We are excited to announce our Alumni Changemaker Award Honoree! The award recognizes Atlas Corps Alumni that have demonstrated the capacity to affect meaningful change on a global scale and who has a record of accomplishment as well as the prospect of continuing impact.
Congratulations to Atlas Corps Alumna Medha (Class 16, Nepal, Host: Nike Foundation), who is recognized as an Atlas Corps Alumni Changemaker Honoree in 2020! Medha has led international efforts to improve the lives of women, girls, and youth in Nepal. From her advocacy efforts at the United Nations to her leadership as the President and Founder of Visible Impact, Medha has been a role model and advocate for young women.
Thank you Medha for improving the lives of your community in Nepal and beyond! You make Atlas Corps proud. Read more about Medha and her organization’s public education efforts and distribution of vital health resources during the pandemic, and listen to Medha’s remarks at the Annual Atlas Corps Gala on December 16, 2020!
Name: Medha Sharma
Home Country: Nepal
Current Organization: Visible Impact
Role at current organization: President
Social Issues that you have worked with: Good health and well-being, Quality education, Gender equality
Tell us about your current project?
I founded Visible Impact, a young-women-led organization that aims to create visible impact on the lives of women, girls, and youth through beneficiary partnered innovation. As the President, I lead the institutionalization, strategic planning, expansion and networking related activities of the organization.
How has Atlas Corps contributed to your professional accomplishments?
My Atlas Corps experience exposed me to Girls Centered Programming that my Host Organization, Nike Foundation, was implementing at various parts of the globe. I realized that I could translate these into programming in my country. Hence, my organization Visible Impact was born, and Nike Foundation provided the very first fund to my organization.
The Global Leadership Lab lessons also built my professional skills and helped me curate several leadership lenses that I am currently exercising in my daily work.
What are 3 major highlights of your professional journey since you have finished the Fellowship?
I have advocated for meaningful inclusion of diverse youth voices at several international forums such as ICPD+25 Nairobi Summit in 2019, 52nd session of UN’s Commission on Population and Development in New York in 2019, Nepal’s 6th periodic review of UN’s Convention on Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women in Geneva in 2018, UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in New York in 2017 etc. I have delivered interventions at formal UN sessions and lobbied with UN committee members, Governments, UN Special Rapporteurs etc. for stronger youth policies.
I am engaged with the regional and national processes of international forums, such as APFSD, RHRN, APCRSHR, Women Deliver, South Asian Youth Conference, etc. We presented National Youth Recommendations to the Government of Nepal who then strongly committed to invest more in youth during ICPD+25 Nairobi Summit. Also, I submitted an issue brief to UNCEDAW Committee members in Geneva, and based on that, the regulation for Safe Motherhood and Reproductive Health and Rights Act has now been formulated in Nepal. I also represent Nepal’s national network for SDG. Recognizing my contribution to young people’s SRHR, I have been appointed as Youth Focal Point for FP2020 by the Government of Nepal.
Recently, I shared an imminent panel with UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem during her visit in Nepal, and earlier, moderated the discussion between UNCEDAW committee and Nepal’s CSOs. I have also shared my experiences on youth leadership at various international forums as resource person, speaker, moderator, etc.
How has Atlas Corps contributed to your personal accomplishments?
The Fellowship exposed me to diverse people and cultures from around the globe that prepared me to better understand the diversities and human values that are so key even in the professional arena these days. Staying away from home for a year, with culture shock and reverse cultural shock experiences, made me more responsible for my work and sought the importance of self-care.
Besides, I improved my public speaking, interpersonal, human values, and leadership skills at the professional and personal level after the Fellowship.
What is your favorite Atlas Corps memory?
The visit to the White House and being able to see the Oval Office with my own eyes is my favorite memory. This is not directly linked to the Fellowship but is an opportunity I could not have received without the Fellowship.
What advice do you have for applicants and/or current Fellows?
Atlas Corps is a very valuable platform that has so much to offer. How much you will make out of the Fellowship depends on how much effort you are able to put in and push yourself out of your comfort zone. The more participatory, interactive, and active you are during the Fellowship, the more valuable lessons you will be able to bring back home.
Be part of our end of year campaign to support our community of 850 social change leaders from 99 countries! By supporting Atlas Corps, you empower our global community that innovates at the forefront of the world’s most pressing issues. Join the Atlas Corps community as we renew our commitment to global impact by creating new opportunities for a generation of skilled, well-networked, and trained social change leaders!