Nepal is known for its beautiful culture and amazing views over the Himalayas, but did you also realize that about forty percent of the Nepalese population consists of youths? Despite this positive image, Nepal has been struggling with problems among this age group. There has been a trend of youths leaving Nepal in search for a better livelihood, and they have been suffering because of political instability, unemployment and mental challenges. Bad governance has left young people in Nepal with many problems, causing them having the idea that they are not able to have a future in their home country.

Nepal is a popular travel destination from the West, but the Western culture has also had a negative impact on the youth. Being interested in other cultures can be great, but this has led to less appreciation of their own culture. Youths have been valuing their own Nepalese culture less and less and they rather use their skills for foreign countries instead of their motherland.

But… these negative trends are making place for change! And one of the biggest driving forces behind this change is The Nepal Youth Council – the sister organisation of MasterPeace Nepal-NYC. Through programmes and workshops, the Nepal Youth Council inspires the Nepalese youth to be strong, meaningful and self-reliant. Their network among the youth is huge: they are linked to all 77 districts, covering the whole country! Read more about their activities on their website: https://nationalyouthcouncil.org/.

So, what are the dreams, activities and goals of the young people behind the Nepal Youth Council?

Saroj Baniya

Only twenty-eight years old, Saroj Baniya is both the founder and the president of the Nepal Youth Council. He finished his BA in Information Technology, and currently works towards obtaining a MA in Business Administration. For the last eight years, he has been working for the Nepal Youth Council as a volunteer, not retrieving a salary or other benefits from it. However, he is motivated by his young dynamic team members and the fact that the Nepal Youth Council is driven by the force of youths only. He dreams that one day, he will lead the nation on behalf of all the young people of Nepal. Slowly, he is seeing some positive signs: the government of Nepal is becoming more and more positive towards the youth.

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Basanti Sapkota

Basanti Sapkota is twenty-one years old and in the third year of her BA in Business. She is a province coordinator and belongs to province number 7, one of the least developed regions. Born into a middle-class family,  she understands that agriculture is very important. “Born in the place with lot of struggle as well as possibilities, I was always in search of a platform which could help me to do something for my region”. She noticed how the Nepal Youth Council is different than the other NGOs, as it is not only focused on the urban areas or Kathmandu but also on the rural areas. “It is exactly the kind of platform that I was looking for”. Basanti hopes that more possibilities for the youths of Nepal will cause them to eventually lead the country.

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Shushil Rajbhar

Shushil Rajbhar is twenty-eight years old and also strongly determined to improve the situation of the youths of Nepal. On behalf of the Nepal Youth Council, he coordinates province number 1.  He is currently in the second year of the Bachelor for Social Work at Tribhuwan University, and thinks that the youth play a vital role in the development of Nepal: they are the future! This line of thinking motivated him to join the Nepal Youth Council. His dream is to provide children of all ages with the fundamental needs they have. He wants to encourage the youths to have a good job and to be more responsible when it comes to the interests of the nation.

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Indrajeet Sunar

Indrajeet Sunar is twenty-five years old and he already has two qualifications: a BA in Agriculture and an MA in Development Economics. According to Indrajeet, youths are the building blocks of the nation. This means that it is important that they develop skills in motivation, encouragement and empowerment. In his view, the network of Nepal Youth Council is really strong and that this network will lead the way to change throughout Nepal. As the coordinator of the Karnali Province and in charge of ten district, he hopes to inspire youths to be more responsible towards the nation. And he hopes that the Sustainable Development Goals get more well-known throughout his province and the rest of Nepal. Finally, Indrajeet aims the youths of Nepal to build entrepreneurships to generate income for themselves instead of going abroad.

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Som Gurung

This is Som Bahadur Gurung, thirty-eight years old and comes from Nepalgunj, Banke, province number 5 in Nepal. He is a graduate student from a BA and at the final stages of his MA degree. Apart from that, he recently joined a three-year Bachelor of Laws. He is very interested in education and development, and his interests in these themes made him came across the Nepal Youth Council. He would love to start his career in this field.  As a coordinator of his province he is coordinating the youths, organizing conferences, expressing their views, cooperating with other youth organizations, running exchange programs and participating in the national and international meetings of the Nepal Youth Council. Som Bahadur Gurung has a lot of hopes and dreams for the youth of Nepal. He hopes that they develop skills like generating income, leadership, entrepreneurship and personal development.

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Monika Ranabhat

Monika Ranabhat is twenty-one years old and comes from Pokhara, Nepal. She is currently pursuing a BA in Development Studies and Social Engineering from Pokhara University. She is  passionate about creating change: “I always try to do things that create an positive impact in my society. Since I was a child, I dreamed to become a good leader but I knew that it’s not easy for a girl from a traditional society of Nepal”. Striving for a leading role as a woman is hard, there are many boundaries. When she got to know about Nepal Youth Council she finally felt able to realise her passions. “In the Nepal Youth Council, we practice healthy and structured leadership”. In 2018, she was assigned as the coordinator of Nepal Youth Council, Gandaki Province. “I believe that youths have a fire in them to fly high and chase the sky. If the  power of youths is used wisely, the prosperity of Nepal is not so far”.

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Some photos from the previous editions of the Nepal Youth Council: