TRIPLE A AWARDEE 2020
Radha Paudel is recognized as a champion of human rights, particularly in the areas of gender, peace, and justice. With nine honors to her name in these fields, and with 17 publications on their thematic areas, one of which won Nepal’s top literary prize in 2014, and the subject of a 75-page study on peace advocacies by the University of San Diego, Ms. Paudel nonetheless decided to use her various skills and talents in the development and upliftment of her homeland.
The road Ms. Paudel has taken is different from other alumni – instead of pursuing professional, managerial excellence, she has elected to dedicate everything to her vision of solving problems in her native Nepal, using her newfound MDM knowledge and skills to address the dynamics and complexities of development, reorganizing communities to promote positive change, dealing with the grassroots problems of marginalization caused by tradition, and mobilizing human resources to complement international support. A nurse by trade before she graduated as part of class MDM 2010, Ms. Paudel established an NGO upon her return to her country, Action Works Nepal, to address basic education, health, sanitation, human rights, gender, and conflict resolution. The success of this endeavor encouraged her to establish the Radha Paudel Foundation in 2015 to spread peace advocacies all over the country. These efforts have led to her being recognized by the UNDP Regional Office and the Institute of Peace and Justice of the University of San Diego as a key player in harnessing common good to promote peace in one of South Asia’s most conflict-prone and economically disadvantaged countries. Ms. Paudel is also involved in global women’s rights movements; she recently founded the Global South Coalition for Dignified Menstruation which is due to have an Asian conference this 2020.
Nepal not only has one of the highest poverty rates in South Asia, but is also conflict-stricken due to earthquakes, smuggling, illegal trade routes, and a lack of infrastructure and electricity owing to its mountainous terrain. Without any major players that Ms. Paudel could count on for support, she instead advocated for everyone to do what they could for the common good. Using herself as an example, communities rallied around her cause, and began to accept that new points of view needed to be considered and acted upon. This radical wave has led to over 200 volunteers all over Nepal stirring communities to create positive change for themselves. Through it all, Ms. Paudel never wavered in her conviction that societal progress can grow in the midst of conflict by seeding positive actions.
The belief that good can continue to grow in spite of any challenge presented it, and the fruits of her efforts in turning around the roots of conflict and marginalization show that Ms. Radha Paudel is a paragon of a servant-leader.