Project Objective

  1. Help marginalized young adults explore their potentials and find out:
    1. What their interests are in the academic and extra-curricular fields
    2. What career paths are there to support their interests
    3. Whether their current education programme gives them the right tools to pursue those interests
  1. Engage in 6 areas of skill development that would possibly provide them a well rounded educational experience and further give them valuable life skills:
  • Leadership
  • Careers
  • Literature
  • Art
  • Computer literacy
  • Teamwork

Pilot Project

The pilot phase of the project will be conducted at the Early Childhood Development Center, Kathmandu, after which we shall fine-tune the project and replicate it in other institutions.

Early Childhood Development Center

The Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC) works with children of imprisoned parents. It coordinates with the Jail Administration to rescue children, provide them day care and a residential home if they need it. Currently, Pushpa Basnet, the founder of ECDC and a member of the Kathmandu hub, takes care of 40 children at the organization’s Butterfly Home.

The Kathmandu Hub seeks to work with 10 children and young adults at ECDC who are 12 years and above. Hub members will meet with them once a month to engage with them and provide support in developing soft skills using a developed project. We hope that this project will give them young adults a chance to interact with hub members from a variety of backgrounds, exposing them to a variety inspiring opportunities beyond the conventional vocations that they become familiar to at school.

The Butterfly Home already provides the children with a safe space to learn, and through the Kathmandu Hub Shapers’ engagement, we hope to bring in new ideas and opportunities for the children to develop their confidence, before they begin to transition out of the Home upon completing their studies.

Why does this issue need to be addressed?

Many Nepali children grow up in a system that teaches them to learn through rote memorization and one that does not encourage them to think independently and critically. Furthermore, it is exceedingly common in Nepal for children to pursue the same vocations as their parents, without considering the relevance or the future prospects of those vocations. In the case of marginalized children, a lack of exposure to other opportunities at the right time can result in them being trapped in a cycle of marginalization.

This mentorship project is important, as it is an opportunity for children who are otherwise excluded, or have limited experience of normal life, to engage with their ideas and interests, and open themselves up to their own potential. For the age group that we will be working with, it is important to channel the children’s experience into something constructive, provide outlets for their creativity, and guide them as they begin to think about what they like, what they don’t like, and to understand what they need to keep their hope and future alive through their daily initiatives.

Care institutions such as ECDC and others that we have identified, frequently express that their operational work prevents them from being able to spend the amount of quality time and effort that they would like to, supporting and guiding young people at that crucial stage of life when they are dreaming and building their futures. It is from hearing this experience from various organizations that we decided to address this issue through our Hub project.

Project Description

Pilot phase to be implemented through 6 sessions covering the following topics:

Mentorship Session

Objectives/ Activities

1. Leadership

  • Encourage self-expression and identity
  • Learn how to work in groups
  • Foster respect for others
  • Building confidence
  • Negotiations/ Mediation

2. Careers

  • Understand different careers and the path to getting there
  • Create goals for the future

3. Literature

  • Encourage reading and writing
  • Learn about the basic elements of stories and poetry
  • Learn the elements of a play and performance
  • Start a book/reading club

4. Art

  • Sessions with hub members including accomplished artist Hitmaan Gurung
  • Self-expression through different art forms
  • Gaining an appreciation and respect for art

5. Computer literacy

  • Learning how to use MS Office programs
  • Typing sessions
  • Using the internet for education

6. Teamwork

  • Learn to work together as a team
  • Practice sportsmanship

What do you intend to achieve with this project?

We hope that the children and young adults that we work with, all of whom are growing up with limited resources, become confident in expressing their thoughts and ideas through different mediums and pursue careers that may be different from their family’s current occupation.

Through this initiative we also hope that the children will benefit from the different areas of life experiences the Shapers bring in. The Shapers will also learn about what the realities are for marginalized children and design more projects that can give these children the best chance of getting a well-rounded education and become valuable members of society.

Most importantly, upon completion of the pilot phase, we intent to scale up this mentorship to other areas where children are excluded from opportunities and limited to pursuing unskilled employment.

How would you scale the impact of this project?

Once the pilot project is completed, we would expand the mentorship sessions to similar institutions. The mentorship program seeks to develop quality relationships between young adults and role models, and so the time invested in each phase of the program is more important than gaining critical mass by widening the scale.

In the pilot phase we will be impacting 10 children in 6 months to test the effectiveness of the program. After this, we will work with another organization and carry out the 6 initial sessions while continuing to carry out new types of sessions with the young adults at ECDC. We will continue to scale up like this until we reach a maximum of 4 sessions a month, which essentially comes down to 1 session per month for 4 organizations.

Once the project is refined drawing on lessons from the initial programmes, we will look to partner with non-governmental organizations such as Rotaract or youth groups in order to implement the project in additional locations. We have deliberately kept the project structure simple, in order to facilitate replicating the project in more low-resource areas. In the end, the Shapers will facilitate training sessions to organizations willing to implement these tried and tested programmes in schools and institutions in their local areas.

Other shapers involved in this project

The entire Kathmandu Hub will support this project with Jyoti, Sneh, and Gaurav taking the operational lead.

Why do you think that yours is the best Hub Project?

  • Direct application of the skills and experiences of Hub members to impact young adults in genuine need of guidance and support
  • Supporting marginalized young adults by providing valuable life skills beyond their academic curriculum
  • The sessions developed through the testing phase can help shapers develop a framework that can be implemented on a national scale
  • Minimal budgetary requirement demonstrates that the project is simple and can be scaled up regionally
  • Shapers will enable more youth organizations to modify and adopt these sessions in their local communities