Born and raised in the bustling capital city of Delhi,India, but originally hailing from Surkhet,
Nepal, I am Aanchal Dutt Chaulagain. Guided by the profound belief that "BE THE CHANGE
YOU WISH TO SEE IN THE WORLD," I have embarked on a remarkable journey of personal and societal transformation.
During my childhood, I witnessed a society that imposed restrictions on girls, denying them the
simple joys of playing cricket or football. Instead, they were expected to conform to gender stereotypes, mastering household chores at a tender age, as their primary goal was to secure a prosperous marriage. Nonetheless, my mother, who possessed immense intelligence and a
thirst for education, had her dreams cut short by an early marriage. Society dictated that education was exclusively a man's prerogative, as they were expected to be the breadwinners.
However, when I came into this world, my mother vowed to ensure that I would not experience the same limitations she faced. She encouraged me to pursue my passion for cricket, even when I stood as the only girl on the field. Unfortunately, due to societal constraints, I found it challenging to befriend girls who were forbidden from venturing outdoors.
Throughout my life, the resounding message of "Be the change you wish to see in the world."
echoed within me. Every day, I would stand before the mirror, repeating these words, as I
envisioned the woman I aspired to become—strong, independent, happy, brimming with love and kindness and exploring the world. However, as I revisited my hometown more frequently, I
gradually realized the pressing need to contribute to my society, to make a difference. After
completing my Masters, I made the decision to leave Delhi behind. Armed with two suitcases, I
packed 25 years of my life into them, embarking on a transformative journey that would alter my path forever.
Upon arrival, my life swiftly took a new trajectory, marked by relentless determination to fulfill my dreams. In the heart of the valley, I established a bakery and toiled day and night to bring it to
fruition. When the time came to expand and recruit a team, I set a unique condition: each member had to be a woman. By doing so, I aimed to challenge societal norms and showcase
that a woman can achieve anything if she believes in herself.
Within a short period, I welcomed several resilient women from the disadvantaged sections of Karnali, each with her own inspiring story. Their indomitable spirits touched my heart deeply, as their motivations ranged from
wanting to provide a quality education for their children to seeking financial independence.
My purpose was clear—to show society that women can achieve remarkable heights if they believe in themselves.
In my quest for change, I crossed paths with Maggie Doyne, the visionary founder of Kopila
Valley School—a place that envisions a world where every child feels safe, educated, and loved,
and women are empowered. My heart connected with the school's mission.
Sometimes I think fate wanted me to cross paths with Maggie Doyne, the visionary founder of
Kopila Valley School. This remarkable institution's vision revolves around ensuring every child feels safe, receives an education, and experiences love. Instantly connecting with Maggie, I found myself falling head over heels for Kopila during my very first visit. The children, the dedicated "didis" in the kitchen preparing lunch with boundless love, and the influential female teachers—all working towards a single goal: nurturing a sense of safety, education, and love in every child's life. In a matter of months, an invitation to join the Kopila team was extended to me, and I did not hesitate to respond with an enthusiastic "YES."
Working in my own country, my own hometown, to uplift the lives of children and women has filled me with immense joy and purpose. Every day, I wake up with a radiant smile, knowing that I am contributing to the change I wish to see in the world—a world where every child is safe, educated, and loved, and where women are educated, respected, and free to pursue their dreams.
With an exceptional team at Kopila, I am confident that we can turn this dream into a reality and
make the world a better place for all. Together, we will empower children to thrive and women to
embrace their potential, ensuring a brighter future for generations to come.