In June 2019, the participants of the “New Generation” program visited Russia to attend the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). They took part in the first-ever “Friends for Leadership” event and met with prominent experts and state officials present at the forum. Bhushan Dahal from Nepal was one of the members of that delegation. One year later, he recalls his memories about the trip and shares how valuable it proved to be.
“It was one of the greatest events I took part in,” Bhushan admits, recalling his last year’s trip to Russia. According to him, the participation in the “New Generation” program was very useful in terms of making new connections and receiving new skills and knowledge. “It was really informative and productive for me and the way it was managed was fantastic.”
At SPIEF, he especially enjoyed the opportunity to meet new people, both during formal discussions and informal networking sessions. “The experience of being surrounded by some of the most powerful people in the world was exceptional,” he notes. “Dining out on a cruise ship where we could socialize with colleagues was amazing as well.”
Apart from the formal program, the delegates also had time to do a bit of sightseeing. Bhushan recalls that the tour to the Hermitage was impressive but he wished they had more time to understand the local lifestyle. “We visited a bunch of bars and a few restaurants, tried local food, but I’d definitely love to see more of the city. It was incredibly beautiful during the ‘white nights’,” he says.
During the past year, Bhushan has been running his “Kids of Kathmandu” project which he presented during the “Friends for Leadership” event in St. Petersburg. Focusing on providing better education for the children of Nepal, Bhushan and his team built five new schools over the year, thus changing lives for 4,000 students. “Our key objective is to reduce the educational gap between rural and urban parts of our country. We do our best to support schools with things like computer labs, water purification systems, furniture. In some countries, well-equipped schools are commonplace, but for children in remote parts of Nepal it’s a dream,” he explains. “We also do a number of scholarship projects to help children who cannot afford higher education.”
As for the coronavirus pandemic, Bhushan says that it has significantly affected Nepal which has a rather small economy: “There has even been a discussion in Nepal that if we survive the pandemic then we’ll have hunger and the economic crisis. But, on the other hand, we have faced crisis so many times in the past years and we have always got over it. I really hope that we can get over this pandemic as well.”
Even though international travel is still under question, the graduate of the “New Generation” program hopes to visit Russia again some day. Not only for a chance to see more of the country and its culture, but may be for a similar professional event. “The contacts that I got as a result of the trip to St. Petersburg have transformed into ongoing international collaboration, so I would love to be part of it again, to expand my network and learn from the best practices from all around the world. I cannot thank Roscongress and the ‘New Generation’ enough for the opportunity,” he concludes.