Nepal Youth Council (NYC) in association with UNDP and multiple partners hosted a three day National Youth Conference starting from 12th august to 14th August, 2018. The theme of the conference for the International Youth Day 2018 was: “Safe Space for Youth” which created a safe and secure platform for youth that offered them space to express views and engage in key discussions and related activities across diverse platforms. In total, 204 participants attended the Conference out of which 154 youths (one female and one male) from 77 districts participated in the conference. Additionally, 50 youths from the Provinces (gender balanced) were selected from among the differently-abled, dalits, diverse ethnic groups and LGBTQI.
The opening session was inaugurated by the Rt. Hon’ble Minister of Urban Development Mr. Mohammad Istiyak Rai, development partners, together with civil society and media were invited to the inaugural session.
The main objectives of the National Youth Conference 2018 were to examine the status of agriculture, tourism and IT development in Nepal, to engage youths in the economic development of the country, explore innovative ideas for creating sustainable domestic employment opportunities for promoting youth leadership and innovation, and mobilizing the youths for partnering with the federal, provincial and local governments to influence national and local policies and plans on youth and development for the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with a focus on SDG 5 pertaining to Gender Equality.
Key leading entrepreneurs, business and social leaders led brief discussions in the groups to inspire the participants in visualizing their potential roles in transforming Nepal.
Bisam Gyawali, Youth Program Officer at UNDP Nepal indicated the importance of SDGs, its localization and the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), during his presentation.
Irina Karki Gurung, Public Affairs & Communications Manager at Bottlers Nepal Limited, shared a presentation on how the Coca-Cola system in the region focuses on areas of water stewardship, sustainable agriculture and recycling, and how as leader in the beverage industry, the Company is committed to keeping sustainability at the heart of the business. The goal of sharing the sustainability initiatives of Coca-Cola in Nepal and in the INSWA region was to inspire the youth ahead of their brain storming and planning session to come up with actionable approaches for the first youth led-provincial action plans.
The three-day event included various sessions on SDGs overview and localization, panel discussion on youth in agriculture, tourism and entrepreneurship, youth talk shows on youth & SDGs leadership connection and announcement of awards of 7 innovative ideas for the first youth led action plans.
A jury of three members including Hempal Shrestha, Nepal Entrepreneurs Hub, Sneh Rajbhandari, Coca-Cola in Nepal, and Rajan Koirala, Merojob.com; selected the top 7 entrepreneurial ideas contained in the plans of action in line with the criteria developed for selecting the winning ideas. Coca-Cola is the sole seed funding partner for this exercise, which was being done for the first time. The top 7 innovative entrepreneurial ideas from each province are the following: Province 1, Motivational workshop & stress management training to 2,500 youths, Province 2, Home-based product development and skill based business trainings; Province 3, Entrepreneurial approach in waste and pollution management; Gandaki: Comprehensive sexuality education in SRH & data based research; Province 5 Entrepreneurship and Technical training program; Karnali Province Promotion of food items of Karnali province and finally Province 7: Exploring opportunities for tourism development and promotion; contained in the Plans of Action will be supported by the seed funding from Coca-Cola.