Sushila sits on a bench outside the International Center. She smiles as she speaks with a colleague, whose back it to the camera.
Sushila Thing (2022, Nepal) specializes in forestry, gender, social inclusion, climate and disaster resilience. (TK Ushing/UC Davis)

Meet Sushila Thing, 2022-23 Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow

Sushila Thing

What motivates you?

About Sushila Thing

Pronouns: she/her

Country: Nepal

Occupation: Non Governmental Organization (NGO) worker

Field: Climate change, disaster and gender equality

Learn more about Sushila

Working in different organizations, I got opportunities to visit and interact with the people of more than 50 districts out of 77 total districts of Nepal. I saw people’s lives and the environment around them. I found local communities are the first victim of climate change and disaster impacts, but at the same time, they are the best agent of sustainable solutions to that problem. My belief that community is an open library to learn and share knowledge always encourages me to go the extra mile. 

With this difficulty of climate change and disaster impacts, gender disparity between males and females is deeply en-rooted that further threatening the societal development in Nepal. It is critically urgent to raise awareness on gender equality and justice that only can establish the sustainable development goal of the society. These are the main motivating factors for me to work and study gender equality, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction with a participatory approach.  

What drew you to your professional field?

My personal interest is to work with local people, an attempt to understand their problems as my own problems, and most importantly I love to learn and work about the current issues and challenges people are facing such as climate change and disaster impacts. These are the driving factors that drew me toward my current professional field.

Why did you apply for the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program?

For me, the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship is the best and very prestigious fellowship worldwide. I always kept updated about the fellowship. I liked the program on leadership and professional development. Most importantly, I liked the program of community engagement and volunteering. Fellowship provides a golden opportunity to expose and share experiences among an international cohort.

What do you hope to take away from this fellowship and apply to your work or at home?

As my study themes emphasize gender equality, climate change and disaster impacts, I will focus more on developing the knowledge and skill technically sound on policy, planning, monitoring and evaluation, and project development on the themes. International experience and learning definitely share and apply in Nepal’s gender equality, climate change and disaster projects. Mainstreaming and integrating gender equality in climate change and disaster programs, planning and doing research nationally or internationally is one of my major goals of the fellowship. I will network among international experts during my fellowship program.

What is something from your country that you would like to share with the UC Davis community?

I like to share the unique and diverse culture of Nepal, conservation practices, community-based adaptation, mitigation and disaster risk reduction measures of Nepal including gender equality. 

How would you like to engage with UC Davis and the community here?

According to my plan, I have set goals to get the best achievements within the ten months at UC Davis and within the community. With the collaboration and close coordination with the UC Davis team and community, I will take part in the events, conferences, workshops and classes on climate change, gender equality and disaster risk management. I want to volunteer to the community of UC Davis and learn from them and share my experience on climate change adaptation and disaster risk management, particularly through the participatory approach and gender perspective.