A dream comes true in Ohrid: Meeting our 1st awardee!


Dr. Konstantinos Roditis, Prof. Erik Holst Fund Chair (left) meets and congratulates Mr. Surendra Sapkota, the Fund’s 1st awarded medical student from Nepal (right). (photo courtesy of Dr. Fehim Esen from Istanbul, Turkey)

Exactly 4 years ago, the IFMSA Alumni who founded the Prof. Erik Holst Fund in Copenhagen had a dream: to establish a concrete platform for collecting contributions from IFMSA Alumni from all over the world in order to finance medical students, members of all IFMSA NMOs, to participate in an IFMSA GA, thus fulfilling their aspirations as young medical activists within the framework of the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations. The Prof. Erik Holst Fund was born.

Today, this dream comes actually true. The 1st ever Erik Holst GA Scholarship has been recently awarded to a lucky and promising 5th-year medical student from Nepal, Surendra Sapkota. A few weeks ago, all of you have had the chance to meet him and get to know him better through our website. Surendra traveled all the way from his country Nepal in Asia to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) in Europe, to participate in the recent IFMSA General Assembly – August Meeting 2015 (AM2015) that took place in the beautiful lake-city of Ohrid in the beginning of August, thanks to the scholarship he received from Prof. Erik Holst Fund, that covered his registration fee and part of his travel expenses.


Dr. Konstantinos Roditis (left) and Mr. Surendra Sapkota (right) standing in front of the AM2015 GA Venue in Ohrid, FYROM. (photo courtesy of Dr. Fehim Esen from Istanbul, Turkey)

His enthusiasm knew no boundaries, as his participation at this GA was something he was dreaming for quite a long time, especially since the chance he was given to attend an IFMSA GA for the first time in Taiwan last year. After returning back home from Taiwan, he was already convinced that he wanted to get involved more within the IFMSA structure and leadership, as well as get to know better how the Federation works and how the experience he could gain from his involvement in IFMSA could be helpful to himself and his fellow colleagues Nepalese medical students back home.

We at Prof. Erik Holst Fund had the chance and opportunity to meet him in person in Ohrid, FYROM a few weeks ago, and we talked with him thoroughly about his participation in the GA, his role as Assistant to the Secretary of the GA Plenary, as well as his experiences from meeting with so many fellow medical students from all over the world. We were so happy to determine that we made indeed the right choice awarding him with the 1st GA Scholarship among 75 applicants, as he proved to be a very charismatic person, full of energy and enthusiasm, ready to get involved with IFMSA work both at the international level as well as back home in Nepal, and looking forward to participating again at an IFMSA GA next year, if possible to continue his journey in the IFMSA world.


Dr. Roditis and Mr. Sapkota again with a panoramic view of the AM2015 GA Venue – Hotel Desaret in Ohrid, FYROM. (photo courtesy of Dr. Fehim Esen from Istanbul, Turkey)

Last but not least, we were able to see how important it is, to continue our work in raising awareness among IFMSA Alumni to continue supporting our efforts by donating to the Prof. Erik Holst Fund in the years to come. Only by doing so, we will be able in the future to award many more GA Scholarships as well as Project Micro-grants to medical students and their IFMSA local projects.

Next stop for Prof. Erik Holst Fund is Malta and the IFMSA General Assembly – March Meeting 2016 (MM2016) that will take place next March in the beautiful tiny archipelago country of the Mediterranean! Until then, stay in touch, and of course, do not forget to visit our “Donate Now” page and kindly contribute to our efforts! Because, as we all know, we really want to “give something back for what IFMSA has given us”!

Thank you very much, IFMSA Alumni!

Meet Surendra Sapkota!

Meet Surendra Sapkota from Nepal. He is the 5th-year medical student awarded with the 1st GA Scholarship of our Fund, and is currently getting ready to travel to Ohrid, FYR of Macedonia for the IFMSA General Assembly – August Meeting 2015 as a member of the Nepalese delegation!

Surendra Sapkota

1st awardee from Nepal

Surendra was chosen among more than 75 excellent applicants for the scholarship, according to his background, expertise and motivation. This was the 1st GA Scholarship ever awarded by the Prof. Erik Holst Fund, and this €500 will partially cover Surendra’s expenses for registering and traveling to the AM2015 in FYR of Macedonia.

Learn more about Surendra, by reading through his CV, as well as his letter of Motivation.

Surendra Sapkota 1

Surendra at his Medical University


Language: English, Nepali, Hindi

Date of birth: 15th March, 1992

Place of birth: Kusma, Parbat, Nepal

Nationality: Nepalese


August Meeting 2014, Taiwan
• Single delegate(HOD) from NMSS Nepal
• Attended mainly the plenaries and the presidents’ session
• Trainings attended:

1. Leadership Training
2. Financial Management and Fundraising

Pre Asia Pacific Regional Meeting 2014, Bangladesh
• Attended Training New Trainers(TNT) workshop in Pre Asia Pacific Regional Meeting 2014 in Dhaka

Asia Pacific Regional Meeting 2014, Bangladesh
• Facilitated a session on “Hospital Disaster Management” and conducted a SWG session in SCOPH
• Delivered trainings on “Communication Skills” in APRM
• Presented a Poster on “Disaster Risk Management”

International Students Meet on Public Health (ISMOPH), Feb 2015, Kolkatta, India
• Attended “Public Health Advocacy Training Workshop” organized by IFMSA delegation

Member of SWG Medical Science and Research Team of IFMSA since May, 2014
Participated in OLMs, Webinars related to Ebola outbreaks, climate change and Ipas maternal and child health care and safe abortions

EXPERIENCES in NMSS (Nepal Medical Students’ Society)
• Secretary General of Nepal Medical Students’ Society in 2013/14
• Also worked as National Public Health Officer in NMSS in 2013/14
• Attended General Assembly of NMSS Nepal for 3 times in 2012, 2013 and 2014
• Chief Coordinator of “World Kidney Day 2014” observed by NMSS in collaboration with World Kidney Foundation Nepal
• Chief Coordinator of “World AIDS Day 2014” observed by NMSS at national level
• Coordinator of “No Smoking Day 2014” celebrated by NMSS in collaboration with Centre for Heart Attack Awareness in Nepal (CHAIN)
• Conducted a session on “IFMSA: Understanding and Opportunities” to the first year medical students of my university after my participation in GA Taiwan
• Participated and coordinated in various free health camps organized by NMSS in different rural parts of Nepal
• Participated in RHEPAS (Reproductive Health Education Program for Adolescents in School) in 2012
• Conducted a one day training on “Personality Development” and “Monitoring and Evaluation” in Jan 2015 in my NMO

Other International Experiences
• World Conference on Public Health, Feb11-15, Kolkatta India
Attended both the pre conference and the main conference.
Attended plenaries and sessions related to various issues on Public Health
Attended free paper presentations on “Alcohol, Tobacco and Drugs”
• Ambassador in Medicalis, International Congress of Young Health Professionals held in Romania in May 15th to 18th, 2014
• Ambassador in ISFiT (International Students’ Festival in Trohindhem), held in Feb, 2015 in Norway)
Having worked as a secretary general, a trainer, a member in SWG Medical Science and Research team I have gained optimum organizational skills, leadership skills, technical skills and interpersonal skills

2011- …. 5th /final year medical student at Institute of Medicine, Tribhuvan University
Expected Date of Graduation: 2017
2009-2011 Higher Secondary education at Golden Gate International College
2004-2009 Secondary schooling at Siddhartha English Boarding School
• Full Scholarship Awarded by Institute of Medicine for Bachelor in Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
• $1800 Scholarship from Embassy of India (Golden Jubilee Scholarship) in Kathmandu ($360 given each year for 5 years from 2011)
• Received Mahatma Gandhi Scholarship awarded by Indian Embassy in 2009/10
• Higher Secondary Education Board(HSEB) 2nd in Nepal
• Honoured with gold medal from Siddhartha English Boarding School for achieving highest percentage in School Leaving Certificate (SLC) Examination


Surendra Sapkota 2

Surendra at his Medical Faculty in Nepal


First I would like to express my appreciation to the organising committee for providing me this opportunity to apply for The Erik Holst Fund.

I am Surendra Sapkota, born and raised in a small village of Nepal called Parbat and currently a final year medical student at Institute of Medicine. I became the member of IFMSA as I became the member of Nepal Medical Students’ Society about three and a half years ago. It was on August 2013 I got elected as a general secretary of my NMO and I understood how NMO and IFMSA work and I also got to organize various events at national level. After being selected in the SWG Medical Science and Research Team in IFMSA on May 014, I was zealed by the utmost passion to work in IFMSA.

As a full time executive board member of NMSS Nepal in 2013/14, I got the chance to – identify problems, find creative solutions to them, build capacity and work in a team with full dedication, time and energy. International experiences in IFMSA have helped me learn and grow as a leader and a trainer and I am sure it will help me evolve as a global health doctor in the future. I have achieved till date whatever it be, through a constant struggle and exposure in the local, national and international arena.

Because of financial constraints, I bet I can’t attend the GA at any cost. This AM 2015 can bring a great change in my career and significant impact in my life. But total expenses will amount to 1000 Euros which people like me can’t afford because there are many other priorities in the family. A partial support will help me to attend the GA. As I am a trainer, I can actively contribute in the GA by facilitating the training sessions. I am planning to attend one more GA next year in my intern when I get a little salary and submit a candidature as well in IFMSA. So this GA is a most for me to keep my pace in IFMSA. I assure you that I can substantially contribute to my NMO with the experiences from the GA.