Guide Q&A with Mohit Rauniyar

Please briefly introduce yourself and what led you to the Resolution Project:

My name is Mohit Rauniyar from Kathmandu, Nepal. The easiest way to remember my name is to remember the drink – Mojito and omit the ‘O’ in the end. Voilà! I am currently running a non-profit called Canopy Nepal that is working in the field of education. I am passionate about education and enjoy working with children, teachers, and parents. Plus, I absolutely love speaking to people to hear their stories and their experiences. 

I had been following Resolution’s work for a while. I admired the work of some of the Fellows and Guides who were part of Resolution. I was not sure if I should apply to Resolution or not (internally worrying if I would get accepted). And then I met Suman, a former Resolution Fellow, who suggested I should just give it a try and that the team would love to have me.  In addition to this interaction, I was drawn towards Resolution’s impact and the communal feeling between the team and everyone involved.

Please briefly introduce your venture:

Canopy Nepal is an organization working to create educational accessibility for less privileged students and promote interactive learning in schools. So far, we have supported more than 180 scholars through our scholarship program and worked with more than 9,700 students through our interactive learning program. 

Where are you currently finding inspiration and joy?

Recently, we went to one of the most rural areas of Nepal and ran Katha Bunaun – our story writing program. Our team, the teachers, the village members, and even the students were completely surprised to see the change in these students because of our program. Students who had never written any imaginative piece before presented the most creative stories and performed in front of a mass audience.

The inspiration and joy that I find currently, and every day, is the work we are doing. The impact we are creating, the changes we are seeing in the students, and the difference we are making in society are certainly what get my team and me going. I am not necessarily talking about an impact on a huge group, even one individual’s life can be impacted. My team and I often talk about the smallest changes we see through our work – I believe that’s our source of inspiration and joy. 

What role do young leaders play in the world today?

I have a friend who started a climate initiative in France when she was 15. I remember first speaking to her about this and how she wanted to create a climate-conscious community. Instead of relying on ‘adults’ to act up and complain, she decided to start a climate initiative that has impacted thousands of people in the community. Not only that, she even came to Nepal and worked with students from different backgrounds.  

Young leaders are full of energy and optimism. A shift in young people’s mentality is slowly coming to the world, where instead of complaining, young people have decided to act on their beliefs. I believe young leaders play a big part in the world today – not only are today’s young leaders more passionate, but they are also initiating changes in their community that are making the world a better place. 

What is a common theme or area of focus that you spend time advising Fellows on?

Something my co-Guide Sara Dal Lago and I spend time advising the Fellows, Maame and Babet, on has to be budgeting. The pandemic and the recent rise in prices have made things difficult for everyone, and Impart Reading and the Fellows were heavily impacted as well. We often talk about smartly budgeting, trying to amplify their resources and reduce costs in certain areas. Sara is especially good with budgeting and her input on these topics gives the Fellows a great perspective. 

What excites you most about our Resolution Fellows?

Undoubtedly their passion! Maame and Babet are incredible! The change that Impart Reading has brought in the mentality of the schools and the community is impressive. Initially, the schools weren’t as open to the idea of trying to improve knowledge through reading. They won a big battle to get the schools to realize the importance of reading and hence incorporate their mini-library in the schools and the community. It’s the passion and mentality that got them through this! Maame and Babet are already great leaders, and I am excited to see their work in the coming days in  Ghana and beyond. 

How has being a Guide differed from/complemented your professional career/running your own venture? 

Working with Maame and Babet reminds me of all the ups and downs I faced while starting Canopy Nepal. I feel a lot of political and economic situations are similar in Nepal and Ghana. This makes it easier for me to share my experiences starting a nonprofit and sustaining it with Maame and Babet. I try to stress the mistakes I made or was about to make because it hopefully helps them avoid similar situations.

Witnessing how Maame and Babet handle difficult circumstances and overcome hurdles also gives me ideas to implement in my venture. 

What is one inspiration or learning that you have gained from your Fellow/their venture? 

Maame and Babet are incredibly passionate and full of energy. In our calls, we talk about a lot of positives and negatives going on with their venture. The way they have been handling their venture, growing, and overcoming obstacles is incredible. It is a great source of inspiration to see them overcome these hurdles. I often share their stories with my friends and students as an example of how young people can make an impact in their community through persistence.