Youth for Change

This program aims to promote youth leadership to coin their voice in the decision-making process, establish and promote Infrastructure for Peace, and promote psychosocial care and mental health.

In partnership with KURVE Wustrow (Germany), this program is in effect in five different areas located in Lalitpur District: Lele, Lubhu, Lamatar, Champi, and Dukuchhap since January 2015 (ending in 2020). We have been engaging with conflict-affected and marginalized youths, community groups, and local stakeholders through this project. This program aims to promote youth leadership to coin their voice in the decision-making process, establish and promote Infrastructure for Peace, and promote psychosocial care and mental health as one of the peacebuilding tools.







I thought to myself even during my school days that I will do social work when I grow up. I had seen senior brothers and sisters of my community contributing for the benefit of our community and I wanted to become like them. I had thought on the ways to develop my community and make my community a peaceful one. Years passed in continuing my studies. It is said that everything has its own time but I was impatiently waiting for that time to come. I am lucky because the time came as I got opportunity to work as a peace volunteer of Nagarik Aawaz. Three years ago I got to know that an organization called Nagarik Aawaz was looking for the youths who are willing to do something for their community. I applied for the volunteering and got selected as well. Though I feared and felt shy in speaking with my supervisors, they trusted upon my capacity and encouraged me to speak. 

Three years has passed and I have given my best to support my community through the peace campaigns. I believe I have been able to bring some of the positive change in my community. I worked with renowned personalities, intellectuals, social workers, women leaders, senior citizens, stakeholders, different organizations, youths and children. Each groups taught me something important. I was involved in solving the smaller issues in my community and helped few from violence against women. I faced many challenges and hurdles while trying to change the community I live in. One of the biggest hurdle for me was that I belong to the Dalit community. While doing the programs I overheard conversation of people talking about my caste and leaving without the snacks we offered. I digested all these because I wanted a bigger change in my community. I did not let these small incidents to break me. Now people recognize me as a girl from Nagarik Aawaz and respect me. I am able to gain trust from the people in my community because they think I will do something good for the community. 

With this acquired respect, I got an opportunity to stand as the Dalit woman member in the local election through one of the top three political parties. Since I

had some interest in politics I did not want to lose this opportunity and accepted it. During the political campaigns, I engaged in lot of dialogues and meetings with people in my community. Well-known political personalities came in these. Everyone who stood for the candidacy of member expressed their views. I also took my chance to express my thoughts. First, I introduced myself and the organization I am involved in. I also talked about the activities I am involved in to build peace in the community and positively change my community. I shared them that I have understood their problems and have already started working for the solutions. I was able to make people understand the importance of youths in the decision making level. 

It took a whole month in preparation of the local election. I visited every villages and houses to appeal for the votes. Since I had already known them through the programs it wasn’t that hard for me to ask for votes with them. I heard that even people of other rivaling parties were asking for votes on my behalf. This made me very happy that I was able to gain trust from people. Some women groups in my community even organized meetings and asked people to vote for me. I thanked them all for trusting my journey. The day of voting came and I was anxious about the results, but I overcame that with the support and love of my community people. The day of voting was exciting and peaceful. The result came and I lost with few votes. 

The good thing is I am not taking it as a failure. The political campaign gave me opportunity to express my willingness to work for the people of my community. I gathered many experiences from this. I feel even closer to my community and I understand their situations even better. I know that I have lot more to do for my community’s peace. I feel more responsible after participating in the election. I have gathered more energy to work for the women and my community. 

Part of it why I could withstand failure is because of Nagarik Aawaz. It taught me not to get discouraged with failures and to take failures positively. I have refined myself through the trainings provided by Nagarik Aawaz. I feel my willingness to work for the welfare of my community has taken a new phase. At last, I want to wish the team of Nagarik Aawaz further success and many thanks for transforming me into a better person. 

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