Juhee Vajaracharya Suwal
Born and raised in Kathmandu, Nepal, Juhee came to Canada in 1994 as a graduate student. After completing her Masters, PhD, and Post-Doctoral programs in demography (population studies) from the University of Alberta, she started to work as a researcher at the same university. Currently, she is working as the manager of survey unit in the Cancer Surveillance department of Population and Public Health, Alberta Health Services.
Prior to coming to Canada, Juhee was a lecturer for 12 years at the Padma Kanya Campus (a girls’ college where girls from around the country admit for higher education) of Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu. Apart from her university teaching, Juhee had taught various subjects in both private and government schools in Kathmandu and in remote areas of Nepal as well.Most of Juhee’s research and publications are on Nepal. Acquiring higher education in Nepal and Canada for herself does not eliminate her memory of those girls who were unable to join schools or those who could not continue education because of financial or familial reasons. Even in the capital city Kathmandu, some of her community friends never had chance to join a school. This experience remained a painful scar in her mind, which converted into a strong determination to help unprivileged children in Nepal, especially girls. Discovering NCEP and meeting its members including Raju and Luke in Edmonton, and contributing to NCEP for its worthwhile cause have been some of the most meaningful and satisfactory moments and activities of her life in Canada.
Juhee has been involved in a number of local non-profit organizations in Nepal, mostly in women’s organizations. She continues to serve these organizations as a consultant and mentor. She had also written and published two short story books in Nepal while living in Canada for charity purposes. Written in her mother tongue Newar language, most of these stories were based on her childhood memories of the hardships of children and women in Kathmandu. All the money from the books sale goes to the “seniors’ home building” project of the women’s organization called Nepal Bhasha Misa Khala. Among her other activities, in the late 1970s and 1980s she had represented Nepal in international championships as a table tennis player and as sports team manager. Besides her research on Nepal and socio-cultural knowledge, Juhee brings her experiences of extensive travel within Nepal, involvement in various activities in non-profit organizations including sports organizations, social development of girls and women, preservation of various cultures and languages of Nepal, and proficiency in at least four languages of Nepal in fulfilling the mission and continuity of NCEP.