Migration dreams revisited

By: Rita Tisdall in Nepal

The first phase of the project, “Putting Youth on Centre Stage,” has been successfully completed in Helambu Nepal. Helambu was head hit by the 2015 earthquake 3,000 people died and 90% of all buildings were destroyed.

The area saw mass migration of youth, mainly to the Middle East, to work in construction. CICED with its partner the Just Nepal Foundation supported ninety youth through organizing Youth Camps. At the camps the youth were encouraged to stay and rebuild their communities, explore incoming generating ideas and create youth supporting networks across their municipality.

At the end of the first period a sixty of the youths have decided to stay. The youth project also influenced the wider community as one man told, “A new conversation has been born. Do we really have to migrate? No one talked about this before, getting the chance to leave was like winning in the lottery, now everyone is talking, we are not sure anymore…..”.

Another community member told how his family was effected, “I am grateful, one of my sons has gone to Doha, and the other went Kathmandu to get a passport ….now after he went to the camp he has changed his mind, he is going to stay. He is talking about doing a little business …..This is good, I hope my other son comes soon, he was fifteen when he left, we haven’t seen him in 3 years……”

Through a micro credit loan system the youth have had the possibility to loan to start up small businesses. So far six start-ups received loans, all of which were repaid according to contracts.

At the last camp the youth formed the Helambu Co- Cooperative.

There is still a lot of work to be done, the youth are asking for short term job focused technical trainings. CICED and Just Nepal Foundation will shortly submit a new proposal to CISU.

Last but not least, like anywhere in the world, youth need fun. During spring this year the first ever Youth Festival was held in the district, 4,000 people met up from far and near. One of the main attractions was the young popular artist Prakash Saput. He is known for his songs of lost love, the struggles of living abroad and his charismatic songs urging people to unite and rebuild a peaceful Nepal.

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