Team Nepal - Kanchan Amatya and Jenish Amatya
Team Nepal - Kanchan Amatya and Jenish Amatya
Team Nepal – Kanchan Amatya and Jenish Amatya

Facing competition from over 100 projects from all over the world, Nepalese youth leaders Kanchan Amatya and Jenish Amatya successfully made it to the Top 5 at the 2015 Special Olympics Impact Summit – Pitch Pit Challenge in California on July 26.

The brother and sister duo won over the celebrity panel that included Brooklyn Decker, Actress and Special Olympics Global Ambassador, Muhtar Kent, CEO of Coca-Cola company, Timothy Shriver, Chairman of Special Olympics, Dikembe Mutombo, NBA All Star, Vanessa L. Williams, Singer, and Special Athlete Legend Loretta Claiborne. Their heartfelt presentation also featured a short movie on the status of children and youth with Intellectual disabilities who were affected by the recent 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Nepal. The duo received a standing ovation and will be receiving grants for their proposed project in Nepal and secured a special partnership with Hollywood actress and supermodel Brooklyn Decker.

Standing ovation from the celebrity panel of judges
Standing ovation from the celebrity panel of judges
Kanchan and Jenish with Brooklyn Decker
Kanchan and Jenish with Brooklyn Decker

The team Nepal’s project aims to establish a Vocational Training Community Center for children and youth with Intellectual Disability, which will provide vocational therapy and job placement to youth above 16 years of age and an expanded day care space for children in Nepal.

“There is only a 5% quota for hiring people with disabilities in Nepal. With the proper support and training from our community center, I am sure youth with intellectual disabilities will also be able to fill this quota.” said Kanchan Amatya, currently a student of International Business and Finance at the University of Oklahoma.

“With this vocational training program, we will provide the youth with ID the necessary skills and resources to become financially engaged and active participants in their communities”, said Jenish Amatya. He added, “Only through social inclusion and engagement can the social stigma revolving around Intellectual Disability be abolished from our household”. Jenish, student of Economics and Computer Science at Wheaton College, Massachusetts, envisions an all-inclusive environment full of opportunities for children and youth with and without special needs.

Photo from Nepal Project Site
Photo from Nepal Project Site

Huge congratulations to Kanchan and Jenish for their inspiring action. The duo definitely seem unstoppable and as Timothy Shriver, Chairman of Special Olympics commented, “I hope you both go into politics to inspire your nation”, I really hope you both do.

PS. The Nepal team created quite a stir over on the Twittersphere!

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