Displaced Youth Volunteer Program

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Displaced Youth Volunteer Program

Nepal
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

To provide a year long safety net to the displaced youths due to present conflict in Nepal, within the age group of 16-25, so that they can be taken from a place of anger and revenge to one of forgiveness, thus enabling them to work as effective reconstruction workers and peace ambassadors; through development of necessary and practical skills, broadening their understanding of development and peace building and by providing emotional and psychological support to the youth volunteers.

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Position in the Ethics Mosaic of Solutions
Factor

Fatalism

Principle

Building ability to care, uphold values, and make

Innovation
Idea:

To provide a year long safety net to the displaced youths due to present conflict in Nepal, within the age group of 16-25, so that they can be taken from a place of anger and revenge to one of forgiveness, thus enabling them to work as effective reconstruction workers and peace ambassadors; through development of necessary and practical skills, broadening their understanding of development and peace building and by providing emotional and psychological support to the youth volunteers.

How do you do it:

Conflict-displaced youths (men/women, disadvantaged groups) with low/no income, school education and willingness to work for peace formed into a group of 30. Training/workshops held to expand concepts/understanding of development and peace. Monthly support of US$ 28 per youth given for a year. Interested youths connected with NGOs in Kathmandu for learning/mentorship. Youths linked with organizations providing IGA and skills building training. Events/festivals celebrations, formal counseling service and referrals for emotional healing. Networking/sharing/follow up meetings held periodically for the participating youths and motivated youths connected with local NGOs to work as peace ambassadors even after the 1 year program.

Innovation:

In September 2002, NA provided learning space for two youths who were displaced with their entire family in Kathmandu due to conflict and were willing to learn and expand their knowledge, but had no opportunity. NA team supported for their psychological wellbeing, confidence/skill building. With positive results in their emotional/economic wellbeing, and feeling the need/urgency to provide similar space to other youths in desperate situations, NA designed a yearlong program for 20 displaced youths after intense internal homework. The idea was based on the current situation/context of the country, the urgency to be proactive and capitalizing in youths by ?saving seeds in times of famine?.

Impact
Impact:

Under conditions brought on by conflict and displacement, the youths are forced to live frustrated lives with unsure futures. With few employment opportunities, social networks and viable skills, these youth find themselves vulnerable to rebel forces. In addition to dealing with the traumas they face, they have to adjust to life in cities, which is not only drastically different from that in their home villages, but also requires that the youths acquire different knowledge and skills in order to compete in their new urban surroundings. Failure to productively engage youth in economic and social life during the conflict can also complicate the reconstruction effort once a ?workable peace? has been established.

Ethical Action:

Most of the participating youths in the group of 20 during 2003-2004, who were victimized by conflict either in terms of loss of family members and property/livelihood, or threat to their own life, were full of anger and vengeance in the beginning. The positive environment, space, emotional healing sessions/events, learning and interactions were able to transform their feelings to one of forgiveness and peace. After 1 year, all the youths evaluated the program highly expressing their commitment to work for peace. Three youths are currently working as peace ambassadors in community level at rural conflict ridden districts in Nepal.

Replication:

The program provides direct relief and long term benefits to a large number of people with small fund and local resources. Realizing the need for and effectiveness of our initiative, our two partner NGOs in Janakpur and Doti have replicated similar programs in there own districts, each with an initial seed grant from NA. Three more organizations in different districts are willing to initiate similar program with the technical support from Nagarik Aawaz.

Sustainability
Sustainability:

The program aims to mobilize internal and local resources in the long run. A revolving fund will be created for youth?s income generating activities. Formation of alumni association will be encouraged for support, linkage, and replication of program activities with internal fund raising (e.g. NA raised funds from Nepali individuals to support a group of 16 displaced youths). NA will technically backstop the district level NGOs that replicate the program and local resource persons will be encouraged to contribute voluntarily in training for the youths.

Organization Size:

1 CEO,3 Program Officers, 1 Admin/finance Officer, 1 Admin/Finance Assistant Officer, 1 Counselor, 2 Office Assistants, 4 Volunteers