What a year it has been. Term 2019-20 has been a year that transformed us. From a fledgling that Nepal was in District 41 aspiring to be noticed, we have come into our own. Covid-19 pandemic lockdown did make us recalibrate our goals by a bit. However, what we have achieved collectively has been nothing less than phenomenal.
15 new clubs added in Division A so far, without any loss, have outperformed others by a mile. All 18 base clubs are Distinguished and above. A total of 20 clubs are Distinguished and above (P12-S4-D4). All 6 Areas are President’s Distinguished Areas and to top it with President’s Distinguished Division has been an enjoyable experience.
We had come very close to achieving a District contest crown in previous years. It had been our Achilles’ heel since Nepal joined District 41. This year we brought home three crowns: Table Topics (Asira Khanal), Evaluation (Priya Chapagain), and International Speech Contest (Alfa M Shakya). A dream run for Division A for sure. We are stoked for Alfa representing District 41 at the Regionals and hope she goes beyond and makes it a salivating prospect of contesting in the Finals.
Strategic planning right at the beginning of the term has been the key to our success. Convincing the President of Toastmasters International Deepak Menon, DTM to attend Citation 2019 Conference in person in Kathmandu will remain a coveted milestone. His presence and humble demeanor have inspired an entire generation of Toastmasters in Nepal. His electric networking during the corporate meet event impressed and connected us to many prospective clubs.
Member engagement was another key to success: both Toastmasters Leadership Institute programs, conferences Citation 2019 and ReCitation 2020, the regular TV show ‘Leadership through Communication’ with Business Plus TV, WhatsApp groups, Facebook page ‘Toastmasters in Nepal’, website toastmastersnepal.org and quarterly Division A newsletter ‘Inkspire’. All these activities have been blockbusters keeping our member connections alive as they participated in droves.
Even during the hurtful Covid19 Pandemic lockdown period, we took the opportunity to connect globally and conduct virtual meetings and workshops. The highlight was the presence of TI President-Elect Richard E Peck, DTM at Area A6 joint meeting led by Tourism Toastmasters. I had the pleasure to moderate 1995 World Public Speaking Champion Mark Brown’s virtual workshop that was attended by 839 members and guests – a landmark that every Toastmaster in Nepal proudly shares.
The icing on the cake has been the election of a member from Division A, Ranjit Acharya DTM, to become PQD Elect at District 41 for the term 2020-21 and selection of yours truly as the District Parliamentarian. For a year that transformed us, it has been the team effort of all leaders and members involved directly or indirectly. Next term Nepal will split into 3 Divisions A, N, and O in its quest to grow, to provide transformative learning to old and new members, and to replicate the success. The spirit of Team Nepal lives on.
Suman Shakya, DTM
Division A Director