Nepal, best known perhaps to the ‘outside’ world for the beautiful majestic Everest, is a country of stunning beauty and contrasts – the mountains, the hills and plain lands and extra ordinary people who survive in an environment which is difficult and often hostile
It is also a country which is still very poor in many areas – where inequality is very obvious and political turmoil is the norm
The new constitution is still not passed; the congress is dissolved and basic services such as health and education still not available to everyone
Of the young people graduating from school or University only about 10% of them will find a full time job.
Nepal is not capitailsing on its youth bulge as so many other Asian countries have…
The only ambition that most young people have is to leave Nepal and 1500 young people get on planes every day and fly to the Middle East, Europe and beyond to find work – this is a under estimation as this does not include those who cross the open border into India
But amongst all this negativity there is of course hope and inspiration – yesterday I met Pradip who is the ‘retiring’ president of the Association of Youth Organisations Nepal (AYON) – and an Oxfam partner – who tells us about wanting prosperity for Nepal, about organizing young people to understand their rights , to campaign on issues important to young people such as access to free health care, to find a role for young people as their country develops, identify role models and positive images , to reclaim ‘youthhoods’ from so many who have had to marry early.
I ask Pradip why he stays in Nepal – he’s obviously smart and could leave if he wanted to – he says he is part of the problem and therefore needs to be part of the solution – leaving is not a solution for Nepal – he wants to stay – to tackle the corrupt political processes, persuade those in power to hand it over to the next generation – he wants the country’s leadership to be like a river – constantly flowing not stagnant!
He is the hope of Nepal – the young who want to find prosperity in Nepal – good luck to him and so many others.