Trip to the Gulf is canceled

By: Rita Tisdall and Johnny Baltzersen 

“A new conversation is born. Is it really necessary to migrate? No one used to ask that question. Getting away was like winning the lottery. Now everyone is talking about it. We’re not so sure about migration anymore…..”
These are the words in the wake of the project ‘Putting Youth on Centre Stage’ in Nepal, which CICED implemented together with our partner JUST Nepal Foundation.

The first phase of the project in the Helambu area north of Kathmandu has been a great success. Helambu was hit hard by the April 2015 earthquake that killed 3000 people and destroyed 90% of the buildings in the area. A wave of migration followed. Young people traveled mainly to work on construction projects in the Gulf States and the Middle East. At home, there were no opportunities to earn an income.

Four youth camps were the hub of training, supervision and discussion on how to make a living and how to engage in the development of your local community.

Ninety young women and men participated and were inspired to seek new ways to secure a decent income and to network across their communities.

By the end of the project, 60 young people have decided to stay. And the whole of society is engaged in conversations about whether migration is the only way out of misery.

A father says: “I am so grateful. One of my sons has gone to Doha and the other went to Kathmandu to get a passport (to be able to migrate – ed.)…After attending the youth camp, he has decided to stay. He is thinking of starting a business….That’s good. I hope my other son will come home soon. He was 15 years old when he left. We haven’t seen him for three years….”
CICED and JUST Nepal support the young entrepreneurs with micro-credit.

During the last youth camp, some of the young people created the ‘Helambu Cooperative’.
There is still a lot to be done and done better. Young people are looking for more hands-on technical courses that can boost their earning potential.

There is still a lot to be done and done better. Young people are looking for more hands-on technical courses that can boost their earning potential.

Like all young people, Helambu’s young people need to have a good time. This spring, the project held the first major youth festival of its kind. 4000 young people participated from near and far.

One of the main attractions of the festival was the young popular Prakash Saput, who is nationally known and loved for his songs about lost love, the challenges of living abroad and uniting and rebuilding a peaceful Nepal.

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