Bijay Poudel
Associations of Youth Organizations Nepal

In 2008 I was a board member at Association of Youth Organization Nepal (AYON), and got connected with the British Council on a project called Active Citizens. My colleagues and I were sent to Bangladesh and Pakistan to attend a ‘Training of Trainers’ course. After the training, we came back and localized the selected manual. Next, we identified Bhaktapur for the pilot project and then trained around 200 young people. The model of the training was to capacitate the young people to carry out social action projects in their communities. As testimony to the success of the training, around 50 social action projects were carried out after that first training in Bhaktapur.

After the first project, we began to fully appreciate the value of training. So we requested British Council to help with a larger project and they agreed. We invited young people representing different organizations of AYON from three select districts, and provided them with training. With the help of a resource person from the British Youth Council (BYC) we proceeded to train around 15 young people. After they successfully completed the ‘Training of Trainers’ course, they went back to their communities and trained another 110 people. More than 100 young people carried out small scale social action projects in their own communities. For example, two participants led the ‘Heritage Project’ in Bhaktapur. They cleaned up an ancient pond, which was being used as a toilet, with the support of the local community. In the district of Banke, the project helped plant more than a thousand trees.

Under the Active Citizens project, we also carried out a youth survey in Nepal which, even today, continues to be an important and useful resource for those working on youth issues. I can safely say that it is the first document of its kind. Please find the youth report in this link here.