Nepal faces an acute leadership crisis. Frustrated with poverty, unemployment and governance issues, local communities nationwide are losing hope and becoming more dependent on external support. On the other hand, authorities in the public, private and social sectors have failed to collaborate in creating local and national capacity to address these flaring issues. Most unfortunately, the colossal innovation potential of youth, who comprise half the nation, remains largely untapped. In fact, 1500 of them leave Nepal each day for opportunities abroad, despite 5 of them dying each day due to harsh working conditions.
In the aftermath of the in April 2015 7.9-magnitude Nepal earthquake, which took more than 8800 lives and caused $6 billion of damage and losses, the aforementioned leadership challenges have surfaced more prominently. The urgency for a change in national mindset is now higher than ever ‒ we need to move from dependency to collaboration and from desperation to innovation. At the same time, the tremendous youth response, marked by creativity, solidarity and agility, during the critical two months of rescue and relief after earthquake, has demonstrated that nurturing youth leadership can bring about positive transformation for a resilient and thriving Nepal.
Mission and Vision
Daayitwa (translated as ‘self-responsibility’ in English) envisions a thriving Nepal where all citizens embrace their responsibilities to collectively transform societal challenges into innovative opportunities. Towards this vision, Daayitwa is building a movement of young leaders who are guided by shared values of collaborating, innovating, and serving to create solutions to tackle systemic issues in Nepal. More specifically, Daayitwa has three goals:
- Promote inclusive and enterprise-driven economic growth
- Strengthen governance of public service delivery
- Foster resilience in local communities
In November 2008, 55 young leaders came together to brainstorm critical challenges in Nepal and identify ways to collaborate at national and global levels. They noted political instability, lack of opportunities and apathy for change as three pivotal issues and in addressing them launched a platform called Nepal Ko Yuwa (translated as ‘Nepal’s youth’ in English). For the next 3 years, NKY supported local and diasporic youth to share ideas and support each other in their Nepal-based community projects. Major activities included national youth forums in the US and Nepal to cross-pollinate ideas and mobilize volunteers for community service.
In 2011, noting the growing network and net-worth of Nepali diaspora, NKY launched the global Walk for Nepal campaign to organize Nepalis and friends of Nepal in supporting Nepal-based NGOs through fundraising walkathons. In 2011 and 2012, NKY registered itself as a 501c3 non-profit in the US and as an NGO in Nepal respectively to more effectively use global and national resources for greater impact. In 2012, NKY launched the Naya Ghar program to promote innovation in rural social and business enterprises. In 2013, NKY launched the Dayitwa Public Service Fellowship program to promote innovation in public projects. In 2015, NKY changed its name to Daayitwa – The Responsibility Movement to better reflect its shared value of responsibility and underscore the gravity of collaboration between youth and authority figures for progress.