The BlinkNow Foundation announced that Sunita Bhandari, their Sustainability Program Coordinator, has been named a recipient of the 2023 EE 30 Under 30 award, a prestigious program of the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) that recognizes outstanding young leaders across the globe in environmental education.
Why was Bhandari recognized by NAAEE’s program?
As head of the BlinkNow/Kopila Valley Sustainability program in Surkhet, Bhandari cooperates with teachers and students to integrate Education for Sustainability (EfS) into class activities and place-based learning, advises on the best use of the eco-friendly green school campus for Kopila Valley School, and helps families create more sustainable lives with proper waste management activities, hygiene training, and courses in regenerative agriculture practices.
Additionally, Bhandari is passionate about training new generations who will take leadership roles in conservation and sustainability. She has initiated several nature and sustainability clubs at the Kopila Valley School and consults with students about conservation projects.
Sunita Bhandari holds a Master’s Degree in Environmental Science from CDES (Central Department of Environmental Science), Tribhuvan University, with research on air pollution.
Prior to the BlinkNow Foundation, Bhandari was a general member at YUWA (a youth led organization), Secretary at Youth for Environment Solution (YES) student’s club, a City Environment Volunteer under Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC), and a Clean Air Ambassador under Clean Energy Nepal (CEN). She also currently collaborates with the local SUSWA (Sustainable Wash for All) group to expand healthy hygiene practices in Karnali.
What does this mean for BlinkNow?
Commenting on Sunita, Tek Adhikari, Kopila Valley Programs Manager, said, “Sunita Bhandari embodies our organizational values of sustainability, gender equality, and economic empowerment. She also embodies the heart of this prize by working on change at societal level as well as with individuals who wish to grow their positive environmental impact.”
Sunita says, “This award has made me realize the immense value of localized initiatives in environmental education. With this recognition, I am more motivated to contribute to this field and amplify initiatives for sustainable and regenerative systems. I look forward to learning from diverse perspectives and experiences of this community of environmental leaders from around the world, and to implementing the learning in our localized context.”
Bhandari is sparking transformation and environmental action in the rural Karnali region and is a model of sustainable living and climate justice to Kopila students, staff, and the community.