shebelieves ambassador spotlight - she's the first
SHe's the first
Full Name & Organization:
Sirjana Singh, She's the First
Tell us about your organization. How is it changing lives – and why is it important?
She's the First is a non-profit organization that works for the rights of girls around the world. She’s the First teams up with grassroots organizations to make sure girls everywhere are educated, respected, and heard.
This organization is important to me because they taught me how to build myself up and how to motivate and encourage other girls through my experiences. For example, most girls in my community in Nepal are unable to show their talents because they are not given equal opportunities in society. It’s very difficult for girls to get into sports because most people associate sports with masculine traits; tough, competitive, etc. People think that girls are meant to look after their house and their siblings, not play sports. Today, I’m on the Nepali national soccer team, and I run a soccer program for girls in my home community.
What is your role and how does it support your organization’s mission?
I support the organization’s mission by telling them about the situation of girls in my nation and also suggesting how we can solve the problem faced by the girls and women of my nation. As a Youth Ambassador, it is my responsibility to help achieve the organization’s mission and influence its connection to the community. I influence the organization’s connection to the community by posting videos on social media since that is the trend of the generation. I participate in discussions about girls’ problems and possible solutions.
Tell us about your background. What was your path and what drew you to work in your current role or field?
I was born in a rural area of Nepal where girls and women are treated as second-class citizens. I was the first daughter, and three sisters came after me. My dad was cruel to my mom because there were no sons. I was already old enough to notice the sadness and worry in my mother’s eyes every time she found out that she was carrying another girl. My dad left us for three years. Debt collectors came early each morning for the money. I was very disturbed, and instead of thinking of education, I thought of working and earning money in any way I could to settle the debt. My mother's health deteriorated. I hardly saw her smile. I began to work as a cook at a bus station to try and ease her pain. While trying for a son, our family had plummeted deeper into poverty, debt, and depression. I promised my mother through her tears that I would be just as good as the son that she and my father so desperately wanted. My mom is the most important person in my life, and she's the motivation for everything that I do.
I was an opportunity seeker. I wanted to prove to society that girls are equally important and stronger than boys. I got the opportunity to study at Kopila Valley School, a partner organization of She’s the First, where both the girls and boys are treated equally and given equal opportunities. Because of this opportunity, I learned dance, soccer, and leadership.
With my classmates, I organized a She’s the First 5K on International Women’s Day to raise awareness in my community about gender inequality. Because of this project, my classmate and I were chosen to be honored by She’s the First at their fundraising event in New York City. We spent more than two weeks with the organization and learned so much.
I became more powerful and stronger after I worked with them. I got many opportunities to explore myself. I am a girl who always dreams big and to achieve that dream, I’m ready to fight for society and my family. My dream was to become an international soccer player. Because of my hard work, dedication, and support of many people, including She’s the First, I succeeded in one dream: I’m now on the Nepali national soccer team!
What do you love about your organization?
What I love about She’s the First is the way they support girls around the world. The one thing that I most love about the organization is the connection of feelings. They feel all the girl’s problems as their own problem and always come forward to help no matter what. Not only me but all the girls involved are motivated to support and work with the organization and ready to help them.
What advice would you give to women?
Believe in yourself. Be confident with yourself and with your work. If you want to achieve anything in your life, don't compare yourself with other people and do not care what other people think about you. Always be positive and loyal to your work. If you believe in yourself, no one will stop you from achieving your goal.
Who or what inspires you?
The most important person in my life is my mom. I learned to be stronger and more positive, no matter what situation came into our life from my mom.
How can people learn more or get involved in your organization?
There are lots of opportunities for girls to get involved in She's the First! Go to shesthefirst.org/for-girls to learn more.