knowledge Management Specialist for Swisscontact, I lead the communications initiative for Nepal Vocational Qualifications Project, which focuses on providing better employment and earning opportunities for young people, especially women and youths from marginalized groups. It is a long-term bilateral project between the Government of Nepal and the Government of Switzerland. I create communications initiatives to reach out to young people across the country without missing those residing in the most remote part. My role provides me an opportunity to work together with young people as well as policymakers.

Apart from this, I am a +Social Good connector for United National Foundation, US, where my role is to advocate and create awareness about Sustainable Development Goals in my community through different activities.

Why is it important for you to work with youth development projects?

Through different roles and organizations, my primary focus area of work has always been youth empowerment and work towards gender equality. I really believe that young people if given proper opportunity can change the world.

How has Atlas Corps contributed to your professional and personal accomplishments?

I believe the year of the Fellowship has been one of the most remarkable years of my life. It provided me an opportunity to participate in programs and events and meet people who changed my perspective on a lot of things. It helped me grow personally, too. I feel like I have emerged as a more confident person.

What is your favorite Atlas Corps memory?

I got the opportunity to participate and speak at the UN Commission on the Status of Women and UN General Assembly due to the Fellowship, which was a dream come true for me. But my favorite memory would be coming to DC for Global Leadership Labs (as I was based in San Francisco Bay Area) and meeting all the fellows, attending sessions during the day, and exploring DC in the evenings.

Swarnima speaks at a panel discussion “Young Feminist: A Global Perspective” in San Francisco

What advice do you have for applicants and current Fellows?

It would be really up to you to make the most of the experience—a year flies by quickly, so it is important to plan what you want to accomplish in a year or a year and a half.

What message would you like to send to individuals who support Atlas Corps?

This is an amazing, life-altering opportunity for young people around the world, so please keep supporting and encouraging Atlas Corps.

On November 20, Atlas Corps celebrates 15 years of engaging social change leaders. Join us to honor our legacy of service with more than 1,100 leaders from 110 countries at the Atlas Corps 15-Year Anniversary Gala. We will convene friends of Atlas Corps from all sectors and regions of the world to reflect on 15 years of engaging social changemakers and inspire towards our future. Join to connect with our community, meet Fellows, and celebrate Atlas Corps!

 Photos from the personal archive of Swarnima Shrestha