Founded in 2003, YOAC came into existence in order to address the critical social and human rights issues troubling the country and to create positive social change through active youth participation and involvement.
The first year of YOAC’s operation focused primarily on building its foundation for youth led social change: its central office, district offices, project and operational funding, staffing and recruitment, network and institutional building, mission and objective development, project and activity planning, monitoring and evaluation design, but most importantly, strengthening its relationship with local youth.
For the coming years of operation, YOAC declared to make the message clear to everyone: Youth should be recognised as leaders, innovators and development partners in the nation building process.
‘Conflict Resolution, Practices and Challenges in Nepal’ workshop: 16 July in Kathmandu
This workshop aimed to raise awareness of local youth on conflict resolution – the challenges, best practices, opportunities and threats for successful conflict transformation. Over 60 participants, including media, attended.
International Youth Day Celebration: 12 August in Kathmandu
To celebrate International Youth Day, themed ‘Youth in an Intergenerational Society,’ YOAC participated in a youth rally with 500 other participants. The rally aimed to raise public awareness on various youth issues and promote network and relationship building between likeminded youth led associations. On the same day, YOAC attended a youth conference focused on the formulation of national youth policy and lobbied for the necessary incorporation of conflict related issues.
National Peace Conference: 25-27 August in Kathmandu
Organised by Kathmandu’s Women Rehabilitation Centre, YOAC participated in a national three-day peace conference aiming to raise public awareness and participation on peace building in Nepal.
International Child Day: 20 November in Kathmandu
Organised by the National Child Rights Organization, YOAC participated alongside 4,000 other representatives from various child rights organizations and educational institutions in a peace rally themed ‘Children are Zones of Peace.’
‘Leadership, Human Rights and Conflict Management’ regional training programme: 22-24 December in Sunsari
YOAC organised a regional training programme for over 28 participants from various schools and youth activist organizations in Sunsari. Across two days, workshop participants strengthened their knowledge in the concepts of human rights and conflict management strategies, particularly in the current situation, and their role as youth leaders in creating positive social change.
Youth Leadership Development Training for Human Rights: 18-19 January in Jhapa
In association with Ideal Youth Group, YOAC organised a two-day training programme in Jhapa on improving the skills of young people and developing their leadership capacity to implement their own human rights activities in their communities. Twenty six participants from various educational institutions and grassroots youth organizations learnt about the basic concepts of leadership and human rights as well as discussed youth issues and rights in local contexts.
‘Gender and Legal Rights of Women’ Training Programme: 8 April and 16-17 April in Kathmandu
In association with Youth Information and Counselling Centre, YOAC organised a one-day training programme for over 31 youths to raise their awareness on the issues of gender and the legal rights of women as well as identify specific issues to women, dalits and janajati. Following on and in partnership with Collective Campaign for Peace, YOAC organised a two-day training programme for 26 participants on the differences between gender and sex, traditional roles of women, female discrimination, existing legislation and women’s human rights.
Indigenous Tharu Women Discussion Session: 21 May in Dang
In the mid-western region of Nepal, traditional norms and values compromise the rights and voices of Tharu women, therefore YOAC organised a one-day workshop to discuss the existing problems and possible ways to improve their livelihoods, whilst still respecting their culture. Thirty-five participants discussed how educational activities in the respective communities could improve the situation of the Tharu women as well as the nationalisation of their issues through lobbying, advocacy, media campaigns, sensitisation programmes and educational scholarships for young Tharu girls.
‘Human Rights and Youth Leadership Development’ Training Programme: 16 July in Kathmandu
YOAC organised a one-day training programme for over 32 students of Florescent Boarding School in Kathmandu, which aimed to raise youth awareness on the importance of human rights, particularly in the local context, and develop their skills to lead various human rights activities in their communities.
Peace Rally and Workshop: 12 January in Palpa
In association with over 80 social organizations, YOAC organised a peace rally and workshop in Palpa focusing on the state of Nepal and possible resolutions for peace. Well covered by the media, the peace rally provided a platform for the overlooked to raise their voice. At the same time, YOAC organised workshops discussing the role of youth, issues concerning women and minority groups amongst other important issues. The event ended with a ‘Palpa Declaration for Peace’ and a remembrance ceremony for the 12,000 people killed during the armed conflict.
Demonstration for Peace: 29 January in Kathmandu
Alongside various civil society and human rights organizations, YOAC participated in a public demonstration for peace, aiming to pressure the government to uphold peace in Nepal. Over 15 young participants stood for two hours joining hands in the city centre.
‘Problems of Youth in the Current Situation and the Role of Concerned Authorities’ Discussion Programme: 10 August in Chitwan
In coordination with Youth Human Rights Organization-Nepal, YOAC organised a one-day discussion programme with fifty youth participants on the necessity of policy makers to increase their awareness on the problems of youth as well as the importance of youth to raise their voices and concerns.
‘Youth Activism for Peace:’ September in Nepaljung, Nuwakot and Jhapa
To celebrate International Peace Day, YOAC organised several nation-wide discussion programmes in Nepaljung, Nuwakot and Jhapa. The discussion focused on promoting youth participation in nation building, identifying the collective role of youth in local and nation peace-building efforts and developing their skills and ideas to make their goals into reality.
‘Issues of International Labour Migration’ Inter Dialogue Programme: 25 April in Dhading
In cooperation with Youth Human Rights Organization-Nepal, YOAC organised a one-day discussion programme in Dhading district on the issues of youth moving abroad as international labour migrants. High-level government officials, journalists, interested and returnee migrant workers and representatives from youth organizations attended the discussion programme to brainstorm ways to protect the rights of migrant workers and improve their welfare.
Personal Development Work Camp in Sunsari
In order to develop the leadership, communication, teamwork and organisational skills of youth, YOAC organised three-day development work camp in Ithari in Sunsari. Not only did participants develop their own self-confidence and gain the skills to achieve higher in their communities, but they also formed strong relationships with like-minded motivated individuals.
National Youth Policy Workshop: 8 and 10 May in mid-western region
As part of the development of a National Youth Policy, YOAC organised a regional workshop in the mid-western part of Nepal titled, ‘National Youth Policy: Needs and Challenges,’ attended by participants from Banke, Dang, Surkhet, Salyan and Badiya. The workshop aimed to collect the concerns, issues and needs of youth living in armed violence. A similar workshop was organised in Dang district on 10 May aiming to identify and record the issues of dalit women and indigenous youth.
Report Writing Training Workshop: 4-5 June in Kathmandu
In partnership with ‘Collective Campaign for Peace’ and ‘Campaign for Change Nepal,’ YOAC organised a two-day workshop on report writing for over 24 youth participants from various civil society organizations. The training aimed to build the capacity of young social workers on how to conduct research and write a professional report for their organizations.
International Youth Day: 12 August in Kathmandu
Under the theme ‘World Programme of Action for Youth and Making Commitments Matter,’ YOAC participated in a youth rally aiming to unite various youth movements and individuals fighting for the same goal: improved youth well being and livelihoods. On the same day, YOAC organised a discussion programme on ‘Youth Liability in Peace and Development’ where local youth organizations and civil society members shared their ideas of youth involvement and peace building.
‘Youth for Social Activism’ Consultation: 25 February in Rupandehi
In cooperation with Creative Society Nepal, YOAC organised a one-day youth consultation aiming to inform and empower young people on burning human rights issues and to encourage their increased involvement in human rights and social activism.
Youth Participation for Social Development Interaction Programme: 22 March in Biratnagar
In collaboration with Youth Morning Society, YOAC organised a local training programme to over 70 youth participants from Jhapa, Morang and Sunsari aiming to enhance understanding on various social issues and the need to promote and protect human rights in society.
Human Rights and Leadership Development Training: 30 April – 4 May in Kathmandu and 29 June – 3 July in Palpa
With the support of the Norwegian Human Rights Fund, YOAC organised a five-day training programme on human rights and leadership development. Thirty-two young participants from across Nepal learned about basic human rights, particularly in the local socio-economic and political context.At the end of the training programme, participants gained the skills to develop their own joint action plan for future human rights initiatives and were better equipped with the knowledge and tools to join the nation’s next wave of human rights activists. Following the training programme’s success, YOAC facilitated a similar five-day training programme in the Palpa district, attended by twenty-five young participants.
Training Programme on Human Rights and Good Governance in Sindhuli
Over twenty young participants from various districts attended a two-day training programme on ‘Human Rights and Good Governance for Local Awareness,’ which addressed the concepts of human rights, leadership, rule of law, and good governance. The programme aimed to engage and encourage young leaders to drive human rights advocacy and critical public dialogue over Nepal’s most pressing human rights and social issues.
Women and Ethnic Minority Leadership Programme: 29 June – 3 July in Kathmandu, 24-25 November in Bara, 28-29 November in Dang and 31 December in Sunsari
With the support from TE ORA HOU in New Zealand, YOAC conducted various workshops across the country aiming to develop the leadership capacity of over 100 young women through active discussion programmes and knowledge sharing sessions. Participants were also provided financial support and guidance on developing their individual work plans in their community and organizational projects.
Youth Work Camp: 6-8 March in Sunsari
YOAC organised a three-day work camp aiming to provide a forum for young people to discuss theoretical, conceptual and practical issues on peace and to develop their capacity for youth peace activism in Nepal.
Publication of Calendar: March Nationwide
In 2006, 21 people lost their lives during the historic people’s movement. In memory of these martyrs, YOAC published a calendar with their portraits and distributed it to over one thousand copies.
Interaction Programme on Constituent Assembly: April-May in Kirtipur, Sindhuli, and Bara
In Kirtipur, Sindhuli and Bara, YOAC facilitated three series of discussion forums titled, ‘Constituent Assembly: Methods and Process.’ Over 1,000 youths attended the forum and raised critical questions with guest speakers from the Communist Party of Nepal United Marxist and Leninest, Arjun Narasigha KC, central committee leader of Nepali congress, student leaders from Nepal Bar Association and other civil society groups.Speakers highlighted the importance of respecting people’s desire for sustainable peace and prosperity in the country as well as the process of mainstreaming the Maoists party and their agendas during the peace dialogue and political transformation process. Speakers also highlighted the problems regarding weapons management on the way towards a Constituent Assembly.
‘Khabardar’ Street Drama Campaign: 10-14 May in Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur
Many participants from the five-day Human Rights and Leadership Development Training programme in Kathmandu quickly rose to action and participated in the street play ‘Khabardar’ (‘Beware’ in English).Performed across strategically chosen streets across Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur and well-covered by the media, the play cautioned political leaders associated with the seven party alliances to uphold the rights of people and to work selflessly towards fulfilling the political aspirations of the people following the People’s Movement for Democracy.The play was written for a wide audience of all ages and educational backgrounds, even drawing some to tears with the script’s politically inspirational and motivational message. This street drama formed an important part of the youth’s active pro-democracy movement for nation building.
International Youth Day: 12 August in Kathmandu
To celebrate International Youth Day, YOAC in partnership with Association of Youth Organizations organised a peace rally themed ‘Fulfil your Commitment’ as a reminder for the government to fulfil their duty to the rights of the Nepali people and the democratic governance of the country.
Nepal Youth Social Forum, 30-31 December in Kathmandu
As the first event of its kind, YOAC and 24 other youth orientated organizations organised a two-day Nepal Youth Social Forum aiming to create a space for young people to gather, interact, and realise the possibility for an alternative future through the power of their collection action. Under the theme ‘Creating Youth Vision for Future Nepal,’ the forum developed networks between youth coalitions promoting sustainable peace, human rights, inclusive democracy, sustainable development and other concerns. Over 1,300 young people from more than 50 districts across Nepal gathered to participate in various workshops, information stalls, discussions and debates, performances, research activities, documentary screenings, and exhibitions. The large gathering of multi-sector youth helped draw media and political attention towards the injustices, social exclusion, discrimination and exploitation against youth and other marginalised people, whilst highlighting the importance of their inclusion in nation-building.
Submission to the Interim Constitution Drafting Committee
YOAC submitted a 27 point suggestion paper to the interim constitution drafting committee demanding the guarantee of human rights, equal participation of marginalized people, end of impunity and monarchy, restructure of arms, method and process of constitutional assembly, and compulsory youth participation in national decision-making.
Public Awareness and Discussion Campaign on Migration and the Rights of Migrant Workers
3 March in Biratnagar, Morang
On March 3rd in co-operation with Morang-Sunsari Migrant Youth Service Society, YOAC facilitated a one-day awareness and discussion programme on the rights and duties of foreign labour migrants before and after leaving the country, which 70 participants attended. As different political parties become more involved in the new constitution drafting process, Nepali citizens are expected to properly elect their representatives for the constituent assembly. However, with an estimated 2.5 million migrant workers in India and other parts of the world, almost 15 percent of the total of Nepal’s population have no access and thus cannot have their rightful say.
24 May in Kathmandu
Following on from the success of the one-day awareness and discussion programme, YOAC organised a second session in Kathmandu on the rights and duties of migrants, particularly for youth. An estimated over 20% of the Nepali population between 15-29 years old have migrated abroad in search of employment opportunities. Twenty-two youth participants from different educational backgrounds attended the programme to discuss critical social and economic issues of Nepal and their role in pressuring the government to implement better policies and public services that protect their rights and future.
5 July in Palpa
On July 5th, YOAC held a similar seminar in the western district of Palpa titled ‘Rights of Migrant workers and Responsibilities of Stakeholders.’ With guests such as the Chief District Officer and members from the Democratic Socialist Perspective, Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist), Nepali Congress and NGO Federation, over seventy participants attended to discuss important issues.
15 September in Kathmandu
On September 15th, while the United Nations held their first General Assembly on Migration and Development, YOAC organized a high-level interactive dialogue on ‘Migration and the Rights of Migrant Workers’ in Kathmandu. The discussion focused on the rights and well-being of Nepali labour migrants and called upon the government’s responsibility to secure the rights of its people. The discussion was a silence-breaking programme with the participation of almost all stakeholders and policy makers in a single forum, such as representative from various UN agencies, government ministry representatives, international NGOs, media figures and representatives from various civil society organizations. To coincide with this significant event, YOAC published two groundbreaking sets of posters advocating the rights of Nepali migrant workers and the need for the government to take action. The posters advocated the importance of voting rights of Nepali migrant workers as well as the necessity for the government to create mechanisms to ensure the incorporation of their voice into the electoral process. YOAC distributed 30,000 copies of the posters within Nepal as well as abroad, particularly in the Middle East where a high percentage of Nepali migrant workers currently live.
International Migrant Day: 18 December in Kathmandu
In partnership with General Federation of Nepalese Trade Unions and Women’s Rehabilitation Centre, YOAC organized a peace rally aiming to draw public and political attention to the necessity of moving district migrant rights to a national level.
SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND RIGHTS
Across 2006, with the support of CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality, YOAC organised a series of training, education, awareness, advocacy and promotional activities in Jhapa, Sunsari, Bara, Chitwan, Nuwakot, Kathmandu, Rpandehi, Kaski, Banke, and Kanchanpur. This included a national training workshop on youth participation on the promotion of sexual and reproductive health and rights, an orientation programme of the various issues of SRHR in nine communities, national and regional training on youth advocacy on SRHR, as well as a national youth conference.