Kathmandu University and UNICEF signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Dhulikhel, Kavrepalanchok launching a pioneering collaboration between an academic institution and a humanitarian and development organization in Nepal.
According to the agreement signed today, the two institutions will work together to promote innovation and entrepreneurship among young Nepalis, with the establishment of the nation’s first ever “Innovation Incubator” at the premises of Kathmandu University School of Management, Lalitpur. The best ideas for social change nurtured at the incubator will be showcased through the National Competition on Innovative Solution (NCIS), where business leaders interested in the ideas partner with innovators to put sustainable solutions in place. The competition will be broadcasted primetime on national television in the form of a reality show.
The MoU also seeks to develop academic programs on child-sensitive policies, create opportunities for research to fill technical gaps on issues related to the impact of poverty and inequality on children's and women's rights as well as establish a think tank to generate ideas for social change.
“This partnership is both timely and important as it comes at a critical time when Nepal aspires to build a socially inclusive and economically productive society,” said Hanaa Singer, UNICEF Representative. “Our joint initiative is aimed to provide hope to the young and motivated Nepalis to come forward with creative and innovative ideas that can solve social issues faced in their local communities. Hope is something that young Nepalis really need, especially in a backdrop of youth migrating abroad in large numbers in search of greener pastures of employment and academic opportunities.”
Ms. Singer also emphasized on the importance of monitoring and developing ways of dealing with the new global generation of Nepalis so that their tremendous potential could be unlocked to ignite social change.
According to a joint press release issued by UNICEF, the sentiment was reiterated by Prof. Dr. Ram Kantha Makaju Shrestha, Vice Chancellor of Kathmandu University.
“Today’s youth are not only youth of a small community, small society or a country. They are the youth of a global village,” said Dr. Shrestha. “Together with UNICEF, we want to create a venue of excellence, packing it with knowledge for youth, knowledge that meets the needs of the society.”