Today, there are 1.2 billion young people aged 15-24, accounting for 16% of the global population as per the United Nations (UN). Around 14 million youths are forcibly displaced by conflict and disasters. And 8 out of 10 young women are dead as a result of violence/ armed conflict between the ages15-25 as per UN special Youth Envoy. The data is extremely distressing, hence there is utmost need to address young people's needs to amplify voices, capacity, and engagement in all spheres for peace and development. Today, 200 million young people are either unemployed or have a job but live in poverty. Hence, the case of Nepal is not new, every day large number of Nepali youths are poured into second world for decent job and employment opportunities.
Every year 15th of July is recognized as “World Youth Skills Day” to celebrate the strategic importance of equipping young people with skills for employment, decent work, and entrepreneurship. This year it is focused on concerted efforts toward socio-economic recovery from the COVID-19 related challenges such as rising inequality, swift technological change, conflict, climate change, and demographic transition.
Helvetas Nepal promotes the active inclusion of the youth in its all programs and projects to realize their potentials and supports youth participation leading to better relations with local communities. It actively involves young people and ensures their participation in the social, political, and economic spheres. Helvetas Nepal has included skills, jobs, and income as one of the working areas and vocational skills as one of the working fields in its programs and projects. It aims to provide space for young people to be equipped with technical and vocational education and training (TVET), apprenticeship programs, counseling for foreign employment, entrepreneurship, and dialogue between young people and policy makers. Helvetas Nepal prioritizes young women and girls, young persons with disabilities, youth from marginalized communities and historically excluded groups, indigenous young people, and youths who suffered from disaster and conflicts in all its activities.
To date, Helvetas Nepal is working with different bilateral donors Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the European Union (EU), and the Swiss Foundation together with Nepal Government and its concerns ministries. To ensure that skills gained are recognized and certified, entrepreneurship, supported migrants and returnees with vocational training, apprenticeship, established linkages with market actors, and productive use of remittance.
Through its ENSSURE project (funded by SDC) implemented by the Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT) and the Provincial and Local Governments, it supports young people getting into the job market through career guidance, and meaningful on-the-job training (OJT) and apprenticeships. InElam project supports young people with innovative ideas to become an entrepreneur by utilizing local resources. This project has also increased private sector engagement which will facilitate inclusive economic development in local resource-based enterprises.
In SAMRIDDHI project (funded by IFAD) through MOICS, supports unemployed youths of economically and socially disadvantaged groups by giving vocational training and apprenticeships. In SaMi (Safer Migration) funded by SDC supports migrants and returnees with financial literacy training and counseling service to use the resources properly. Through PROYEL (funded by the EU), it promotes the engagement of youth in the democratic and governance process and the protection, promotion, and fulfillment of human rights. As a matter of fact that young people are often underrepresented in formal political institutions and public administrations. Through this project interventions with the formation of youth panels and institutions at the local level will empower youth to voice their opinions and concerns, and representation of young people in the local government.
Helvetas Nepal is committed to supporting young people to develop the skills that are needed for employment, decent work, and entrepreneurship, promoting equitable, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth and environmental sustainability. Moreover, Helvetas Nepal with the Government of Nepal supporting in 2030 Agenda that “no one will be left behind” as youth are the positive force for development, and they take on leadership roles and give back to their communities.
As a youth myself, I can believe in a future !