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 2013, 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.
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.
Governance Program – Leveraging the grassroots REAP learning, this program supports young policy entrepreneurs to support the government to conduct economic policy research and promote evidence-based policy decisions. The program has supported 99 youth, termed as Daayitwa Public Service Fellows, competitively selected 141 Nepali youth from 30 countries to support 51 government organizations and 24 parliamentarians. Daayitwa Fellows gather evidence from beneficiaries in the field, consult with key stakeholders, and prepare evidence-based policy recommendations. Presently, we are scaling wide by collaborating with subnational governments in Province 2 and Province 5 by placing 20 locally selected fellows in 8 provincial ministries and 12 municipalities to provide implementation support on domestic youth employment policies and programs.
Civic Engagement Program – Daayitwa supports young civic entrepreneurs to promote domestic youth employment through evidence-based policy advocacy. It enhances innovation and leadership capability of youth through action learning so that they realize and act upon their self-responsibilities for nation building through collective advocacy. It has supported 50 civic entrepreneurs to organize 6 policy campaigns at federal, provincial and local levels on promoting domestic youth employment. Presently, we are conducting a dignity of labor campaign at the federal level in collaboration with the Prime Minister Employment Program of the Ministry of Labor and Employment.