KATHMANDU, May 29: The youth are bursting with energy and ideas. But for many, taking initiatives itself is a challenge. Inexperience, fear of not being able to convince the elders, low budget, and lack of knowledge or confusion often surround them, lowering their self-confidence to move forward with their noble plans for social development.
But not to worry. Many youth organizations in Nepal offer programs that focus on youth leadership which groom their overall personality. They encompass various fun-filled indoor and outdoor activities which encourage them to voice their ideas rightly.
Yuwa, a youth-based organization, has trained several batches of capable youth who have been working in various social arenas. Currently, Yuwa runs a college-level series for the age group of 15 to 27 years.
It is called Prarambha. As the word suggests, it aims to facilitate students in exploring and understanding their potentials and start working on their ideas on priority basis. It provides a common platform for youth innovation and engagement through discussions and group activities.
One of the graduates of Prarambha is Sachet Gurung, 21. Currently a 1st year student of Social Work and Rural Development at Thames college, he recalled, “I used to be nervous while meeting new people and wasn’t comfortable with them. After the Prarambha course, I feel confident even with strangers. Also, I’ve been able to mould my ideas in a proper manner and implement them.” Gurung’s favorite part of the course was the teambuilding games.
Similarly, Today’s YouthAsia (TYA), an international media outlet established in 2002, provides a whole range of youth-related training programs such as School Representative Media Training (SRMT) for 13- to15-year-olds that exposes students to introductory media and communications conducted by professionals from different media and communication fields.
Another is Leadership and Skill Development Program (LSDP) for three categories of participants. The first is for middle-school students of grades 8, 9, and 10. The second is for high-school students of grades 11, 12, and A-Levels; and lastly, for Bachelor’s-level students.
In total, it is a capacity-building and leadership-development program which provides training on communications, media, club formation, and leadership qualities. It also aims at raising awareness on global, regional, national, and rural issues.
Ayena Singh, 18, a graduate of TYA’s LSDP 2010, shares, “I went for LSDP program after my SLC, hoping it would help me overcome my introvert personality and also to develop proper writing skills. The whole program is memorable for me. But to pinpoint a few interesting sessions, I recall the personality development session by Sugarika KC where she taught us how to dress and how to maintain our body language in public. Also, the session by Santosh Shah on how to be the leader in which we learnt public speaking and public presentation skills.”
Ayena is also currently working as an intern at TYA.
We Inspire Nepal (WIN), a non-governmental, not for profit, youth-led group also carries out Activism Paathshala (AP) for high school students.
“It is a two-day program that gives the participants various unexpected group tasks. For example, participants are asked to collect money by serving the locality in any way. Some participants washed cars and bikes, some gave tuitions to children on the streets, and some cleaned plates in small restaurants,” informed Saunak Bhatta, founding executive member of WIN. The money collected by the participants was used to fund SLC exam fees for two underprivileged children.
For 18-year-old AP 3 participant Prizma Ghimire, who is currently a doing her Bachelor’s in Social Work at St. Xavier’s, said, “The workshop was an overwhelming experience to interact and build my confidence with the level of exposure I got.”
Indeed, if the overflowing potential and ideas of the youth are shown proper paths, positive developments can surely be expected from the graduates in a nation suffering from utter political disturbances, causing hopelessness among people.